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Water in the Laboratory

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Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

UV Lamp
Ultraviolet radiation has been widely used as a germicidal treatment for water. Mercury low pressure UV lamps generate light at different wavelengths, including 185 and 254 nm. UV lamps with a regular quartz sleeve allow passage of 254 nm light. These lamps are an effective means of sanitizing water. The adsorption of UV light by the DNA in the microbial cells results in the inactivation of the microorganism.

Benefits & Limitations
  • Effective sanitizing treatment.
  • Oxidation of organic compounds (185 nm and 254 nm) to reach water TOC levels below 5 ppb.
  • Photooxidation of organics is a polishing step, able to decrease the TOC level only by a limited value.
  • The CO2 produced during photooxidation decreases the water’s resistivity.
  • UV light will not affect ions, particles or colloids.

UV lamps with a very pure quartz sleeve allow passage of both 185 and 254 nm UV light. This combination of wavelengths is necessary for the photooxidation of organic compounds, which ultimately allows conversion of dissolved organic substances into carbon dioxide. With these special lamps, Total Oxidizable Carbon (TOC) levels in high purity water can be reduced to ≤ 5 ppb.


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