Kinetic modeling of the synergistic thermal and spectral actions on the inactivation of viruses in water by sunlight
Sunlight can be an effective tool for inactivating pathogens in water disinfection processes. In clear water, photoinactivation of viruses is driven by the absorption of UVB radiation and it is more efficient at shorter wavelengths. Moreover, the temperature can significantly improve the efficiency of the process. To date, no kinetic model has been reported that describes the simultaneous thermal and spectral effects that occur during the solar inactivation of viruses. This work presents a novel comprehensive kinetic model for the solar inactivation of MS2 coliphage as a function of the water temperature, irradiance, and spectral distribution of the incident radiation. The model is based on a combination of the modified Arrhenius equation, a wavelength-dependent first-order inactivation model with the quantumyield, and thermal parameters estimated from laboratory data. Model predictions have a 9% error with respect to experiments in the temperature range from 30 to 50 C and UV irradiance range from 15 to 50 W/m2. Moreover, the model was validated in three scenarios using different plastic materials that modify the spectral range of the radiation reaching the water, confirming an accurate prediction of inactivation rates for real solar disinfection systems worldwide using containers made of any material.
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