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Role of Reverse Divalent Cation Diffusion in Forward Osmosis Biofouling

We investigated the role of reverse divalent cation diffusion in forward osmosis (FO) biofouling. FO biofouling by Pseudomonas aeruginosa was simulated using pristine and chlorine-treated thin-film composite polyamide membranes with either MgCl2 or CaCl2 draw solution. We related FO biofouling behavior—water flux decline, biofilm architecture, and biofilm composition—to reverse cation diffusion. Experimental results demonstrated that reverse calcium diffusion led to significantly more severe water flux decline in comparison with reverse magnesium permeation. Unlike magnesium, reverse calcium permeation dramatically altered the biofilm architecture and composition, where extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) formed a thicker, denser, and more stable biofilm. We propose that FO biofouling was enhanced by complexation of calcium ions to bacterial EPS. This hypothesis was confirmed by dynamic and static light scattering measurements using extracted bacterial EPS with the addition of either MgCl2 or CaCl2 s...

Authors:   Ming Xie; Edo Bar-Zeev; Sara M. Hashmi; Long D. Nghiem; Menachem Elimelech
Journal:   Environmental Science & Technology
Year:   2015
DOI:   10.1021/acs.est.5b02728
Publication date:   09-Nov-2015
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • solution
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Flux
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