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Disinfection of Foods, Waste Residuals and Homeland Defense Materials with Accelerated Electron Injection

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Controlling waterborne disease by adequate disinfection processes continues to be the main objective for water utilities; public operated treatment works (POTWs) and food processing facilities. Moreover, threats such as biological and chemical terrorism have faced the nation with new issues to consider when planning treatment strategies for new or existing plants. Traditional treatment processes such as filtration and chlorination are not effective against many of the biological, chemical, or organic contaminants of concern, while advanced technologies such as UV oxidation or membrane filtration have limited applications, as well. Thus, the development of a robust treatment technology, capable of meeting low residual concentrations for organic contaminants and inactivation of harmful microorganisms would offer significant benefit to society. One innovative approach is the use of the accelerated electron injection technique (E-beam) that is currently applied in various industrial/municipal processes. E-beam treatment has been used for over 50 years for plastics polymerization, medical instrument sterilization, and recently, processed food disinfection. The E-beam has also been demonstrated to be effective in reducing and/or eliminating many persistent chemicals such as BTEX, NDMA, MTBE, bromate ion, and emerging pollutants of concern (EPOCs), from various environmental media while inactivating coliforms, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, anthrax and other harmful microorganisms.

The E-beam process is an ionizing radiation process which creates both reducing and oxidizing treatment chemistry in aqueous solutions using a continuous stream of electrons, similar in nature to an “industrial grade” television set from electricity alone. The E-beam process has been demonstrated to be effective on nearly 200 organic compounds on and numerous pathogenic microorganisms. Reaction times are nearly instantaneous, with multiple reactions occurring in the less than 1/10 of a second that the process stream is in the presence of the injected electrons. These attributes address multiple organic and biological constituents simultaneously, and make the technology scaleable to high volumetric flow rate applications.

This paper presents the fundamental aspects of the process, key project data, and discusses the significance of the observed results. In addition, an analysis of fundamental economics to apply high energy electron injection for food disinfection, potable water and wastewater applications will be presented.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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