Comparison of continuous versus pulsed ultraviolet light emitting diode use for the inactivation of Bacillus globigii spores

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Light emitting diodes (LEDs) in the ultraviolet (UV) range offer a promising alternative for the disinfection of water. LEDs have many advantages over conventional UV lamps but there are concerns related to the operating life of the LED lamps. In this project Bacillus globigii was inactivated using UV LED technology. The experimental strategy included using pulsed ultraviolet (PUV) output rather than continuous UV (CUV) current in order to reduce the power requirements and extend the life of the lamps. The kinetic profiles for CUV experiments reached 6-log inactivation faster than PUV at 9.1% duty cycle (approx. 840 vs. 5,000 s) but the PUV required lower fluence (365 vs. 665 J/m2). In addition, the inactivation rate constants associated with PUV were generally higher than those of CUV (4.6–5.1 vs. 3.6–4.4 m2/J), which supports the notion that high energy bursts are more effective at causing cellular damage. Multi-target kinetics applied to most of the kinetic observations and tailing effects were generally observed. PUV LED appears to have potential to extend the lifetime of the LEDs for inactivation of spore-forming pathogens.

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