Determining the influence of active cells and conditioning layer on early stage biofilm formation using cellulose acetate ultrafiltration membranes

Amr Zaky, Isabel Escobar, Amir Mohaghegh Motlagh, Cyndee Gruden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membrane biofouling is a complicated process and can include both abiotic and biotic fouling. The objective of this research was to determine the contribution of conditioning layer in the presence of active cells to early stage membrane biofouling. Membranes were operated for 4, 11, and 24h using buffered synthetic water composed of a conditioning layer (130.14ppm sodium acetate trihydrate) and either inactive (fixed) or active cells (10 3cells/mL). This study was performed using cross flow filtration through cellulose acetate (CA) ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. Flux decline, biofilm activity, biofilm surface area coverage, and biofilm morphology (surface roughness and skewness) were monitored over time. While biofilm surface area coverage could not effectively distinguish membranes being filtered with active and inactive cells, permeate flux data indicated that the presence of active cells resulted in significantly more flux decline. Feature height analyses (TM-AFM) combined with biofilm metabolic activity assessment allowed the consideration of abiotic and biotic fouling. The membrane resistance increased in the presence of active bacterial cells, regardless of the level of abiotic fouling. However, abiotic fouling and bacterial cell activity are not independent since abiotic fouling serves as a food source that helps activate cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalDesalination
Volume286
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Keywords

  • AFM
  • Activity
  • Biofouling
  • Characterization
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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