Loughborough University
Effects of Humic acid on Ecoli- accepted version 17June2019.pdf (653.19 kB)
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Effect of humic acid on E. coli disinfection in a microbubble-gas plasma reactor

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-06-26, 13:58 authored by Alexander R.P. Wright, Bipin Uprety, Alexander H. Shaw, Gilbert Shama, Felipe IzaFelipe Iza, Hemaka BandulasenaHemaka Bandulasena
Final effluent from wastewater treatment plants may contain bacteria that can pose a range of environmental and health threats. A microbubble-gas plasma reactor capable of producing a number of both reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species has been developed for inactivating bacteria in final effluents. At the optimum operating conditions, greater than 5-log reductions in E. coli viability was achieved in pure water after 30 min of operation with an energy consumption of 68 kJ/L. Addition of humic acid reduced the E. coli inactivation rate. At the highest concentration of humic acid tested (0.0015% w/w), E. coli inactivation was reduced by ˜50% compared to that achieved in pure water for a 30-minute treatment time. Longer treatment times may be required for waste streams having a high organic content, but the disinfection levels achieved with a low power consumption demonstrate the potential of this approach for industrial use.


The authors would like to thank Plants to Products BBSRC NIBB for funding (POC-HD_RD0300 C). HB would like to acknowledge Micropore Technology Ltd. for providing nickel membranes and Perlemax Ltd. for advice and support on plasma reactors. AW would like to acknowledge the school of ACCME, Loughborough University and EPSRC (EP/M507908/1) for his PhD studentship.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

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Journal of Water Process Engineering




WRIGHT, A. ... et al., 2019. Effect of humic acid on E. coli disinfection in a microbubble-gas plasma reactor. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 31, October 2019, 100881.


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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Water Process Engineering and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwpe.2019.100881.

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