Disinfection of wastewater by photodynamic oxidation

C. P. Gerba, C. Wallis, J. L. Melnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to determine the feasibility of photodynamic oxidation for the disinfection of wastewater. Optimal parameters for the photodynamic inactivation of coliforms and poliovirus in wastewater by methylene blue were determined. Temperature, pH, dye concentration and sensitization time were all found to affect the amount of coliforms and poliovirus that could be inactivated for a given light exposure. Coliforms were far more sensitive to the dye and photoinactivation than poliovirus, but large reductions of poliovirus were possible under the appropriate conditions. Wastewater organics were found not to interfere with the photodynamic inactivation of the microorganisms. Solar energy was a practical alternative to the use of an artificial light source for the photodynamic process. Photodynamic inactivation would be of greatest use in systems where very large reductions in pathogenic bacteria and viruses are required, such as water recycling systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-583
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Water Pollution Control Federation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution


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