Nowadays outbreaks of antibiotic resistant bacteria are often occurring. Bacteria can develop resistance to ultraviolet disinfection and chemical treatments. Therefore, water disinfection without use of chemicals and ultraviolet light are gaining importance. This thesis describes the proof-of-principle of fluidized bed electrodes (FBE) water disinfection with radio frequency electric (AC) fields and granular activated carbon (GAC). A synergistic effect was found when combining a radio frequency AC field, GAC and/or ultrasound (US).
In this thesis, the contributions of the key components (AC field, GAC, water composition) of the FBE disinfection system were investigated and possible mechanisms for bacteria inactivation taking place in the FBE and AC/US systems are described. The FBE system proved to work for the disinfection of gram negative bacteria (E. coli, P. luteola, E. carotovora) at a low electric field strength (5-10 V/cm) and at a frequency of 104 – 105 Hz. The disinfection achieved was 2-4 Log bacteria concentration decay. This research reveals new methods and mechanisms for disinfection that after optimization can be developed to a robust and low cost disinfection technology.