Microbiology Control Program

What is microbiological fouling?

Microbiological fouling in cooling systems arises from the excessive growth of algae, fungi, and bacteria on surfaces. While once-through, open, or closed recirculating water systems can harbor microbial growth, fouling issues are typically more prevalent and severe in open recirculating systems.

In once-through cooling water, microbial growth tends to be slower due to lower nutrient levels. Conversely, open recirculating systems gather microbes from the air and, via evaporation, concentrate nutrients from makeup water, accelerating microbial growth. Process leaks and the use of wastewater in cooling contribute further to the nutrient load in the system.
Apart from nutrient availability, various factors such as temperature, pH, and continuous aeration of the cooling water create an ideal environment for microbial growth. Presence of sunlight, necessary for algae growth, can also stimulate the development of diverse microbial populations.

Uncontrolled microbial growth leads to the formation of "slime" on surfaces. This slime generally comprises a mix of biological and nonbiological materials. The biological element, called the biofilm, is composed of microbial cells and their by-products, primarily extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) forming a gel-like network around the cells, aiding their attachment to surfaces. Nonbiological components may include organic or inorganic debris embedded within the biofilm polymer.

Slime formation can occur throughout cooling systems, visible in some accessible areas or noticed through decreased heat transfer efficiency or reduced water flow. Wood-destroying organisms can attack cooling tower timbers, leading to structural damage. Microbial activity within slimes can hasten corrosion rates, potentially causing perforation in heat exchanger surfaces.

How to minimize biofouling and microbiologically-induced corrosion (MIC)?

In industrial cooling water systems, especially open recirculating setups, an ideal environment exists for the proliferation of microorganisms, encompassing both planktonic (free-floating) and sessile (attached) growth. Without effective microbiological control, this growth can lead to several issues including corrosion, reduced efficiency, potential equipment failure, unscheduled downtime, compromised heat transfer, and a decline in overall production output.

Nero provides an extensive range of solutions, including both oxidizing and non-oxidizing biocides along with biodispersants. These products are designed to effectively treat and shield cooling systems from various types of microorganisms and microbiological growth. By utilizing these products, Nero aims to prevent the detrimental impacts caused by uncontrolled microbial growth, ensuring the optimal functioning and longevity of industrial cooling systems.

Nero microbiological control prooducts give customers a wide array of options for controlling microbes (algae, fungi, bacteria, protozoa, etc.) and macrofouling organisms (mollusk) in cooling water and related industrial systems. Control of biological populations in industrial water systems is essential to prevent biofouling and other microbiological growth-related issues.

Microbiology Control Program