Low-Temperature UV Light Source (2016)
Ultra Violet (UV) irradiation is a non-contact disinfection method which uses light at a sufficiently short wavelength to break down and kill infectious and nuisance microorganisms. Typically, large reactor tanks with UV emitting bulbs irradiate effluent at a maximum rate determined by the effectiveness of the UV spectrum of the bulb and the maximum power of the bulb. Most industrial units are rated in the MGD (mega-gallons per day) range, limited by the power of the lamps, physical size of the tanks, and sheer number of lamps needed.
DTI is currently funded under an SBIR grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a novel, magnetically-coupled pulsed plasma reactor without the use of ferrites or cores of any kind. This reactor will generate high power pulses to create short-duration, high temperature plasma while maintaining a low steady-state temperature. Shorter wavelength emission than normally possible with continuous RF discharge lamps will thereby be enabled, allowing for a tailored emission spectrum for UV applications and an electrical input of at least 50 kW (far exceeding traditional technology in such applications) with an estimated germicidal optical efficiency exceeding 50%.
Successful demonstration of the high power bactericidal UV light will be a major advance in UV disinfection technology. This advance will be directly applicable to municipality-scale water disinfection systems where the radical simplification of equipment will reduce both acquisition costs and operating expenses. The new light source design should find broad application in areas where high power UV bactericidal spectrum light sources are required, likely including both pharmaceutical development and food processing.