Effect of hybrid UV-thermal energy stimuli on inactivation of S. epidermidis and B. subtilis bacterial bioaerosols

Effect of hybrid UV-thermal energy stimuli on inactivation of S. epidermidis and B. subtilis bacterial bioaerosols
Bioaerosols; Hybrid; Staphylococcus epidermidis; Bacillus subtilis; Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation; Thermal energy
Issue Date
The Science of the total environment
VOL 408, NO 23, 5903-5909
Bioaerosols have become an increasingly important issue due to their harmful effects on human health. As the concern over airborne microorganisms grows, so does the need to develop and study efficient methods of controlling them. In this study, we designed a hybrid system involving ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and thermal energy and investigated its effects on bacterial bioaerosols, followed by a comparison with thermal energy alone and UV irradiation alone. The results show that the hybrid effect caused no variation in the shape of the normalized particle size distributions of S. epidermidis and B. subtilis bioaerosols. However, a physical transport loss of bacterial bioaerosols developed as the temperature inside the glass quartz tube increased. When bacterial bioaerosols were simultaneously exposed to UV irradiation and thermal energy for less than 1.05 s, more than 99% of S. epidermidis bioaerosols were inactivated at 120 °C with exposure to one UV lamp and at 80 °C with exposure to two UV lamps; and 93.5% and 98.5% of B. subtilis bioaerosols were inactivated at 280 °C with exposure to one and two UV lamps, respectively. Moreover, the hybrid UV-thermal stimuli significantly reduced the concentration of ozone, which is a secondary UV-induced pollutant. Our results show that to obtain the same inactivation efficiency, the hybrid UV-thermal stimuli were more efficient than thermal energy alone in terms of energy consumption and produced significantly less ozone than UV irradiation alone. The hybrid stimuli also had higher inactivation efficiency than UV alone. Therefore, these results provide valuable information for the development of new methods for controlling bioaerosols.
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