Biofilm removal – the effects of Chlorine Dioxide

Biofilm removal – the effects of Chlorine Dioxide

Chlorine dioxide is an oxidising biocide capable of reacting with a wide range of organic substances including many of the constituents of bacterial cells. The primary mechanism for inactivation of bacteria

with ClO2 is disruption of the protein synthesis pathway by inhibition of enzymes or interference with
nucleic acid-amino acid complexes.
The low levels of chlorine dioxide used in drinking water inactivate bacteria due to oxidation, disrupting
several different cell processes. In general, it has been shown that levels of chlorine dioxide at 0.5 ppm
produce an effective disinfection.
While chlorine is inexpensive and commonly used in a variety of industrial settings, chlorine dioxide has
been described to be more effective than chlorine against biofilms.
Chlorine dioxide has different reaction pathways involving natural organic matter than free chlorine, the
formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) like organ halogens is typically much lower in
concentration than when using free chlorine, however, chlorite is a known by-product of chlorine
dioxide generation, and it also influences bacterial levels since it has bacteriostatic properties.
As one of the promising disinfectants, chlorine dioxide has become widespread as it offers some unique
advantages, including its easy operation and maintenance, requirement for a smaller dosage, less
reaction time to yield, same disinfection effect as Cl2, and effectiveness over a wide pH range on killing
bacteria or deactivating virus.
In addition to its biocidal efficiency, it was reported that chlorine dioxide has a biofilm-removing effect,
which may be noticeable at a concentration of 0.5 ppm ClO2, and that it significantly reduces biofilm
formation at a concentration of 100 ppm ClO2. It has been shown that chlorine dioxide is capable to
control biofilm under a variety of conditions and remove biofilm in very difficult to treat cooling towers.
Back to blog