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Online analysis to control disinfecting agents during rinsing
09
Jul '10
A joint research project by the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim and the ITCF Denkendorf, financed by the AiF with funding from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, is for the first time delivering data about how best to regulate the concentration of disinfecting agent in rinsing water. Implementing the results of the research will mean that the dosage can match the need and the service life of textiles being processed can be increased, resulting in both economic and ecological improvements in the laundry sector.

The washing machine and detergent industries now have the opportunity to go on to develop innovative systems for analysis and regulation. It will also be possible for companies to set up their own online system for measuring active oxygen for relatively little expense. A system of data recording enables the levels of hygiene that have been achieved during the rinsing process to be documented.

Textiles used in areas where hygiene is a high priority, notably hospital laundry or linen from food processing enterprises, must be sterile or almost sterile. Textiles are guaranteed sterile after the washing process by the legal requirements for disinfectant treatments. However, during the subsequent rinsing process, it must always be expected that bacteria may enter from the environment, so for safety reasons more disinfecting agent must be added at this stage.

To ensure that the disinfectant in the rinsing water meets the need, the researchers used an appropriate method of online analysis to calculate the effective concentration of disinfecting agent and keep it constant by continuous readjustment. As well as developing a method for determining the level of disinfecting agent in the rinsing water, and a control system that allowed the level of disinfecting agent to be adjusted, the researchers also designed an entirely new and reliable method for quickly determining the level of active oxygen, as an indication of the concentration of peracetic acid, and this was tested for its suitability for use in practice.

The online titration that they developed, like manual offline titration, is extremely accurate and linear. It is not generally sensitive to temperature variations, fluctuations in pH value or the washing agents that are added. At the same time, it is reproducible, and the progression is linear.

We are grateful to the Research Association the Textile Research Council, Reinhardtstraße 12 - 14, 10117 Berlin for its financial support for IGF project 15482 N, which was provided via the AiF as part of the programme to support "Industrial Community Research and Development" (IGF), with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) following an Order by the German Federal Parliament.

Hohenstein Institut

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