Biofouling Prevention Treatment

Biofouling Prevention Treatment

If you’ve ever swam in a natural body of water, you may be familiar with the slimy greenish-brown scum that accumulates on most submerged objects. Water is full of bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms.  

Just like pond scum, the inside of industrial systems containing water is susceptible to organic growth. This undesirable growth, known as biofouling, can clog water flow and decrease efficiency. For this reason, biofouling prevention treatment is critical.  

Biocide Treatment  

Traditionally, a common practice for preventing biofouling has been to add biocides or antimicrobial chemicals to the water that is being flushed through the system. Antimicrobial chemicals are substances that excel at slowing the spread of or killing fungi, bacteria, and viruses, and are used in treatments for: 

  • Cooling water systems 
  • Industrial water tanks 
  • Heat exchangers 
  • & more 

However, different microorganisms respond differently to certain biocides/antimicrobials, so it is important to understand our enemy. Listed below are three factors that’ll determine which chemical you should use for preventing biofouling in your industrial water system: 

  1. The level of bioactivity 
  2. The pH 
  3. The temperature of the water 

While your answers to the above factors will determine the type of biocide you use, they’ll also determine the frequency with which you apply the biocide. 

Here are a few examples of common chemicals used as a biocide:  

  • Chlorine   
  • Chlorine Dioxide  
  • Chloramines  
  • Potassium Ferrate  
  • Ozone  
  • Iodine  
  • Hydrogen Peroxide  
  • Peracetic Acid  
  • Sodium Bisulphite  
  • Formaldehyde  
  • Glutaraldehyde  
  • Quaternary Ammonium  

Not all the chemicals listed above will work in every setting. Sometimes certain chemicals can create harmful byproducts, are unstable unless produced on-site, or may be destructive to certain industrial materials. For example, certain chloramines cannot be used for wastewater treatment because they may create carcinogens and are destructive to certain filtering membranes.   

Alternative Biofouling Prevention Treatments  

Luckily, there are alternative biofouling treatments that don’t involve high risks to human and environmental health. Here is a list of safer and greener treatments used to prevent biofouling in industrial settings:  

UV Radiation 

Though not a chemical additive, UV irradiation has also been used as a disinfectant in water treatment. UV exposure works by splitting some of the water molecules to create hydroxyl radicals (unstable “half-molecules”), which can split up bigger organic molecules and inhibit microbial growth by damaging their DNA.  

However, the efficiency of UV irradiation depends on the density of biomass and the ability to expose all the water, making it an expensive solution  

Nutrient Limitation  

Certain microorganisms feed on chemicals such as phosphorus and phosphate. Removing those chemicals from the water, using absorbents or electrochemical coagulation, may reduce the potential for fouling.  

Interruption of QS Signals  

Microorganisms use quorum sensing (QS) to communicate with each other. Several chemicals, including vanillin, furanone, and acylase can interrupt these signals, and deter microbial growth.  

Membrane Surface Modifications   

Sometimes the best method of controlling biofouling is to make changes to the surfaces which accumulate the most debris. This could mean making the membranes out of a blended polymer, coating the surface in a hydrophobic sealant, or including antimicrobial additives in the material.  

Looking for an Industrial-Grade Biofouling Prevention Treatment?  

Ecolink is ready to help you solve your biofouling problem before it even starts! Contact us today to learn what treatments may work best for you! 

What Is Cooling Tower Chemical Dosing?

What Is Cooling Tower Chemical Dosing?

Industrial systems utilize the cooling mechanism of water evaporation to remove heat from high-powered mechanical processes. Often, the water used is from a natural source, and not filtered before it is circulated through the cooling tower. Due to this, the water often contains many extra minerals and organic materials. 

Cooling tower chemical dosing is used to prevent damage to the system by mitigating the effects of mineral buildup and preventing biological accumulation. 

Depending on the scale and fouling levels of the water tower, different methods are more effective. Here is an overview of some of the most common procedures: 

Shot Dosing 

This method involves chemicals being added manually and following a set schedule. Shot dosing is the cheapest method but can lead to different levels of concentration. 


