Inactivation of Escherichia coli during solar disinfection

November 30, 2011 · 0 comments

Chemosphere. 2011 Nov;85(7):1160-6.

Inactivation and injury assessment of Escherichia coli during solar and photocatalytic disinfection in LDPE bags.

Dunlop PS, Ciavola M, Rizzo L, Byrne JA. Photocatalysis Research Group, Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, BT37 0QB, United Kingdom.

Solar disinfection (SODIS) of Escherichia coli suspensions in low-density polyethylene bag reactors was investigated as a low-cost disinfection method suitable for application in developing countries. The efficiency of a range of SODIS reactor configurations was examined (single skin (SS), double skin, black-backed single skin, silver-backed single skin (SBSS) and composite-backed single skin) using E. coli suspended in model and real surface water.

Titanium dioxide was added to the reactors to improve the efficiency of the SODIS process. The effect of turbidity was also assessed. In addition to viable counts, E. coli injury was characterised through spread-plate analysis using selective and non-selective media. The optimal reactor configuration was determined to be the SBSS bag (t(50)=9.0min) demonstrating the importance of UVA photons, as opposed to infrared in the SODIS disinfection mechanism. Complete inactivation (6.5-log) was achieved in the presence of turbidity (50NTU) using the SBSS bag within 180min simulated solar exposure.

The addition of titanium dioxide (0.025gL(-1)) significantly enhanced E. coli inactivation in the SS reactor, with 6-log inactivation observed within 90min simulated solar exposure. During the early stages of both SODIS and photocatalytic disinfection, injured E. coli were detected; however, irreversible injury was caused and re-growth was not observed. Experiments under solar conditions were undertaken with total inactivation (6.5-log) observed in the SS reactor within 240min, incomplete inactivation (4-log) was observed in SODIS bottles exposed to the same solar conditions.

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