Science Fair project using electricity to kill bacteria and protozoa.

High energy Pulsed Electric Fields ( PEF ) have been used for several years in the purification of processed fruit juices, milk, water, and other liquids. These processes use high voltages and short duration pulses because the liquids are flowing at a high velocity, due to the large volumes being processed. Current literature on the subject explains that lower voltages can be used if the number of pulses is increased and the volume is lowered. Some current applications of this are the control of microbial growth in cooling towers and backyard ponds.

The use of electricity  for killing microbes such as bacteria, protozoa, and fungi has been around since the 1750’s but has not been widely recognized. The relatively few studies that have been undertaken in recent years have had difficulty getting published and few of them have had significant publicity. For this reason, a science fair project that provides good quality observations and results might open a lot of doors for the person who achieves these results.

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The water in the test jar on the right was pulse with 9 volts for 2 1 hour sessions. Microscopic examination of several different slides did not find any living microbes remaining in the water.

While for the purpose of processing fruit juices to eliminate bacteria electrical pulses of several thousands of volts are often used, the lowerst effective DC voltage for killing microbes was published by Dr. Robert O. Becker, M.D. in his book “Body Electric” at about 1.0 volt and a current of only 100-200 nano-amperes. Other devices present to day use the output of a regular 9 volt battery to kill various microbes.

A challenge was issued a while back on Google’s blogspot that provides a few suggestions. See: http://zapperdave.blogspot.com/2013/09/science-fair-projects-in-microbiology.html . Some previous studies are posted below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC529182/
http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/Current/Projects/J1609.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154785/
http://www.aanos.org/documents/Eff%20of%20Elect%20Stim%20on%20Bact%20Grwth.pdf
http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/04/41/2/merriman.html
http://pacificjunction.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Inactivation-of-Bacteria-in-Seawater-by-Low-Amperage-Electric-Current-Appl.-Environ.-Microbiol.-2003-Park-2405-8.pdf

With the positive results seen in the studies above and the possible positive effects on fighting illness and infections, why has there not been more follow-up studies. Is there just a lack of interest or could it be possible that certain other interests are suppressing additional studies? If certain voltages, currents, or frequencies we shown to effectively stop bacterial infections in the human body, this might just have a very negative effect on the sales of antibiotics or other medications.

For additional reading consider “Body Electric” by Dr. Robert. O. Becker, M.D. Other information is available at http://paradevices.com .

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One thought on “Science Fair project using electricity to kill bacteria and protozoa.

  1. Pingback: Science Fair project using electricity to kill bacteria and protozoa. | zapper01

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