Disinfection with UV-Radiation

  • Clemens von Sonntag
Part of the Earlier Brown Boveri Symposia book series (EBBS)


There are many well-advanced techniques for the disinfection of surface water producing the hygienic quality required for drinking water. Most of these techniques (e.g. gassing with chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or ozone) make use of oxidation of the organic matter in water. This does not exclusively degrade the object of interest, i.e. the microorganisms so that, in competition with disinfection, much more material is degraded than actually required. Irrespective of the oxidant, the degradation products are numerous and there is increasing concern about the adverse effects of some of these products on humans and the environment. Notable among these are the chlorinated compounds produced when water is disinfected with chlorine. In addition, chlorine dioxide and chlorine give an unpleasant flavour to drinking water when still present at the consumer’s end (some ozone-derived products have this property as well). The public has become increasingly reluctant to accept such water. Furthermore, at certain times during the summer, some surface water contains so much organic material that disinfection with chlorine dioxide can only be achieved if the maximum permissible dosage is added. Any new legislation reducing this limit would cause considerable problems for reliable disinfection. For this reason, alternatives must be sought. A promising alternative is disinfection by means of UV-radiation.


Quantum Yield Chlorine Dioxide Direct Photolysis Water Disinfection Aqueous Nitrate Solution 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clemens von Sonntag
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-InstitutMühlheim/RuhrWest-Germany

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