UV LED Research and Applications
UV technology has been widely applied to water and wastewater disinfection due to its high sterilization efficacy and property of no disinfection byproduct (DBP) generation in contrast to chemical disinfectants. Ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are considered the new frontier of water disinfection because they are smaller, lighter, more robust and more versatile than traditional UV sources while still effective at inactivating bacteria, viruses, and protozoa by damaging their genetic material and cellular or viral structure. This tiny light source, with chips only 1 square millimeter in size, has the potential to transform water disinfection and contribute to preventing outbreaks by inactivating harmful microorganisms at the point of use, such as water taps or shower heads, for a lower energy cost. Our team has begun filling in the gaps in research and applications of UV LEDs for drinking water treatment in rural communities and for integration into wastewater disinfection or reuse processes. We are also evaluating UV LED application in the management of pathogens on surfaces.