School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, San 56-1, Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea.
To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first investigation to be performed into the potential benefits of mechanically mixed disinfectants in controlling bacterial inactivation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the disinfection efficiency of mechanically mixed oxidants with identical oxidant concentrations, which were made by adding small amounts of subsidiary oxidants, namely ozone (O3), chlorine dioxide (ClO2), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and chlorite (ClO2(-)), to free available chlorine (Cl2), using Bacillus subtilis spores as the indicator microorganisms. The mechanically mixed oxidants containing Cl2/O3, Cl2/ClO2 and Cl2/ClO2(-) showed enhanced efficiencies (of up to 52%) in comparison with Cl2 alone, whereas no significant difference was observed between the mixed oxidant, Cl2/H2O2, and Cl2 alone. This enhanced disinfection efficiency can be explained by the synergistic effect of the mixed oxidant itself and the effect of intermediates such as ClO2(-)/ClO2, which are generated from the reaction between an excess of Cl2 and a small amount of O3/ClO2(-). Overall, this study suggests that mechanically mixed oxidants incorporating excess chlorine can constitute a new and moderately efficient method of disinfection.