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UV-C surface disinfection

The sun as a role model

UV-C disinfection is effective against all types of germs such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungi. This ultraviolet radiation is a natural component of sunlight.

oxytec is a specialist in disinfection via UV-C and UV-ozone. We calculate and optimise disinfection systems based on UV technologies and supply modules that are precisely tailored to the area of application.

Areas of application for UV-C disinfection

Food production

Germination is the greatest danger in food production. UV-C air purifiers remove bacteria, yeasts, mould spores and even viruses from the air and thus prevent the contamination of products, packaging, production facilities and rooms. The use of chemicals and preservatives is thus reduced or avoided altogether. Sterilised air is also an essential contribution to occupational safety, because the risk of infection is significantly reduced.

UV-C is also used to sterilise surfaces such as product packaging, production equipment and packaging in order to avoid the use of chemicals on production equipment and preservatives in products. For some foods such as fruit, vegetables, lettuce, UV-C air sterilisation can be ideal to increase shelf life.

Cold rooms and storage rooms in particular are extremely susceptible to germination and can be kept germ-free with UV-C light on the convectors.

Mode of action: Disinfection with UV light

In 1878, the English researchers Downes and Blunt found out that microorganisms are strongly reduced when they are exposed to sunlight. In subsequent research, it was proven that the invisible part of solar radiation below a wavelength of 320 nm has a germicidal effect.

UV-C light can be used to remove germs from air, water and surfaces. Depending on the energy dose, even stubborn and tiny germs are neutralised. UV-C sterilisation covers all microorganisms in all stages of development.

Because UV-C light is harmless to larger organisms, UV devices can also be used very well in rooms where people or animals are present.

When dimensioning a UV-C disinfection system, different influencing factors such as air temperature, air humidity and air velocity must be taken into account. The design of UV-C systems therefore requires specialist knowledge, years of experience and the competence to carry out germ count measurements on site. However, disinfection does not achieve the degree of 100 % sterilisation.

Scientific background

Ultraviolet radiation has a shorter wavelength than the light visible to humans. Below the wavelength of 254 nm, depending on the irradiation dose, bacteria, fungi, mould spores and viruses decompose and their DNA is also destroyed, thus preventing further cell division. This also prevents the formation of resistances.

Empirical studies have shown that the reduction of germs results from the radiation time and its power. This factor is given as the product of mW x s/cm² (irradiation intensity x irradiation time per cm²).

Germs react differently to UV irradiation. Those with a high sensitivity to UVC radiation can already be killed with a low energy dose, e.g. the coli bacterium, while influenza viruses, for example, can only be deactivated with very high-energy radiation. The germs found in food processing, especially yeasts, moulds and spores, require a much higher dose. The same applies to the inactivation of microorganisms in the medical field.

Advantages of UV-C disinfection

  • No use of chemicals
  • No formation of toxic compounds
  • No formation of resistance
  • Unwanted microorganisms become inactive within seconds, product properties remain unchanged.
  • High requirements of consumer protection and VDI 6022 as well as HACCP concepts are met.
  • Supports IFS certification
  • Low energy consumption

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