  A pump continuously releases chemicals into a simple automated system. However, because there is a constant stream, it is important to monitor the water to make sure the levels released are still effective and not causing additional corrosion. 


Similar to the continuous release system, an automated pump releases chemicals on a timer. This method should be used in conjunction with occasional water testing. 

Proportional (based on bleed-off volume) 

Bleed-off, also known as blowdown, refers to the portion of water that is removed from the system and replaced with new water. This type of proportional dosing measures the flow of bleed-off and adds chemicals based on that flow to keep the levels consistent. 

Proportional (based on make-up water volume)  

Similar to bleed-off proportional dosing, this method uses sensors to measure the rate new water enters the system and adds chemicals to maintain a constant concentration. 

Sensor Controlled 

This method directly measures the concentration of chemicals in the cooling tower water and adjusts the input of dosing chemicals to maintain safe levels. 

Interested in Chemical Dosing for Your Cooling Tower? 

As expressed above, there are many ways to use chemicals in your cooling tower to increase efficiency. Depending on the issues you face, different chemicals and application methods may be more effective.  

Ecolink’s experts are industry professionals with a wide range of knowledge about the best chemical products. We’re happy to assist you in finding the right method for your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Biocide for Water Cooling

Biocides for Water Cooling

Water is used often as a cheap, plentiful, and effective coolant in industrial settings. However, pumping large quantities through commercial equipment can often lead to the build-up of bacteria, fungi, and other organisms, particularly if the water comes from a natural source. 

To keep the system working efficiently and protect the health of the system and the people working with it, the water must be cleaned. Controlling the accumulation of organic material often comes down to the use of biocides for water cooling. 

Examples of BiocidesUsed in Water Cooling 

The most common method of controlling bacteria and other microorganism growth is through halogenation, which involves the introduction of chlorine or bromine. These compounds and their derivatives oxidize certain organic compounds, thus killing the organisms. However, other biocides used include: 

  • Chloramines 
  • Potassium Ferrate 
  • Ozone 
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 
  • Iodine 
  • Peracetic acid 
  • Ammonium 

These compounds may be administered individually or in a biocide mix designed for the specific conditions of certain water cooling systems. It is important to understand the organisms you are targeting, but also the materials your cooling system is made of in order to choose the right biocide and dosage. 

Why Is Biocide Needed? 

Without proper management, excess organisms can cause damage and reduce the efficiency of water cooling. Active microorganisms in coolant water can cause corrosion to occur, with organic chemicals eating away at the structure, which is a safety concern.  

Additionally, microorganisms can accumulate on the metal membranes that transfer heat, in a layer known as a biofilm. This coating, which is usually soft and squishy, acts as an insulator and prevents heat from moving between the metal and the water, just like how a kitchen towel prevents your hand from burning when removing a hot plate from the microwave. Removing the biofilm layer is important for effective heat transfer.  

Interested in Biocides for Water Cooling? 

Whether it be a pure oxidizing agent, or a specialized blend specifically designed for water cooling systems, Ecolink provides many industrial solutions. If you find yourself in need of biocides or are simply curious about how to best protect your water cooling system, please reach out to us today! 

Examples of Biocide Disinfectant

Examples of Biocide Disinfectant

Bacteria and other small organisms can cause serious issues for the water used in industrial settings. Whether the accumulation of biomass clogs the pipes of a system or makes water hazardous to humans, it is important to control the organisms living in the water you are using. 

Depending on the type of organisms you are targeting, and the final purpose of the water you are disinfecting, different biocides will work better to eliminate these undesirable organisms. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at examples of biocide disinfectants, and the best place to purchase them for your industrial needs. 

Oxidizing Biocides 

Oxidizing biocide disinfectants work by interacting chemically with the organic molecules within organisms (e.g., proteins, enzymes, cellular matter), and causing them to lose electrons and become unstable, thus killing the organisms.  

