Applications Of Lab Water Purification

Water is the major component in the world and it is required to use it in various applications. There is a need for purified water in different grades to use it economically in various laboratory applications. As the lifestyle of the people changes, it results in biological and technical transformations. There is a need for scientists to perform a vast range of research applications in different kinds of laboratories. It is more significant to have purified water for laboratory applications to get accurate results.

Here we discuss some common applications and the different grades of water quality that are required for different applications. There are different water quality standards by different organizations that are relevant to specific research applications. Lab water purification system produces the different grades of purified water for laboratory applications with its standard specifications. 


ASTM Standards for Laboratory Reagent Water

ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials

Type I>18<10<0.001<0.03
Type II>1<50<0.1<0.25
Type III>4<200<10NA


Type I+  is the purest grade of water with high resistivity of 18.2 MΩ-cm, <5 PPB of TOC (Total Organic Carbon ) i.e with reduced organic, inorganic, and microorganisms in the water. The purity of type I+ goes beyond the Type I grade of water.


Type I grade of water is also known as ultrapure water. It is widely used in some of the critical applications such as,

  • Buffer for HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography), GC (Gas Chromatography), AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry), ICP-MS(Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry)
  • Culture Media for Mammalian cell culture, IVF ( In Vitro Fertilization)
  • Reagents for Microbiology applications


This grade of water is widely used in laboratory applications where higher inorganic purity is required.


This grade of water also has high resistivity with low levels of organic, inorganic, and microbial contaminants. It has less purity compared to the TYPE I grade of water. This grade of water is commonly used as a feed to TYPE I water. It is also used in various general laboratory applications like media preparation, pH solutions, buffers, and certain clinical analyzers.


This grade of water is recommended for non-critical work of laboratory applications like glassware rinsing, water baths, autoclave, disinfector feed as well as environmental chambers and plant growth rooms. It is also used as a feed to TYPE I  water systems. 

Analytical And General Applications


Electrochemistry techniques such as Potentiometry, pH measurement, Coulometry, Voltammetry, Polarography rely on sensitivity measurement of tiny electrical signals. The contaminants in the water used in such applications interfere and provide an error in the results. It is significant to use purified water. Typically, Type II water with lower organic contaminants i.e., TOC < 50ppb and bacterial count <1 CFU/ml is recommended for electrochemistry applications. For critical electrochemical applications, ultrapure water (Type I) is recommended.


The potentiometry technique is used to determine the concentration of a solute in the solution. The potential is measured with the potentiometer connected between two electrodes - indicator electrode and reference electrode. The potentiometry technique is used for various purposes such as to analyze the pollutants in the water, drug analysis in the pharma industry, the food industry to analyze the quality of food, biological and biochemical analysis, and more.

pH measurement

pH meter uses the potentiometric technique to measure the acidity or base of a liquid. The pH value of the neutral solution is 7. If the pH value is less than 7 then the solution is considered to be acidic in nature. If the pH value is greater than 7 then the solution is considered to be the base solution.  In Lab purified water the pH value cannot be determined due to the low ionic strength of the solution.


Coulometry is the analytical method in which the analyte is converted from one oxidation state to the other by applying potential or current. This method measures the concentration of the analyte. Coulometry is a technique,  used in analytical chemistry, through which the amount of substance released during electrolysis, and the number of electrons( amount of electricity) used is measured


Voltammetry is an electroanalytical technique that uses a three-electrode system to measure the current passed through the solution for the applied potential at an electrode surface. This technique is used in various industrial processes to obtain information about the analyte.


Polarography is a voltammetric technique in which dropping mercury electrode is used as the working electrode. Polarography is widely used to determine trace metals in pharma products and drugs that contain metals.

Spectroscopy & Spectrometry

Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between radiation and matter as a function of wavelength to investigate the structure of atoms or molecules in detail. Spectroscopy can be categorized into many types depending on the types of radiation, the interaction of the material, and the applications. The most common types of spectroscopy are atomic spectroscopy, UV and visible spectroscopy, and more

Spectrometry is the spectroscopic technique that is employed to determine the concentration of a given substance. The instrument that is used for such measurements is a spectrometer or spectrograph. This includes various techniques such as,

Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (F-AAS)

Techniques such as ICP-MS and ICP-ES are used for multielement analysis, AAS is used in smaller laboratories as it involves modest cost for specific analysis. Usually, Type II water is preferred, as it is pure enough for most routine AAS. It is significant for the water to contain low levels of organic compounds or bacteria which does not affect the result from such applications. 

