Optical Properties of Mercury Arc Lamps

Mercury arc lamps are used in commercial water treatment reactors to provide ultraviolet radiation to disinfect the water or to break down chemical contaminants. These reactors may contain 50 to 100 lamps in a single vessel. In a relatively clear medium like water, a significant fraction of the radiation from one lamp is incident on neighboring lamps. The fate of this radiation is not known. The incident radiation may pass through the receiving lamp, it may be lost as heat, or it may excited the receiving mercury and be re]emitted. Although detailed statistical and plasma modeling and predict this behavior under carefully controlled conditions, this modeling is not feasible without experimental calibration, and not for the variable power used in commercial UV systems. This project will take an experimental approach to determine the fraction of incident radiation that is lost, the fraction that is transmitted, and the fraction that is re]emitted, as a function of lamp power. This knowledge will enable more accurate computer simulations of UV reactor performance.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Qiyin Fang


Mowly Krishnamoorthy







McMaster University



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