There are many types of oxidizing biocides, including: 

  • Chlorine 
  • Chlorine Dioxide 
  • Chloramines 
  • Potassium ferrate 
  • Bromine 
  • Iodine 
  • Halogenated hydantoins 
  • Ozone 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 
  • Peracetic acid 
  • Sodium bisulphite 

Chlorine and chlorine-containing compounds are by far the most widely used disinfectants in water treatment because of their reduced cost and high effectiveness. However, some industrial membranes may be sensitive to chlorination, and these compounds can cause hazardous by-products. Potassium ferrate has been used as a safer alternative. 

Iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and peracetic acid are all useful for disinfecting water but can be abrasive to certain industrial systems. Ozone is extremely effective at oxidation, but is unstable and must be produced on-site with the potential to cause hazardous by-products. 

Sodium bisulphite is used to bind oxygen, but its efficiency is highly dependent on the type of microorganism being targeted. 

It is very important to understand the type of biofouling you are dealing with, but also the destination of the water you are treating, to make sure that the level of risk associated with any of these chemicals is acceptable. 

Non-Oxidizing Biocides 

Non-oxidizing chemicals work in many ways, but generally by stopping the organisms from breathing, interfering with their reproduction, or breaking apart their cell walls. 

Here are some examples of non-oxidizing biocide disinfectants: 

  • Formaldehyde 
  • Glutaraldehyde 
  • Ammonium 
  • Halogenated amides 
  • Guanidines 
  • Glycols 
  • Thiocarbamates 
  • Amines 
  • Thiocyanates 
  • Aldehydes 
  • Organotin compounds 

Need Help Finding the Right Biocide Disinfectants? 

At Ecolink, we are proud to provide many chemical solutions to common problems. If you find yourself in need of biocide disinfectants or have any other problems that may require industrial-grade chemicals, please reach out to us! Our knowledgeable team will be happy to help you figure out the best solutions for your needs! 

What Is a Biocide Chemical for a Cooling Tower?

What Is a Biocide Chemical for a Cooling Tower?

Cooling towers are used industrially to release heat generated during a mechanical process. Often the water used in cooling comes from a natural source and is not highly filtered. This means it can contain natural sediments, minerals, and biological content.  

All these additional materials can lead to a build-up of organic material on the membranes of the cooling tower. Controlling the bacteria and other microorganisms is often done using biocide chemicals, and is essential if you wish to keep your cooling tower operating efficiently. 

Types of Biocides Used in Cooling Towers  

By far, the most common type of biocide chemicals used is chlorine and chlorine derivatives. This is most common because of its relative cheapness, and effectiveness at oxidizing many types of bacteria.  

Oxidizing biocides, such as chlorine, work by reacting with organic molecules in the microorganisms and causing them to become unstable, thus killing the organisms. In addition to gaseous chlorine, the following are used commonly as oxidizing biocides: 

  • Chlorine dioxide 
  • Chloramines 
  • Potassium Ferrate 
  • Ozone 
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 
  • Iodine 

While all of these chemicals are effective at oxidizing organic materials, it is important to understand the material of the cooling tower you are treating. For example, certain membrane materials may be sensitive to chlorine. Additionally, iodine and hydrogen peroxide can have similar negative effects on certain polymers which may be present. 

You may also find that a blend of chemicals works best at controlling the organisms present in a certain system. Many biocide chemical blends are currently available for purchase in bulk.  

Why Do You Need Biocide Chemicals? 

Biocides are important for controlling the growth of organisms in cooling towers. Often referred to as “biofouling,” when bacteria, fungi, or other creatures accumulate on the membranes of an industrial system, they can have a distinct influence on the efficiency of heat transfer. This is because the layer of soft organic material acts as an insulator between the membranes and the cooler water, sort of like a rubber handle on a frying pan.  

While there are other approaches to handling biofouling, such as physically cleaning the membranes, often biocides are more effective. This is in part because the organisms that are causing a problem will multiply exponentially, so it is necessary to remove all of them to prevent regrowth. 

Looking for Biocide Chemical for your Cooling Tower? 

Finding the most effective biocides for your cooling tower may depend on a number of factors. Ecolink is happy to help you figure out the right method of controlling the microorganisms in your industrial system. Check out our products or give us a call today to get started!