Analysis Of Metal Ion Catalyzed Microwave Destruction Of Enterococcus Faecali, Staphylococcus Aureus, And Escherichia Coli
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The development of new techniques for water reclamation is a long standing environmental and public health issue. Water related diseases have accounted for the majority of the incidence of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Specifically, fecal coliforms such as Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli have been closely linked to pathogenic conditions such as meningitis, endocarditis and diarrhea. These conditions afflict over 4 billion people worldwide and kill 2.2 million per year, mostly children under five years of age. To address this issue, the present study identified an innovative method of water treatment that couples thermal and chemical disinfection to deactivate E.faecalis, S.aureus and E.coli. Initial dose-response studies with transitional metals indicated that iron (II), copper (II), zinc (II), aluminum (II), and silver (II) ions reduced the viability of E.faecalis, S.aureus and E.coli, at concentrations between 1.0x10 -4M and 1.0x10 -7M. Iron and zinc salts were also selected for further testing in combination with microwave heating due to their low toxicity and minimal environmental impact. The inclusion of 1.0x10-6M iron (II) and zinc (II) ions enhanced the deactivating effects of microwave heating. These results also suggest that metal ion enhanced microwave heating may reduce disinfection time by up to 75% when compared to a water control. Theoretical mathematical models were also developed for conventional thermal and microwave disinfection, to confirm the decreases in bacterial viability.