Case Study_Online Biofilm Monitor Proactively detects Contamination at a PET Plastic Manufacturer


Online Biofilm Monitor Proactively detects Contamination at a PET Plastic Manufacturer

Industry: Food and Beverage plastic manufacturer

Application: Process chilled water

Problem: Unpredictable contamination in a critical process cooling system caused rapid fouling that impacted production and increased maintenance costs.

Solution: bioDART real-time biofilm monitoring system installed.

Result: Online bioDART monitor detects an increase in the biofouling potential associated with contamination before excessive fouling disrupts plant operation.


A PET plastic manufacturing plant periodically experienced severe fouling problems in a key process cooling water system due to glycol contamination from auxiliary cooling equipment. This contamination caused thick microbiological fouling deposits to form that plugged filters, reduced the flow of cooling water, and impeded heat transfers.

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Chem-Aqua Solution

To address these issues after system clean-up, Chem-Aqua installed the new bioDART Biofouling Monitor to gauge microbial control and provide early warning of problems. The bioDART is a predictive, early warning monitor that continuously monitors the potential for biofilm growth, and provides an early warning alert for conditions that cause problems. When biofilm is under control, the bioDART Biofouling Index (BFI) reading remains stable with increase normal. For several weeks the flat BFI reflected a low potential for biofilm formation.

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After several weeks of stable response, the BFI reading increased significantly, triggering an alarm indicating an unusual increase in microbiological activity.  Chem-Aqua notified plant personnel and began investigating the cause. An oil line was found leaking, providing a food source for prolific bacteria and biofilm growth. The processing equipment was immediately repaired and the system cleaned with minimal disruption to plant operation. The bioDART allowed early detection so that repairs could be made more before significant damage and downtime occurred.

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Credit: © Chem-Aqua, Inc. CS2-004 (2M101)