Argonide Corporation

Low Cost Virus Sampler for Water Applications Now Certified

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Source: Argonide Corporation

Argonide's VS2.5-5 Virus Sampler Cartridge is now supplied in cases, each which contains fifty (50) Samplers in individually induction-sealed polybags that have been sterilized and certified as such by the TAMU Electron Beam Facility in College Station, Texas. This procedure eliminates the need for autoclaving a sampler prior to testing, as suggested in the USEPA Methods of Virology, Chapter 14, April 2001.

Argonide incorporates NanoCeram, their patented electropositive non-woven media, in a pleated filter cartridge. Their VS2.5-5 model was developed with the encouragement of the United States EPA. With steady reports of waterborne disease events in the U.S. and Canada, the public's awareness and concern over waterborne viruses such as Norwalk, as well as numerous others, is accelerating efforts to assure a safe water supply. In addition, the new Ground Water Rule also recognizes the hazards presented by virus in ground water sources.

The EPA would like to establish cost effective protocols and to eventually require U.S. municipalities to sample for virus. A crucial component to meeting this goal is a low cost filter cartridge that would be an effective sampler - a cartridge that Argonide now offers for less than $40 each. To date, the leading cartridge on the market with claims for virus retention and which is often used as a virus sampler has become the undisputed market leader. This cartridge is a 2.5' X 10' (standard cartridge dimension) with a cost of up to $300/unit. As a single use disposable, it is effective, yet simply too expensive for routine sampling.

The smaller VS2.5-5 NanoCeram® Cartridge (2.5' x 5') is capable of meeting the rigid testing methodology for virus sampling as published by the EPA, but in a cartridge that is half the size. As a result, the VS2.5-5 requires approximately half the eluent material, produces a smaller sample to ship to a testing laboratory, can provide > 99.9% recovery in less than 2 hours, is effective over pH 5-10 and water temperatures of 4º to 50º C, is equally effective in fresh, brackish or salt water, and is less than 1/6 the cost.

A driving force behind this cartridge's development was the target the EPA sought in a virus sampler cartridge. Target parameters included a cartridge that could sample 500 liters of river water in a period of 2 hours or less. Photo 1 shows a P2.5-5 NanoCeram® Cartridge after it had been tested with dust. The cartridge was inserted into a standard commercial filter housing. This filter assembly was challenged by continuous 250 NTU of 3 µ APS A2 fine dust available from PTI (Powder Technology, Inc.) in 508 liters at 5.5 LPM (1.5 GPM). At 90 minutes it had filtered 119 g of dust while maintaining <0.01 NTU in the effluent (99.996% retention) at which point the test was terminated. This demonstrated that a cartridge half the size could pass 500 liters of very heavily turbid water within 1.5 hours.

NanoCeram® is a highly electropositive filter media that rapidly adsorbs particles, no matter how small. The media has a high capacity for particles as large as tens of microns or as small as a few nanometers. A single layer of media retains greater than 99% of 30 nanometer monodisperse latex spheres or 25 nm virus, giving it a rating of 0.03 microns. While Absolute 0.2 µ membranes are transparent to virus, 3 layers of NanoCeram® retain greater than 99.9999%. Yet flow rates are hundreds of times greater than such membranes.

The VS2.5-5 Virus Sampler is the newest addition to the NanoCeram® family of electropositive filters and they are currently available through Argonide and its authorized distributors.

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