Disinfection of dairy and animal farm wastewater with radiofrequency power

M. C. Lagunas-Solar, James S Cullor, N. X. Zeng, T. D. Truong, T. K. Essert, W. L. Smith, C. Piña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency (RF) power was investigated as a new, physical (nonchemical), thermal process to disinfect wastewater from dairy and animal facilities. Samples (n = 38) from 8 dairy, 2 calf, and 3 swine facilities in California were collected over a 3-yr period and characterized for their dielectric properties, chemical composition, and suitability for thermal processing using RF power. To establish efficacy for disinfection, selected samples were inoculated with high levels (106 to 109 cfu/mL) of bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella sp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis and processed with an RF prototype system. The capabilities of RF power as a method for thermal disinfection of wastewater were demonstrated when bacteria pathogens were completely and rapidly (<1 min) inactivated when temperatures of 60 to 65°C were achieved. Furthermore, RF technology can be used for large-scale, batch or continuous and portable applications, allowing significant improvements in energy-use efficiencies compared with conventional thermal (surface heating) technologies. Therefore, RF power has potential as an alternative to disinfect dairy/animal farm wastewater before recycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4120-4131
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Disinfection
  • Radiofrequency power
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Food Science


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