The effectiveness of photocatalytic ionisation disinfection of filter materials

Katarzyna H. Pietrzak, Beata Gutarowska
Pol J Microbiol
2013; 62 (2):
ICID: 1055706
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 10.00
Abstract provided by Publisher
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of photocatalytic ionisation as a disinfection method for filter materials contaminated by microorganisms, and to assess how air relative humidity (RH), time and microbe type influence the effectiveness of this disinfection. In the quantitative analysis of a used car air filter, bacterial contamination equalled 1.2×105 cfu/cm2, fungal contamination was 3.8×106 cfu/cm2, and the isolated microorganisms were Aspergillus niger, Bacillus megaterium, Cladosporium herbarum, Cryptococcus laurenti, Micrococcus sp., Rhodotorula glutinis and Staphylococcus cohnii. In the model experiment, three isolates (C. herbarum, R. glutinis, S. cohnii) and 3 ATCC species (A. niger, E. coli, S. aureus) were used for photocatalytic ionisation disinfection. The conditions of effective photocatalytic ionisation disinfection (R≥99.9%) were established as 2–3 h at RH=77% (bacteria) and 6–24 h at RH=53% (fungi). RH has an influence on the effectiveness of the photocatalytic disinfection process; the highest effectiveness was obtained for bacteria at RH=77%, with results 5% higher than for RH=49%. The studies show that the sensitivity of microorganisms to photocatalytic ionisation disinfection is ordered as follows: Gram-positive bacteria (S. cohnii, S. aureus), Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli), yeasts (R. glutinis), and moulds (C. herbarum, A, niger). Of all the mathematical models used for the description of death dynamics after photocatalytic ionisation disinfection, the Chick-Watson model is the most useful, but for more resistant microorganisms the delayed Chick-Watson model is highly recommended. It therefore seems that the presented disinfection method of photocatalytic ionisation can be successfully used to clean filtration materials.

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