Inactivation of Mycobacterium avium with free chlorine

Jeanne Luh, Benito J. Mariñas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inactivation kinetics of Mycobacterium avium with free chlorine was characterized by two stages: an initial phase at a relatively fast rate followed by a slower second stage of pseudo first-order kinetics. The inactivation rate of each stage was approximately the same for all experiments performed at a certain condition of pH and temperature; however, variability was observed for the disinfectant exposure at which the transition between the two stages occurred. This variability was not a function of the initial disinfectant concentration, the initial bacterial density, or the bacterial stock. However, the transition to the second stage varied more significantly at high temperatures (30°C), while lower variability was observed at lower temperatures (5 and 20°C). Experiments conducted at pH values in the range of 6-9 revealed that the inactivation of M. avium was primarily due to hypochlorous acid, with little contribution from hypochlorite ion within this pH range. The inactivation kinetics was represented with a two-population model. The activation energies for the resulting pseudo first-order rate constants for the populations with fast and slow kinetics were 100.3 and 96.5 kJ/mol, respectively. The magnitude of these values suggested that for waters of relatively high pH and low temperatures, little inactivation of M. avium would be achieved within treatment plants, providing a seeding source for distribution systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5096-5102
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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