Date of Award

Spring 8-31-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Karl Linden

Second Advisor

Scott Summers

Third Advisor

Mark Hernandez

Fourth Advisor

Norman Pace

Fifth Advisor

Gail Brion


The variability of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection efficacy with wavelength and the emerging regulatory guidance accounting for this variability offer opportunities for wavelength specific optimization. Wavelength selectable mercury-free UV sources including light emitting diodes (LEDs) and excilamps were tested alone and with traditional low-pressure mercury lamps to demonstrate synergy in maximizing viral inactivation while minimizing UV dose. Additionally, biomolecular damage and repair were quantified to provide mechanistic evidence for wavelength specific UV disinfection optimization and monitoring. The disinfection performance of the first commercial flow-through UV LED reactor was evaluated at various UV transmittances and flowrates before demonstrating resilience and continued efficacy at low operating cost in a year-long demonstration study at a local small drinking water system (SDWS). By mechanistically optimizing wavelength selection of mercury-free UV sources, equivalent or better disinfection performance can be achieved with lower doses and electricity input to improve sustainability of UV disinfection, especially for SDWSs.

Available for download on Sunday, October 10, 2021