Institute of Functional Interfaces

Pulsed electric field treatment for bacteria reduction and its impact on hospital wastewater

  • chair: Gusbeth, C. / Frey, W. / Volkmann, H. / Schwartz T. / Bluhm, H. (2009)

  • place:

    Chemosphere 75 (2009), 228-233

  • Date: 2009
  • Gusbeth, C. / Frey, W. / Volkmann, H. / Schwartz T. / Bluhm, H. (2009): „Pulsed electric field treatment for bacteria reduction and its impact on hospital wastewater“. In: Chemosphere 75 (2009), 228-233

Abstract

During the last years the pulsed electric field (PEF) method entered several fields of application. A promising application is the decontamination of hospital wastewater effluents, which are loaded with pathogenic and increasingly with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For this study, Pseudomonas putida suspended in buffer solution or wastewater from university hospital was used as reference strain. To prove whether the descendent of the survival bacteria develop an adaptation to electric field, surviving PEF treated bacteria were recultivated and pulsed in serial experiments with 10 pulses (100 kV cm1 and 600 ns pulse duration).

This procedure was repeated for 30 generations. The inactivation rate was calculated with 3.5 ± 0.8 log of colony forming units and remained constant over 30 cycles. Investigations of the variable intergenic spacer region of the ribosomal operon demonstrated no visible changes in this highly variable part of the genome structure during the serial PEF treatment experiments. The mutagenicity of PEF treated hospital wastewater, buffer solutions and tap water was analyzed by the umu-test.

Most hospital wastewater samples exhibit a considerable genotoxicity already before PEF treatment, but this was not increased by the PEF treatment, not even for higher treatments energies over 250 J mL1. No genotoxicity was induced in buffer solutions and tap water by PEF treatment. This study supports, that PEF treatment is a sustainable non-chemical method for bacterial decontamination without any adverse effects.

 

 

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