This chapter discusses the various technologies that are used to destroy or prevent the growth of microorganisms via the process known as disinfection. A discussion of the use of heat to destroy microbes is followed by a discussion of the kinetics of disinfection, which involves the development of models that predict the outcome of disinfection. Next are described the factors that affect the efficacy of disinfectants and provide C. t values for various disinfectants. Halogens utilized as disinfectants, including chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide and bromine and iodine, are discussed, followed by ozone, another powerful oxidizing agent. The use of metal ions as disinfectants is also described, and finally the use of radiation, such as ultraviolet or gamma radiation, is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Microbiology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780123946263
StatePublished - 2015


  • Bromine
  • Chick-Watson model
  • Chloramine
  • Chlorine
  • Chlorine dioxide
  • Disinfection
  • Gamma radiation
  • Iodine
  • Ozone
  • Thermal destruction
  • Ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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