Environmentally friendly and effective hygiene control in process and cooling water systems

Disinfected by electrolysis

The production of high-quality cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food products requires the use of process and cooling water of high hygienic quality. A safe and economical technology for hygiene control in water systems is offered by the e-dis industry disinfection system manufactured by German company newtec Umwelttechnik.

Jörn Tölle, Kai Buss, Barbara Kindt

Not only the water that is directly used in the production process but also other involved water streams, such as rinsing and cooling water, are required to be unobjectionable and therefore have to be treated by disinfection equipment. In most process water systems, favourable conditions such as temperature and nutrient entry prevail for the reproduction of micro-organisms and the formation of biofilm. Such conditions not only restrict the normal operation and efficiency of production plants but also pose a health hazard to exposed personnel. Once biofilm has covered the surfaces, the occurrence of pathogenics such as legionella increases. e-dis industry – a simple and ecologically safe disinfection system – prevents the risk of water with poor hygienic quality.
Applications and suitability
Disinfection with e-dis industry takes place without the addition of chemicals. This fact makes the technology particularly attractive for applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The common use of chlorine chemicals is associated with numerous safety requirements and various health risks. Chemical treatment of the water used in the production of pharmaceutical and food products is rarely desirable, since the smell and taste of the products can be impaired.
The bactericidal effect of the electrolytic process is based on the production of disinfectants from the natural ingredients of the water. Due to this in-situ production method, neither dosing equipment nor storage of hazardous chemicals are required. The residual effect disintegrates existing biofilms and prevents the formation of new ones.
Principle of the water disinfection system
The e-dis industry disinfection system is specially adapted to use in process and cooling water systems to counter legionella and other pathogenic germs. The development of the system was based on the patented e-disinfector technology which, owing to its high quality standard and good disinfection performance, has proven itself all over the world. The key component of this technology is an electrolytic cell equipped with electrodes that are coated with a catalytic surface. The water to be disinfected flows through these electrodes. The water ingredients are electrochemically converted by applying a low electric current. The conversion process favours the activation of salts and oxygen components in the drinking water without chemical addition. This disinfectant mixture, based on oxygen and chlorine compounds, is much more effective than conventional chlorine chemicals. Reduction factors of 105 or more are achieved for legionella after a residence time of only 20 minutes. In contrast to other electrolytic systems, e-dis industry uses only natural water ingredients and is able to work with very low salt concentrations, rendering dosing of chemicals or salts superfluous.
The amount of disinfectants produced is proportional to the applied amperage, making it easy to control the process and adjust it to the requirements of each application. The use of suitable sensors ensures compliance with the limit values dictated by relevant legislation.
Economic aspects
Hygiene is not the only critical aspect of biofilms. Another closely related issue is the reduced system performance due to biogene deposits on the surfaces of heat exchangers and piping, resulting in increased energy demand. Various studies have indicated that permanent treatment with the electrolytic disinfection system allows a constant heat transmission to be maintained or re-establishes the initial heat transmission in already contaminated systems. The removal of biofilms leads to decreased demand for pumping performance due to reduced pressure loss. e-dis industry thus not only supports effective disinfection but also profitability. Since the system is controlled automatically, it requires neither supervision by specially trained personnel nor the use of additional disinfection equipment.
Selected materials, specially developed and patented electrodes, automatic self-cleaning and the intelligent controller equipment ensure a long lifetime and low maintenance costs. e-dis industry is sized according to the water quality and system parameters of the respective application.
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