Biofouling in RO system: mechanisms, monitoring and controlling

Al-Juboori, Raed A. and Yusaf, Talal (2012) Biofouling in RO system: mechanisms, monitoring and controlling. Desalination, 302. pp. 1-23. ISSN 0011-9164


The reverse osmosis (RO) technology offers a solution for the shortage of pristine water resources worldwide, through its capacity on treating all water kinds such as seawater, wastewater, ground water and surface water. The main concern in using RO technology for water treatment is fouling problems, and in particular biofouling. Biofouling negatively affects the quality of RO product and renders RO a costly technology for water treatment. The key solution to reduce the risk of biofouling in RO system lies in understanding the process of biofouling formation, choosing an adequate biofilm monitoring technique and applying effective biofouling control treatment for the RO membrane system. In this paper, the mechanisms of microbial adhesion to RO membrane are illustrated along with the key factors that influence the microbial adhesion process. In addition to that, the common strategies for biofilm monitoring in water flow systems are reviewed with highlighting applications, advantages and disadvantages of each strategy. The common biofouling control methods for reducing the formation of biofouling in the RO system are also presented in this paper. The application of the environmentally friendly physical disinfection techniques for biofouling control in the RO membrane system is suggested in this paper.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Available online 21 July 2012. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 02:57
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 22:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: biofouling; controlling biofouling; microbial adhesion; monitoring biofouling; reverse osmosis membrane
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060106 Cellular Interactions (incl. Adhesion, Matrix, Cell Wall)
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090508 Water Quality Engineering
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961103 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (excl. Urban and Industrial Use)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2012.06.016

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