Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

pp 335-342


Disinfection of Water, Electrochemical


Disinfection is the killing of vegetative microorganisms. Accepted methods must be able to reduce microorganisms by at least five orders of magnitude. Electrochemical water disinfection (ECD) is one of these methods [1]. ECD acts by means of electrochemical disinfectant generation onsite or inline (Fig. 1). Besides the disinfection effect, benefit of ECD arises from relatively simple cell construction and easy automation.
Disinfection of Water, Electrochemical, Fig. 1

Onsite (a) and inline addition (b) of disinfectants to water

The method must be distinguished from the killing or inactivation of microorganisms previously adhered to a surface (biofilm at different stages) by applying electrochemical surface polarization and from electroporation technologies working with field strength up to 10 MV m−1. Whereas direct electron transfer seems to exist for adhered microorganisms [2], oxidant production is the most probable mechanism in electrochemical disinfection [3]. ...

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