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Title: Rapid Disinfection by Peracetic Acid Combined with UV Irradiation
This study proposes a novel disinfection process by sequential application of peracetic acid (PAA) and ultra-violet light (UV), on the basis of elucidation of disinfection mechanisms under UV/PAA. Results show that hydroxyl radicals, generated by UV-activated PAA, contribute to the enhanced inactivation of Escherichia coli under UV/PAA compared to PAA alone or UV alone. Furthermore, the location of hydroxyl radical generation is a critical factor. Unlike UV/H2O2, which generates hydroxyl radicals mainly in the bulk solution, the hydroxyl radicals under UV/PAA are produced close to or inside E. coli cells, due to PAA diffusion. Therefore, hydroxyl radicals exert significantly stronger disinfection power under UV/PAA than under UV/H2O2 conditions. Pre-exposing E. coli to PAA in the dark followed by application of UV (i.e., a PAA-UV/PAA process) promotes diffusion of PAA to the cells and achieves excellent disinfection efficiency while saving more than half of the energy cost associated with UV compared to simultaneous application of UV and PAA. The effectiveness of this new disinfection strategy has been demonstrated not only in lab water but also in wastewater matrices.  more » « less
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Environmental science & technology letters
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National Science Foundation
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