Bacteria sensitivity index of UV disinfection of bacteria with shoulder effect

Walter Z. Tang, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In research, design, and validation of UV disinfection systems of a given bacteria, shoulder effect makes prediction of fluence required difficult. This study theoretically analyzes the fluence required to inactivate any bacteria vs. E. coli as the reference bacteria, at the same Log I. Bacteria sensitivity index (BSI) is defined as the ratio between the inactivation rate constant ki of any bacteria for the linear portion of the dose response curve to that kir of E. coli. Among three sets of fluence requirement reported by the US EPA [4], Sommer et al. [5,20], and Chang et al. [6], the fluence required from the EPA is selected as the most suitable reference according to its predictive power as well as regulatory purpose. In the present study, shoulder broadness (SB), H0, is approximated with the intercept of the linear portion at the Log I = 0. A universal equation which can be used to predict the fluence required of any bacteria with a shoulder: H = (0.914 ± 0.055)∗(BSI)E∗(Log I) + H0. Furthermore, shoulder broadness index (SBI) is defined as the ratio between the fluence difference of any bacteria and the reference bacteria such as E. coli divided by the SB of E. coli. To validate the equation, an independent set of fluence data during UV disinfection of four different ARBs reported by McKinney and Pruden [8] was used. When the predicted fluence by using BSI of the ARBs is compared with the reported fluence at different Log I levels with less than 10% error with Log I up to 5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2588-2596
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria sensitivity index (BSI)
  • Fluence equation
  • Shoulder broadness index (SBI)
  • UV disinfection
  • Wastewater
  • shoulder effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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