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)

Lab purified water with very low TOC levels i.e. less than 3ppb is required to perform such techniques. This lab purified water is required to prepare blanks, standards, and sample pretreatment. This ultrapure water can be obtained by using a top-range polisher that is fed with water that has been pretreated by reverse osmosis that removes the organic and inorganic contaminants from the water.

Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (GFAAS)

Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry also known as Carbon Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (CFAAS). In this technique, the flame used in AAS is replaced by an electrically heated graphite tube or rod. This enables the achievement of a high level of sensitivity in elemental analysis. Lab purified water with negligible contaminants is required for such applications. Usually, Type I ultrapure water is preferred with higher resistivity 18.2 MΩ-cm and low TOC is significant to get enhanced performance of the application. LAB Q water maker provides you with such purified water to enhance the performance of your laboratory analysis. 

Mass Spectrometry

This technique involves highly sensitive trace analysis of complex mixtures. This technique requires, type I ultrapure water system with a resistivity of 18.2 MΩ-cm and lower TOC <3ppb with negligible organic, inorganic, and microbial organisms to obtain the enhanced performance of the applications.


At least Type II water quality of water is required for such applications. It is more important the water with a low level of inorganic, organic, or colloidal contaminants i.e., the water has resistivity >1 MΩ-cm and has been micro-filtered, and low TOC content (<50 ppb). In such techniques UV detection systems are used, so the dissolved organics may interfere with the detection. It is important to use water with low TOC content.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)

The sensitivity differs with different metals or semimetals used in this technique.  It requires water with high resistivity >18 MΩ-cm and TOC requirements not critical. Generally, the water pretreated water by reverse osmosis or ion exchange is used.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) 

Advancements in analytical instrumentation have enhanced the sensitivity of trace metal analysis. The purified water is preferred for trace analytical work. For blank analysis, standard dilutions, and sample preparations the Type I water system is preferred for enhanced results. 


Chromatography is the laboratory technique that is used to separate the components of a mixture. The mixture dissolved in a fluid such as gas or solvent or water. There are different techniques used in chromatography are,

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

HPLC is the sensitive technique used to determine the components in the complex mixture. Typically Type II water system with TOC <50ppb and resistivity >1 MΩ-cm is required for better performance of such techniques. In the case of Gradient HPLC techniques, highly purified water with negligible contaminants i.e., ultrapure water  is required to achieve accurate results with such techniques.

Ion Chromatography (IC)

Ion Chromatography requires highly purified Type I ultrapure water systems or Type II+ water (if it becomes costlier) for blanks, standards, and sample preparations. With this Ion Chromatography technique, only low detection of ions is achieved if the ions are pre-concentrated and then eluted into steam for separation and analysis.

General laboratory applications

General chemistry

Usually purified water with resistivity  >1 MΩ-cm, TOC <50ppb, and bacterial count <10CFU/ml is recommended for chemistry applications. Generally, Type II laboratory-grade purified water is preferred for such applications. 

Glassware washing/ rinsing

It depends on the quality of the local water available generally, Type III laboratory-grade purified water is preferred for such applications. If it is used for high analytical research then Type II water is used for better results. For critical applications such as trace analytical techniques, cell culture, clinical applications it is preferred to wash the glassware with ultrapure water.

Qualitative analyses

Most of the qualitative analysis methods require general laboratory grade purified water is preferred. More sensitive techniques such as ICP-MS requires ultrapure water with high resistivity 18.2 MΩ-cm and low TOC for better performance.

There are many general laboratory applications like Sample dilution and reagent preparation, SPE – Solid Phase Extraction, Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analysis, Steam generators, Water analysis, Buffer and media preparation, Environmental chambers & plant growth rooms. All these applications require laboratory-grade purified water for better analysis and accurate results.


It is very important to analyze the sensitivity of the application and the requirement of laboratory-grade purified water for such applications. It is also necessary to monitor the resistivity, TOC levels, and bacterial count of the water such that the interference of contaminants with research analysis can be determined, and according to that optimum required grade of water is chosen for such analysis. The best lab water purification system provides you with highly purified water for laboratory applications. Choose your preferred lab water purification system with Lab Q Water.

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