The Northern Indiana Power Public Service Company (NIPSCO) serves the electric power needs for almost 500,000 residents of northern Indiana. NIPSCO had been searching for an effective method for monitoring the biological quality of the water they use for cooling at an electricity generation plant. They had been using other tools, but were not getting effective or timely results.
NIPSCO needed monitor quality because the cooling water comes from a local river, which empties into Lake Michigan. The water quality varies significantly, including microbial load, due to seasonal effects and agricultural runoff, leading to use of biocides and other chemicals to treat water. Proper water control means there is reduced or controlled corrosion within their systems, and that problematic pathogens, such as Legionella, are stopped from proliferating and infecting people who are downwind of the aerosolized cooling tower water.
NIPSCO achieved more control of water quality by adopting on-line measurement of ATP (AppliTek EZ-ATP using the Promega Water-Glo™ reagents) that provides effective and continuous monitoring. Using the on-line EZ-ATP analyzer led to developing more effective biocide dosing. Looking forward, NIPSCO can now respond to changing water conditions more quickly, as the online analyzer can continuously monitor the cooling water and become proactive in controlling the efficiency of electrical power generation.
Supplying Tools for Applied Biotechnology and Agriculture
Today, biotechnology tools once used solely by researchers are used in applications to test food and water. Applications include tests for purity, bacteria and other elements to ensure safe products and authenticate quality claims.
For plant and food analysis, we provide sample preparation tools that can be used to extract DNA for use in pathogen and GMO testing for nearly all food matrices. Promega DNA purification chemistry is considered to be a reference standard in authenticity determination of meat products, and has been used by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins in feeding stuffs (EURL) to develop a Standard Operating Procedure for the extraction of DNA for downstream PCR-based detection methods for food testing. In addition, the Maxwell® RSC PureFood Kit was recently selected by the European Reference Laboratory on GMO Food and Feed Testing for developing new SOPs for food DNA extraction.
In water and hygiene analysis, our ATP bioluminescence expertise is already very well adopted. Several groups have published methods using the BacTiter-Glo™ luminescent ATP-based assay for assessing water quality and biofilm formation. The Water-Glo™ luminescent ATP-based assay builds on this with new applications to detect microbes in seawater desalination, drinking water and other industrial process applications to reduce energy consumption and improve plant operational efficiency.
The tools offered by Promega make microbial contamination detection in crude oil and heavy fuels possible, thus reducing the use of bactericidal chemicals in those processes. The number and variety of projects is expanding significantly in areas such as minerals, microtox or dairy product testing, and continues to grow as the quality of Promega products gains more and more visibility.