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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Jun;64(6):1238-45. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.01.018. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

A low-energy intensive electrochemical system for the eradication of Escherichia coli from ballast water: process development, disinfection chemistry, and kinetics modeling.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260, Singapore.


The invasion of biological organisms via ballast water has created threats to the environment and human health. In this study, a cost-effective electrochemical disinfection reactor was developed to inactivate Escherichia coli, one of the IMO-regulated indicator microbes, in simulated ballast water. The complete inactivation of E. coli could be achieved within a very short time (150, 120, or 60 s) with an energy consumption as low as 0.0090, 0.0074 or 0.0035 kWh/m(3) for ballast water containing E. coli at concentrations of 10(8), 10(7) and 10(6) CFU/100 mL, respectively. Electrochemical chlorination was the major disinfection mechanism in chloride-abundant electrolytes, whereas oxidants such as ozone and free radicals contributed to 20% of the disinfection efficiency in chloride-free electrolytes. Moreover, a disinfection kinetics model was successfully developed to describe the inactivation of E. coli.

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