Part 2: Ozone Sterilization of PVDF Piping Systems for High-Purity Water Distribution
By Giovanni Biressi & Brigitte Neubauer
It is well known in the industrial practice that water distribution systems should be accurately sterilized to prevent the growth of bacterial colonies. Since the sterilization process must not contaminate water, only selected sterilization techniques are viable. The most important ones are steam and ozone sterilization. The use of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piping systems made of welded pipes and fittings for steam sterilization was discussed in Part 1 (1). Ozone sterilization is the subject of Part 2. Ozone (O3) is an aggressive oxidizing gas and, for sterilization purposes, it is typically generated in situ either with special ultraviolet (UV) lamps, or by electric corona discharge technology (i.e., by exposing oxygen to electric fields strong enough that oxygen (O2) is partially ionized and recombines as ozone). Once generated, ozone is very reactive and rapidly destroys bacteria and viruses, as well as several organic substances, even at room temperature. In addition, it quickly degrades to oxygen and does not remain in the water. Thus, it does not leave unwished substances or unpleasant taste or smell in the sterilized water.
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