Application of Ultraviolet Technology in the industry

The advantages of using ultraviolet light to kill aquatic infectious bacteria have been widely recognized. In fact, industry was one of the first pioneers to use this technology. Today, UV technology is used in water treatment systems in almost all industries, including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, manufacturing, high-tech industries, and more. Sterilization is the main application of UV technology in the field of water and wastewater. At the same time, industry is using this technology in many other ways, including ozone elimination, total organic carbon (TOC) reduction, liquid sugar disinfection, chlorine degradation, surface and air, and cooling tower disinfection. This article will provide a brief overview of some of the uses of UV light in industry.


Ultraviolet sterilization mainly uses ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 254 nanometers. Ultraviolet light of this wavelength, even under a small amount of ultraviolet projection dose, can destroy the life core of a cell – DNA, thus preventing cell regeneration, and losing regeneration ability makes bacteria harmless, thereby achieving the effect of sterilization. Like all other UV application technologies, the size of this system depends on the intensity of the UV light (intensity and power of the illuminator) and exposure time (how long the water, liquid, or air is exposed to the UV light).

Eliminate ozone

In industrial production, ozone is often used to disinfect and purify water bodies. However, due to the strong oxidizing power of ozone, if the remaining ozone in the water is not removed, it may affect the next process. Therefore, usually, the ozone-treated water must remove the remaining ozone in the water before entering the main process. remove. Ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 254 nanometers is very effective at destroying remaining ozone, which can be broken down into oxygen. Although different systems require different scales, generally speaking, a typical ozone depletion system requires about three times the amount of UV radiation required by a traditional sterilization system.

Reduce total organic carbon

In many high-tech and laboratory setups, organic matter prevents the production of high-purity water. There are many ways to remove organics from water, the more common ones include the use of activated carbon and reverse osmosis. Shorter wavelength UV (185 nm) can also be effective in reducing total organic carbon (value is to mention that these emitters also generate UV at 254 nm, so they can be sterilized at the same time). UV rays with shorter wavelengths have more energy and are therefore able to break down organic matter. Although the reaction process of ultraviolet oxidation of organic matter is very complicated, its main principle is to oxidize organic matter into water and carbon dioxide by generating free hydrogen and oxygen with strong oxidizing ability. Like ozone removal systems, this organic carbon-degrading UV system emits three to four times more UV light than conventional disinfection systems.

Liquid sugar disinfection

Liquid sugar is used in large quantities by most food and beverage manufacturers. Since sugar is a food that is easily used by bacteria, it is easy for bacteria to multiply. Plus, liquid sugar is opaque, so thorough sterilization is difficult. Ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 254 nanometers can be used to sterilize liquid sugar products. To compensate for the energy loss caused by the viscosity and color of the liquid, many UV emitters need to be tightly packed into so-called “thin film” reactors. This compact combination of emitters provides the very high doses of UV radiation required to effectively sterilize liquid sugar. The energy output of its UV light is approximately 7 to 10 times that of conventional disinfection systems.

Degradation of residual chlorine

In municipal water treatment and water supply systems, chlorination is very necessary. However, in the industrial production process, in order to avoid adverse effects on the product, the removal of residual chlorine in water is often a necessary pretreatment. The basic methods of eliminating residual chlorine are activated carbon bed and chemical treatment. The disadvantage of activated carbon treatment is that it requires constant regeneration and often encounters problems with bacterial growth. Both 185 nm and 254 nm wavelengths of UV light have been shown to be effective in breaking the chemical bonds of residual chlorine and chloramine. Although it requires a huge amount of UV energy to work, it has the advantage that this method does not need to add any drugs to the water, does not need to store chemicals, is easy to maintain, and also has the effect of sterilizing and removing organic matter at the same time.

Surface and air disinfection

The use of UV light for air disinfection has as long a history as the use of UV light for water disinfection. Air disinfection equipment has been used in hospitals, clinics and clean rooms for many years. Now, factories, offices and homes are also using air disinfection equipment.
The principle of air disinfection is the same as that of water disinfection. Typically, UV lamps can be installed in the air duct, at the front of the coil, or on a wall-mounted shelf. When the air passes by, the microorganisms in the air are killed and rendered harmless. The same is true for surface disinfection. In the food and beverage production industry, products on conveyor belts are sanitized by surface sanitizing equipment.

Cooling tower disinfection

In order to reduce the cost of biocides (purchase, storage, insurance) and the health hazards of chemical processing, UV systems can be installed in the cooling tower water circulation system to play a sterilizing role. When used in conjunction with filters, UV light can effectively control the growth of microorganisms in cooling towers. Although a certain concentration of biocide still needs to be retained in the cooling tower, the application of UV light can greatly reduce its use.

Xi’an CHIWATEC Water Treatment Technology is a high-tech enterprise specialized in various water processing devices. Aside from these individual products, which cover a number of types and series, we can also help with related comprehensive engineering projects. Thanks to our hard work and dedication upon our founding, we are now one of the fastest-developing water treatment equipment manufacturers in Western China.

Further reading:

ultraviolet water sterilizer disinfection

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