Biocultures are highly sensitive towards the process conditions and the risk for diseases or contamination with other microorganisms is always present. The fluoremetric sensor (PAM) that was subject to this study is able to measure the “health” of the algae by measuring the performance of the photosynthetic system of the algae. Photosynthesis is the principal anabolic process and can be considered as “the heartbeat” of algae. It is the aim to validate the use of a fluorometric sensor as a tool for monitoring the condition of the algae in order to detect in an early stage physiological problems that might results in damaging an algal culture.
Due to this demonstrator study Qinetiq was able to introduce the PAM sensor in the CAMEO project. The project CAMEO-A aims at demonstrating the prototype of the online analyzer that measures both the acute and chronic toxicity directly on the wastewater. This ensures continuous monitoring of the business processes and surface water. The device can also be used for monitoring the drinking water quality or the quality of the surface water itself. The CAMEO-A analyzer consists of a measuring cell or cartridge with algae, a fluorescence sensor, steering pumps and sensors for temperature and conductivity control. The analyzer will be installed at Truck & Tank Cleaning Tack, which processes its own and external waste water. The online toxicity measurement allows monitoring and further optimization of operations. The results obtained with the CAMEO-A analyzer will be evaluated and compared with results obtained on the basis of laboratory analyzes.