Manganese ion (Mn2+) is an essential element for humans. However, if present at high levels, it can impart undesirable taste and color to water, and have neurological effects in children. To address this problem, NANOTEC-NSTDA developed Mn Sense, a test kit for the determination of Mn2+ in water samples.

This development is part of a project to develop tools for chemical risk assessment of water supply. The project was funded by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), with the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) providing support on field testing.

Dr. Kantapat Chansaenpak, member of NANOTEC Responsive Nanomaterials Research Team, explained that Mn Sense is a simple, rapid and highly sensitive detection test of manganese ions based on colorimetric detection. The research team designed a reagent containing a molecular sensor that reacts with manganese ions causing a color switching from colorless to brownish orange. Semi-qualitative results can be obtained by visual determination and comparison with a color chart, whereas qualitative measurement is achieved with DuoEye reader, a portable colorimeter developed by NECTEC-NSTDA. Data from DuoEye can be transmitted and stored in the cloud via a Wi-Fi connection for future access and analysis.

Mn Sense has been tested at PWA facilities in Si Racha and Hat Yai. Field testing will be expanded to other PWA stations.

This innovation was awarded Silver Medal at the International Trade Fair-Ideas, Inventions and New Products” (iENA 2022), taking place on 27 to 30 Oct 2022 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Mn Sense costs about 3 times less than imported products, and therefore can help reduce operational costs of potential users such as PWA and other water management organizations substantially. The test also serves as a tool to support preventive medicine, which is one of the priority areas under the Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) model.