Swimming pool service professionals have long known that the water in a pool can be treated by utilizing ultraviolet (UV) rays instead of, or in addition to, pool chemicals such as chlorine. A new process has been adapted that can quickly break down pollutants in wastewater, swimming pool or drinking water without the use of chemicals.
The system invented by researchers in Germany involves the use of a 172-nm light that triggers photolysis that split the H2O molecules into highly reactive hydroxyl radicals. The hydroxyl compounds are able to decompose stable hydrocarbon compounds – those that are typically found in harmful residues in wastewater.
The challenge faced by the researchers in the development of the UV treatment system was that the “reaction takes place only within about 50 µm of the UV emitter and the hydroxyl radicals are extremely short-lived.” They discovered they needed to control the flow of water through the process to assure the reactor vessel contents were reliably treated. Researchers installed a sensor system that can monitor the output of the water and determine if all of the harmful substances have been removed. The water is only discharged from the tank after the impurities fall below a predetermined value.
The unit is fully programmable and automatic. Its benefits are that it’s more beneficial to treat water and remove contaminants through the use of UV rays rather than through chemical processes.
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