Using UV radiation to clean water without chemicals

Posted By : Nat Bowers
Using UV radiation to clean water without chemicals

Water is a resource and is used for cooling or as a solvent. Water is also indispensable in industrial production. Environmentally compatible processing of water now is subject of the 'Eco-UV' research project funded by the EU with €3.9m under the 'Horizon 2020' programme. Within the framework of the project, KIT engineers plan to develop efficient UV emitters and long-lived electronic systems.

UV radiation can be applied to processing drinking water. In a short period of time, the short-wave radiation can significantly reduce the bacterial count even without chemical additives. The 'Eco-UV' project is aimed at developing an innovative UV technology for water processing, from disinfection of drinking water to the detoxification of industrial process water. In addition, the process to be developed is to reduce the emission of CO2 and overall environmental pollution.

Dr. Rainer Kling, Light Technology Institute, KIT, and coordinator of KIT’s work package, commented: “A high energy efficiency and long service life will be major features of the new system. At KIT, we are working on the key component, a new, mercury-free UV emitter.” In addition, KIT engineers will supply the ballast for this lamp. “With SiC as semiconductor material, we reach a very high power density. This does not only increase efficiency, but also reduces energy consumption and CO2 emission.”

Within the framework of the project, the new UV emitter technology will be tested for long-term stability, ageing effects and dose-effect relations under application conditions. For this purpose, industry and science cooperate under the 'Eco-UV' project. The emitters made by KIT will be integrated into a system of Hanovia, a British manufacturer of UV systems (overall project coordinator). The DVGW Test Laboratory of KIT’s Engler-Bunte Institute will be responsible for the monitoring and certification of the systems, the Swedish environmental research institute IVL will make a complete lifecycle assessment of costs and benefits for the environment compared to conventional UV technologies. From the results, test protocols will be derived for various end user applications. They may serve as a basis for a future standardised validation of UV applications in the EU.

Eco-UV is financed from funds of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant No. 641.702.


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