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How to Mitigate Biofouling in Your Industrial Process Using 2nd Generation ATP


Microorganisms can wreak havoc in industrial processes in a number of ways – from slime formation that causes paper breaks and excessive downtime in papermaking facilities, to costly recalls of spoiled final product. Consequently, an effective microbiological control program, which includes accurate and reliable monitoring, is critical for maintaining an efficient process and final product quality. Many industrial process operators use culture tests or 1st generation devices – such as ATP pen-style tests – for portability and convenience, but these tests are susceptible to issues related to variability and interferences. 2nd Generation ATP tests are also portable and convenient but provide enhanced resistance to interferences and sensitivity through more complete extraction of ATP. For this reason, 2nd Generation ATP is a preferred choice as the first line of defense against microbiological growth and can be used effectively in a variety of testing programs, such as routine monitoring and biocide and biofilm dispersant performance assessments. Benefits of using LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP test kits in these applications are described below.


Routine Monitoring

Routine monitoring is essential for assessing microbiological growth in a process and maintaining proper operation and control. LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP testing provides several advantages over culture tests for routine monitoring. Results are available within minutes, rather than days, meaning that process decisions can be made immediately, before serious problems can develop. Furthermore, culture testing can provide an incomplete picture as it often captures less than 1% of the total microbial population. Because ATP exists within all living cells, both culturable and non-culturable, ATP testing provides an indication of total microbial activity and health. As noted above, 2nd Generation tests also provide enhanced sensitivity compared to 1st Generation devices by providing a more complete ATP extraction. Moreover, 2nd Generation test kits were developed to mitigate interferences that are unique to their specific applications, such as solids in papermaking process waters or oil content in metalworking fluids. The total concentration of microbes on surfaces or in slimes, or biofilms, can also be monitored to provide further insight into treatment and biocide efficacy.


Biocide Performance Assessments

Biocide performance assessments, often referred to as kill studies or selection studies, are necessary for selecting an effective chemical and identifying optimum doses. Generally, these studies rely on culture test techniques, but they can be greatly enhanced by incorporating 2nd Generation ATP testing. In general, culture tests will tend to overestimate biocide performance. One reason is that some organisms will not grow under laboratory conditions. Another reason is that, unlike ATP testing, culture tests are incapable of detecting the presence of cells that are in a viable but not culturable (VBNC) state. Accounting for these cells is important, as they can resuscitate, become culturable, and wreak havoc under suitable conditions. 2nd Generation ATP testing is also portable and provides rapid results, meaning testing can be completed in a shorter timeframe. 2nd Generation tests are also resistant to various interferences from high concentrations of biocides.

LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP test kits provide a reliable and accurate method to monitor microbiological activity and health on a real-time basis, giving your team the ability to diagnose, troubleshoot, and solve microbiological problems within hours, rather than days or weeks. Check out our website to learn more about how 2nd Generation compares to 1st Generation ATP or culture tests.


LuminUltra Team

Founded in 1995, LuminUltra is a molecular biology diagnostic testing company headquartered in Canada with operations in 6 countries. It is widely recognized globally as a leader in developing tests and reagents for environmental, industrial, and diagnostic monitoring applications and was a key supplier of COVID-19 diagnostic testing reagents to the Government of Canada.

Dozens of Fortune 500 customers across more than 80 countries trust LuminUltra’s technology, production reliability and history of customer service excellence to deliver their essential services in a safe state.

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