Biofouling remains one of the greatest challenges to the water industry to date. Among the many strategies practiced by the water industry, an effective pretreatment system with cleaning protocol (Clean-in-Place, CIP) remains the only viable option. This practice, however, seems not to be fully effective in eliminating biofouling altogether. Other options include the use of biocides, antifoulant agents, or other specialty chemicals addition, but resulting in higher operating costs with similar outcomes. The use of new generation antifoulant membranes (e.g., with various polymer chemistries, surface modification and/or composite materials) remains in the early stages of development. In the recent years, application of silver nanoparticles (NPs) with antibacterial activities is effective in controlling biofouling but limited due to higher operating costs and/or safety (e.g., NPs release) for full-scale application. Alternative to this approach would be to add silver NPs during membrane fabrication process. However, this will require a new manufacturing process altogether and can also lead to higher costs but lower biocidal efficiency. This is due to most of the silver NPs being embedded within the polymer matrix (masked) as opposed to the membrane surfaces (for effective dissolution), losing its overall effectiveness. An alternative to this approach would be to maintain a thin layer of silver NPs layer (coating) onto the top of the membrane surfaces. It is an in-situ (on-site application) method with a short reaction time and utilizing the existing membranes without requiring a new fabrication process. As the NPs are bonded tightly to the membrane surface for its reaction and dissolution, there is a minimal loss or release of NPs is expected to the environment. Overall it is a more practical way of addressing the current biofouling issue with the possibility of full-scale application, is investigated and discussed as part of this study.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Shahnawaz Sinha / Meredith Morrissey / Sean Zimmerman / Francois Perreault / Paul Westerhoff
- Arizona State University / Mountain Pointe H.S., Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD)
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, Long Beach, CA
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Membrane, Research, Reverse Osmosis