Hypochlorous Acid provides better disinfection for cooling towers

 Iranian Journal of Oil & Gas Science and Technology (IJOGST) Research Paper 2021

Experimental Optimization of the Disinfection Performance of Sodium Hypochlorite and Hypochlorous Acid in Pilot and Industrial Cooling Towers – Oil and Gas Industry


Water can contain microorganisms and cause deposition and corrosion in cooling tower systems. Therefore, the water treatment of cooling towers is essential. Various biocides are used to remove bacteria and disinfect the water of cooling towers, and the most commonly used are sodium hypochlorite and chlorine compounds.

This work examined two chlorinated water, namely hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite, in two pilot and industrial cooling towers. The results of the experiments on the pilot tower showed that the performance of hypochlorous acid in disinfection and removal of bacteria and microorganisms was excellent. The total bacterial count decreased from 10000 to less than 800 (cfu/mL) compared to sodium hypochlorite.


The experiments were performed on the industrial cooling tower of an acetic acid unit for six months, in which pH, free chlorine, total bacterial count (TBC), and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were measured. The very high disinfection power of hypochlorous acid compared to sodium hypochlorite and its relatively lower pH level led to a significant reduction in the use of chemicals in the cooling tower. The experiments and TBC and SRB tests showed outstanding performance in using hypochlorous acid.

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The Iranian Journal of Oil & Gas Science and Technology (IJOGST) is a peer-reviewed and indexed journal. It is published quarterly in English by the Petroleum University of Technology (PUT). With permission from the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology as a Scientific Research Journal. IJOGST brings together multidisciplinary interests in one journal and is to disseminate information on all aspects of research and development in the Oil and Gas industries.

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