Shedding light on a dark problem
Bacterial biofilms are clusters of microorganisms that pose risks to water quality and engineered systems by causing corrosion, fouling, and clogging. Researchers are using LEDs connected to side-emitting optical fibers to effectively deliver UV-C light, reducing energy use by over 80%. Paul Westerhoff, a Regents Professor for the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, says that ultraviolet light has the ability to deactivate bacteria and microorganisms in water but that there are challenges in delivering light effectively to surfaces in pressurized water systems. The technique shows promise in improving the safety and efficiency of water treatment systems, including in challenging environments like the International Space Station.
See also: ‘Shedding light on a dark problem‘ Phys.Org, July 25