What is Biofilm?


Biofilm is a cluster of micro organisms joining together on a surface forming a protective extracellular matrix. These bacterial pioneers facilitate the arrival of other pathogens by providing more diverse adhesion sites. Pathogens inside the biofilm communicate through quorum sensing. Quorum sensing allows a bacterium to communicate with other bacteria that are in close proximity. If a bacterium can sense that it is surrounded by a dense population of pathogens, it will join them and contribute to the formation of biofilm.

Biofilms are costly. They impact the energy requirement of a system, cause corrosion and increase frictional drag. Their presence also poses a threat to human health.

Energy Costs: Biofilm act as an insulating layer and results in great reduction of heat transfer efficiency. 1mm of biofilm has insulating property equivalent to a 5mm mineral scale coating.

Corrosion: Anaerobic sulphate reducing bacteria and anaerobic iron-oxidizing bacteria can form and live in the community of biofilm. These bacteria will serious corrosion to pipes and result in leaks.

Frictional Drag: As biofilm proliferates in pipe, it reduces the diameter. This results in increased frictional drag and pressure drop thus reducing the efficiency of the system.

Control of biofilm within water systems is essential. F.E.D (Flotech ECA Disinfection) is very effective against biofilm removal. F.E.D utilized ECA technology to produce a neutral anolyte solution, which is a colorless transparent biocidal liquid with a slight chlorine smell. It consists predominantly of HOCl and OCl- which give a superior sporicidal and biocidal activity. Using F.E.D as a part of water hygiene management programme will help to maintain a safe, efficient and cost effective water system.

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