Ultrafiltration, nanofiltration membranes and feed spacers were hydrophilized with polydopamine and polydopamine- g-poly(ethylene glycol) surface coatings. The fouling propensity of modified and unmodified membranes was evaluated by short-term batch protein and bacterial adhesion tests. The fouling propensity of modified and unmodified membranes and spacers was evaluated by continuous biofouling experiments in a membrane fouling simulator. The goals of the study were: 1) to determine the effectiveness of polydopamine and polydopamine- g-poly(ethylene glycol) membrane coatings for biofouling control and 2) to compare techniques commonly used in assessment of membrane biofouling propensity with biofouling experiments under practical conditions. Short-term adhesion tests were carried out under static, no-flow conditions for 1 h using bovine serum albumin, a common model globular protein, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common model Gram-negative bacterium. Biofouling tests were performed in a membrane fouling simulator (MFS) for several days under flow conditions similar to those encountered in industrial modules with the autochthonous drinking water population and acetate dosage as organic substrate. Polydopamine- and polydopamine- g-poly(ethylene glycol)-modified membranes showed significantly reduced adhesion of bovine serum albumin and P. aeruginosa in the short-term adhesion tests, but no reduction of biofouling was observed during longer biofouling experiments with modified membranes and spacers. These results demonstrate that short-term batch adhesion experiments using model proteins or bacteria under static conditions are not indicative of biofouling, while continuous biofouling experiments showed that membrane surface modification by polydopamine and polydopamine- g-poly(ethylene glycol) is not effective for biofouling control. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
- Water Science and Technology
- Ecological Modeling
- Waste Management and Disposal