Cavitation is an innovative water treatment technology based on physical principles and does not require the addition of chemical substances. Within the scope of an AiF project, the microbiological cleaning performance of a new cavitation system was evaluated.
The overall objective of this research project was the development of a hydrodynamic treatment process based on cavitation action, the process and plant technology of which is specifically designed to reduce microbial contamination in water. The TZW tested the suitability of detection methods for microbiological process parameters in different matrices. For this purpose, microbiological contaminated model waters were treated in a laboratory plant with cavitation generated by ultrasound. Hereby, an elimination by cavitation could be shown for a whole series of pathogenic microorganisms. The reference parameters derived from these investigations were used for the operation of a hydrodynamic test plant of the project partner. In the test plant, the operating conditions (e.g. varying inlet pressure, air supply) were optimized in combination with different reactor geometries. Flow cytometry was tested to determine which matrices are suitable as a rapid monitoring method for ensuring microbial reduction by cavitation treatment. The investigated microorganisms such as E. coli and Coliforms showed significant reduction with different elimination rates depending on operational conditions.