Quorum sensing (QS) pathways regulate bacterial communication to trigger biofilm development, the main cause of membrane biofouling. Recent studies identified the integral role of QS inhibiting (QSI) compounds to disrupt QS pathways and ultimately reduce biofilm production. In this research, vanillin and cinnamaldehyde, both known QSIs were physically deposited onto commercially available polyamide thin-film composite reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to improve the membrane in situ anti-biofouling potential. The QSI layer on the membrane surface changed the contact angle to reflect the hydrophilic property of the QSI without any significant changes in salt rejection and pure water permeability rates. In a highpressure RO system under biofouling conditions using a mixed culture of biofilm forming marine bacteria, QSI modified RO membranes experienced a minimal loss in permeate flux compared to one of the control membranes. There was also a significant decrease in the production of polysaccharides (less than 15%), live bacteria (less than 58%), and dead bacteria (less than 61%) on the fouled QSI deposited RO membrane surfaces. The results of this work demonstrated that QSI membrane modification has the potential to obtain in situ reduction of membrane biofouling.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Leda Katebian / Michael R. Hoffmann / Sunny Jiang, Ph.D.
- California Institute of Technology / University of California, Irvine
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, Long Beach, CA
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Membrane, Seawater, Research, Desalination, Reverse Osmosis, Fouling