Rethinking Ultrapure Water

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 Rethinking Ultrapure Water

When selecting an ultrapure water system, beyond the assurance that product water is contaminant-free and meets the output and regulatory demands of the laboratory, scientists are interested in a variety of more thoughtful design features. Addressing this need is the Milli-Q IQ 7000 ultrapure water system (MilliporeSigma, Billerica, MA), which combines advanced ergonomic design, data-management solutions, and improved environmental sustainability (Figure 1).

Dispense with confidence

Figure 2 – The redesigned Q-Pod ultrapure water dispenser, part of the Milli-Q IQ 7000 purification system, includes an ergonomic dispense wheel and a high-definition digital touchscreen interface.

Water quality is monitored and displayed on the integrated graphic interface of the system’s Q-POD dispensing unit (Figure 2). Its high-definition touchscreen panel shows critical ultrapure water parameters, such as resistivity and total organic carbon (TOC). Resistivity tracking is via a precise in-line resistivity cell, with 0.01 cm-1 low cell constant and 0.1 °C sensitive thermistor (Figure 3). The redesigned A10 TOC monitor delivers high accuracy in oxidizing organics to their end-point reaction because oxidation and conductivity measurements occur within the same cell. In the event of a water quality issue, or if a consumable needs to be replaced, the touchscreen provides automatic alerts.

Figure 3 – Ion chromatography validation data from the Milli-Q IQ 7000 purification system demonstrate consistent and reliable production of 18.2 MΩ·cm (at 25 °C) ion-free water at the sub-ppb level.

Application-specific POD-Pak polishers (Figure 4) provide targeted removal of critical contaminants. Each contains an e-Sure tag for automatic monitoring of use and lifetime, as well as to facilitate data traceability.

Figure 4 – Application-specific POD-Pak polishers for the Milli-Q IQ 7000 purification system.

Dispense with ease

The ability to precisely, quickly, and cleanly dispense ultrapure water is essential for an optimized workflow. The Milli-Q IQ 7000 offers a choice of intuitive dispensing options directly from its Q-POD dispensing unit, including:

  • Flow rates from drop-by-drop to up to 2 L/min are attained by twisting the dispense wheel or programming the touchscreen interface.
  • Volumetric Dispense mode allows users to input the desired volume and walk away; water delivery stops automatically when this volume is attained.
  • Assisted Dispense mode provides special drop-by-drop fill-finishing to help meet the calibration mark, and to avoid using intermediary bottles that may introduce contaminants.
  • A foot pedal accessory is available for hands-free dispensing.

The Milli-Q IQ 7000 provides versatility to conserve and configure workspace. Its compact water production unit can be installed at a distance—in a cabinet, under the bench, or mounted on a wall. Up to four Q-POD dispensing units can be connected to one production unit and installed in the same or an adjacent laboratory. Protective sheathing for the system’s cabling helps ensure uncluttered installation.

Efficiently manage data

Its integrated data-management system allows the Milli-Q IQ 7000 to store all system, water quality, and consumables data. Data are stored for up to two years, and may be exported via the screen’s USB port or via Ethernet connection to the laboratory network. An archiving function supports quality management systems.

Output reports can be tailored to provide individual dispense event data, selected data over specified timeframes, or a complete history of all dispensing events. For labs that share equipment expenses, the User ID field can be used to help allocate dispensing to specific experiments and share costs. Reports are available in an open format suitable for any LIMS. Digitized labels, such as e-Sure tags located on system consumables (see above) and QR codes on dispense reports, facilitate data traceability and retrieval.

Maintain the system

The Milli-Q IQ 7000 system is designed to allow laboratories to be more self-sufficient as basic care is greatly simplified and helpful wizards are available from the touchscreen display. For instance, when it is time to replace consumables, the touchscreen provides alerts in advance and shows step-by-step instructions to guide users through the replacement process. The screen displays a QR code to simplify online reorders, and an ergonomic twist-and-lock design allows for easy replacements.

Sustain the lab

Sustainability considerations are increasingly driving the design and purchasing decisions of research facilities looking for ways to maximize efficiency while lowering their environmental impact. Many features of the Milli-Q IQ 7000 help researchers eliminate toxic substances, reduce waste, and save energy:

  • Environmentally friendly, mercury-free ech2o UV lamps oxidize organic contaminants using excimer (excited dimer) technology.
  • In the U.S.A., MilliporeSigma operates the ech2o Collection and Recycling Program to reduce the environmental impact of laboratory water purification cartridges and filters. This first-of-its-kind program encourages customers to return their water purification cartridges to be converted to recycled plastic lumber, thus avoiding the need for traditional disposal methods such as landfill dumping or incineration.
  • A more compact size means less plastic is needed for manufacturing and packaging. The overall system has been made 23% smaller than prior Milli-Q systems, and IPAK Meta and IPAK Quanta cartridges are each 33% more compact than previous cartridges.
  • Lab Close mode allows the system to hibernate to save energy when the lab is closed for extended periods.
  • Online data access capabilities support a paperless environment.


Improved ergonomic design, simpler data-management solutions, and features that contribute to greener laboratories may once have been considered “extras” but are now quickly becoming “must-haves.” A thoughtful approach to new equipment design that considers the entire workflow—from performance to data retrieval to waste management—will be critical drivers for equipment purchase decisions in the years to come.

Véronique Fontalbat is a lab water global product manager at MilliporeSigma, 900 Middlesex Tpke., Billerica, MA 01821, U.S.A.; e-mail: [email protected]; The author acknowledges Monica Joch, technical writer in Lab Water, for contributing to this article.