Issue 1, 2021

Application of liquid-infused membranes to mitigate biofouling


Among different types of membrane fouling, biofouling is a critical issue which can significantly reduce the process productivity. If the initial phase of the microorganism attachment to the pore wall is prevented, a remarkable reduction in biofilm formation can be obtained. A novel approach to achieve this goal is the infusion of the porous membrane with an infusion liquid (oil) forming liquid-infused membranes (LIMs). It has been shown that the pore wall during permeation is still covered with the infusion liquid forming so-called liquid-lined pores. The liquid-lining can enhance anti-biofouling performance by preventing direct contact between the microorganisms and pore wall. Here, we investigate the capability of LIMs in mitigation of biofouling by conducting long-term cross-flow filtration experiments at constant flow rate for approximately 10–20 days. The results show significantly lower increase in transmembrane pressure (TMP) values for LIMs compared to non-infused counterparts (dry membranes). The bacterial growth curves are further investigated by fitting a sigmoidal function (logistic model). Approximately 4 times increase in the lag period λ and 7 times decrease in the bacterial growth rate μm are observed for LIMs compared to dry membranes revealing improved anti-biofouling performance of LIMs.

Graphical abstract: Application of liquid-infused membranes to mitigate biofouling

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Article information

Article type
06 Mar 2020
16 Sep 2020
First published
17 Sep 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2021,7, 68-77

Application of liquid-infused membranes to mitigate biofouling

H. Bazyar, L. Xu, H. J. de Vries, S. Porada and R. G. H. Lammertink, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2021, 7, 68 DOI: 10.1039/D0EW00203H

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