BIOSENS Biofilm Sensor

Project title

BIOSENS - Causal coherences between the signals of an optical multiparameter probe and biofilm growth in pipeline networks designed for transporting water– First investigations

Project initiator

KWB with contract with UVT, Optosens GmbH, BBPT GmbH and the Technical University Berlin (FG Environmental Microbiology)

Project volume

147.000 €

Project start



6 months


In many industrial sectors, fouling processes generate considerable problems. Due to the blocking of the filter facilities, the performance of water treatment plants is diminished and the efficiency of heat exchangers in the cooling towers is reduced. Due to the increased frictional resistance and reduced cross-sectional area, the transport capacity of pipelines is considerably cut down, and in case of thin pipelines even completely blocked. Torn off biofilm parts lead to maintenance and security problems with pumps, valves and limiting value transmitters. To some extent, the durability of plant components is significantly shortened. The determining factors for the intensity of the fouling process are the nutrients available for the micro-organisms on the one hand, and the existence of particulate and colloidal substances in the water bodies on the other hand.

One company of the consortium having submitted the proposal at hand, has developed an optical spectroscopic inline measurement system which allows to measure synchronously up to 4 different optical parameters for up to 4 different wave-lengths. Owing to the synchronous measuring of absorption, dispersion, fluorescence and refraction, this system is highly suitable to ascertain COD, turbidity and the state of the fouling process without taking any samples and thus to become the essential element of an optimal anti-fouling management strategy.

In order to test suitability of the system, the Berlin companies UVT, Optosens GmbH und BBPT GmbH will conduct a comprehensive field test which will be accompanied by the Technical University of Berlin (FG Environmental Microbiology). The optical values recorded through the probe will be correlated with the results yielded by chemical/physical analyses and biological findings and consequently generate the basis for the development of first approaches for the application of a biofilm probe for the test system drinking water.



Dr. Bodo Weigert, KWB


Dr. Detlef Schulze, UVT




Financial support: