Desalination | VOL. 503

A biomimetic antimicrobial surface for membrane fouling control in reverse osmosis for seawater desalination

Publication Date May 1, 2021


Abstract Membrane fouling occurs in all membrane processes. Surface modifications have gained popularity for enhancing membrane antifouling capability via introducing a hydrophilic component or reducing membrane surface roughness. In this work, we proposed to develop a green antimicrobial lysozyme nanofilm on the polyamide membrane surface with remarkable antibacterial and antifouling properties to effectively reduce membrane fouling. The nanofilm is rooted in the molecular assembly of a protein which is an extraction of food and natural products. The nanofilm exhibits the combination of various functions including antimicrobial, antifouling and antibiofilm. This protein-based nanofilm is robustly transferred and self-adhered on the membrane surface by a simple one-step aqueous coating. The modified RO membrane exhibited good performance in bacterial reduction of ~50% in comparison to the control membrane and experienced almost zero loss in water flux and salt rejection under SWRO testing condition. The membrane is further evaluated with real seawater for 14 days and the modified membrane showed its superiority in flux and fouling control which were verified by the confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and quantified by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES). This work demonstrates that the protein-based biomaterials offer a safe and environmentally friendly way of antimicrobials, which can reduce membrane fouling significantly in membrane filtration.


Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer Reverse Osmosis For Seawater Desalination Extraction Of Food Polyamide Membrane Surface Membrane Fouling Reduce Membrane Fouling Membrane Surface Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy Salt Rejection

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