Improved Anti-Biofouling Performance of Thin -Film Composite Forward-Osmosis Membranes Containing Passive and Active Moieties

Longbin Qi, Yunxia Hu, Zhongyun Liu, Xiaochan An, Edo Bar-Zeev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forward osmosis (FO) has gained increasing attention in desalination, wastewater treatment, and power generation. However, biofouling remains a major obstacle for the sustainable development of the FO process. Both passive and active strategies have been developed to mitigate membrane biofouling. A comprehensive understanding of different strategies and mechanisms has fundamental significance for the antifouling membrane development. In this study, thin-film composite (TFC) FO membranes were modified with polydopamine (PDA) coating as a passive antibacterial moiety and silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) as an active antibacterial moiety. Their anti-biofouling performances were investigated both in static and dynamic conditions. In static exposure, the PDA-coated membranes exhibited great passive anti-adhesive property, and the Ag-NP-generated membranes presented both of excellent passive anti-adhesive properties and active antibacterial performance. While in dynamic cross-flow running conditions, Ag NPs effectively mitigated the membrane water flux decline due to their inhibition of biofilm growth, the PDA coating failed because of its inability to inactivate the attached bacteria growth. Moreover, Ag NPs were stable and active on membrane surfaces after 24 h of cross-flow operation. These findings provide new insights into the performances and mechanisms of passive and active moieties in the FO process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9684-9693
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume52
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2018

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