ALVIM Biofilm Monitoring System  [Jump to: Docs | Application cases | Research papers & Projects]

Bacteria colonize any structure (pipelines, tanks, machineries, ...) in contact with the water in a very short time, if appropriate countermeasures are not applied. The ALVIM real-time, on line, Biofilm Monitoring System is able to detect bacterial settlement since its first phases (down to 1% of surface covered by microorganisms) and, basing on these data, to manually or automatically adjust and optimize cleaning treatments / biocide treatments (in industrial water systems, cooling towers, pure water lines, etc.) allowing to check, at the same time, the efficacy of the cleaning.

Among the advantages of the ALVIM technology:

  • early warning detection of bacterial biofilm growing on pipelines, tanks, heat exchangers, RO membranes, ...
  • while fouling sensors detect "generic deposit", ALVIM probes detect bacterial biofilm
  • optimization of cleaning and sanitation treatments (biocides, disinfectants, ...)
  • easy to install, easy to operate
  • virtually maintenance-free probe
  • real-time, continuous biofilm monitoring
  • high sensitivity
  • modular, scalable system

ALVIM Biofilm Sensors have been already used, with highly satisfactory results, in several industrial fields (cooling water systems, industrial water treatment, desalination, food processing, paper mills, etc), including large international companies.


More information

Download the flyer (brief view)

Download the brochure (in-depth description)

Download ALVIM Catalog

Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Download the PDF file with all FAQs


ALVIM Biofilm Sensor Technical Datasheets

A001S3, ALVIM standard sensor, suitable for most industrial applications. Given its corrosion resistance, it is particularly indicated for seawater applications.

AS01S3, with hygienic connection to the process (VARIVENT®), flat surface in contact with the liquid and high resistance to chemical treatments, this model is indicated for applications where hygiene is critical.

AS11S3, with hygienic connection to the process (DIN 32676, ISO 2852), flat surface in contact with the liquid and high resistance to chemical treatments, this model is indicated for applications where hygiene is critical.

AX03S3, ATEX certified, this model is indicated for classified areas and applications where there is a risk of explosion (e.g. Oil&Gas).


Application cases

Cooling tower water tratment: check on biocide effectiveness and elimination of bacteria 

Cooling towers and bacteria: what happens when chlorination does not work as expected 

Once-through cooling systems: effect of chlorine dioxide on biofilm, shock and continuos dosage

Power plant water treatment: improve heat exchange and power production keeping biofilm growth under control 

Legionella prevention: ALVIM Biofilm Sensor helps to prevent outbreaks  

Food production: detection of bacterial growth increases food safety 

Mineral water bottling: ALVIM Biofilm Sensor helps to prevent bacterial spoilage 

Soft drink production: increase safety of bottled beverages 

Water Distribution Networks: prevention of water contamination from biofilm

Industrial reverse osmosis: detect bacterial growth to check and optimize chemical treatments 

Reverse osmosis desalination: increase the efficiency of biocide treatment in membrane processes 

Pulp and paper: detection of bacterial growth and check on biocide effectiveness in paper mills 

Biogas upgrading plants: optimization of biocide treatments to prevent biofilm-related issues in packed beds


Research papers

Exploiting a new electrochemical sensor for biofilm monitoring and water treatment optimization - Published on Water Research  45 (2011), pp. 1651-1658

Detection and Monitoring of Biofilm Growth in the Seawater Sulfate Removal Units - Oral communication SPE-174562-MS, SPE Symposium on Water Handling and Management 2015 (Galveston, TX)

Wrapped by bacteria - Biofilm detection and removal in paper mills - Published on J-FOR, Journal of Science & Technology for Forest Products and Processes, 4 (2017)

Optimized and high efficiency biofouling protection for oceanographic optical devices - Oral communication, OCEANS 2017 (Aberdeen, UK)

Technologies for real-time biofilm monitoring in drinking water distribution networks - Published on TECNOAQUA 48 (2021), pp. 42-47


Research Projects where ALVIM Biofilm Sensors have been scientifically validated

SMARTH2OTEL: aims to study digital and innovative solutions for the efficient and sustainable management of the water cycle of tourist establishments, also considering the energy component. Next Generation EU Project, 2022-2023

SENIX: Transformation of the operation, maintenance and planning of distribution networks based on the massive use of sensors. ERDF European Project, 2018-2021

DEMOWARE: Innovation Demonstration for a Competitive and Innovative European Water Reuse Sector. FP7 European Project, 2014-2016

Biofilm monitoring in drinking water distribution systems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Project

NeXOS: Next generation, Cost-effective, Compact, Multifunctional Web Enabled Ocean Sensor Systems Empowering Marine, Maritime and Fisheries Management. FP7 European Project, 2013-2017

CCNS: Corrosion Control for Navy Ships. European Defence Agency Project, 2013-2016



VARIVENT is a registered trademark of GEA TUCHENHAGEN GMBH.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.