Part 1: Steam Sterilization of PVDF Piping Systems for
By Brigitte Neubauer, Ph.D., and Giovanni Biressi, Ph.D.
Amajor threat to the purity of high-purity water distribution lines is biofouling (i.e., the growth of microorganisms). A few bacteria are normally found even in high-purity water. And, if piping systems are not properly sterilized, they can develop into large colonies that contaminate the water. Different techniques based on the use of chemicals are commonly adopted for the sterilization of ordinary water distribution systems. However, the sterilization of high-purity water piping systems must fulfill the additional requirement that no residues of the sterilization chemicals contaminate the water. For this reason, the sterilization of high-purity water distribution lines is normally carried out either thermally by steam injection, or chemically by introducing ozone. In that latter case, the residual ozone is destroyed in a second step by exposure to 254-nanometer (nm) ultraviolet (UV) light.
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