Owlstone Nanotech, Inc.

Detecting metaldehyde in water using Lonestar portable analyzer

Metaldehyde is a common ingredient in slug pellets that are used commercially that enters water courses in run-off from farmers’ fields. The concentration of metaldehyde in drinking water has been raised as a concern and should be no more than 0.1 μg L-1 according to the European and UK standards for pesticides in water. Metaldehyde can be removed from water by passing it through carbon beds. However, this is expensive as it can break-through filter beds in a matter of weeks, depending upon the levels of metaldehyde in the water course. The current methods to detect metaldehyde use either GC-MS or LC-MS instruments, which are expensive to purchase and maintain and also require specialist operators. Samples must also often be sent to specialist laboratories for analysis.

Owlstone have developed a portable new instrument (LONESTARTM) that rapidly detects metaldehyde in water and can be installed in reservoir testing facilities for continuous measurements or taken to remote locations and used for intake protection. LONESTARTM is easy to use and can be operated by non-specialist personnel. Software provided by Owlstone allows threshold concentrations of metaldehyde to be set, above which the instrument will raise the alarm. The default concentrations are < 0.1μg L-1 metaldehyde (Green), 0.1 – 0.5 μg L-1 metaldehyde (Amber) and > 0.5 μg L-1 metaldehyde (Red). These concentrations may be adjusted defined prior to installation of the equipment to suit individual requirements.

  • Selective detection of metaldehyde in a range of water types
  • Limit of detection 0.1 μg L-1
  • Ease of operation: simple sample preparation, no sample extraction
  • No user specialist required
  • Minimal maintenance/consumables
  • Analysis time - 15min