Impact of feed spacer and membrane modification by hydrophilic, bactericidal and biocidal coating on biofouling control

P. A. Araújo, D. J. Miller, P. B. Correia, M. C.M. Van Loosdrecht, J. C. Kruithof, B. D. Freeman, D. R. Paul, J. S. Vrouwenvelder

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73 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of polydopamine- and polydopamine-. graft-poly(ethylene glycol)-coated feed spacers and membranes, copper-coated feed spacers, and commercially-available biostatic feed spacers on biofouling has been studied in membrane fouling simulators. Feed spacers and membranes applied in practical membrane filtration systems were used; biofouling development was monitored by feed channel pressure drop increase and biomass accumulation. Polydopamine and polydopamine-. g-PEG are hydrophilic surface modification agents expected to resist protein and bacterial adhesion, while copper feed spacer coatings and biocides infused in feed spacers are expected to restrict biological growth. Our studies showed that polydopamine and polydopamine-. g-PEG coatings on feed spacers and membranes, copper coatings on feed spacers, and a commercial biostatic feed spacer did not have a significant impact on feed channel pressure drop increase and biofilm accumulation as measured by ATP and TOC content. The studied spacer and membrane modifications were not effective for biofouling control; it is doubtful that feed spacer and membrane modification, in general, may be effective for biofouling control regardless of the type of applied coating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenosine tri phosphate
  • Membrane fouling simulator (MFS)
  • Nanofiltration (NF)
  • Reverse osmosis (RO)
  • Total organic carbon
  • Ultrafiltration (UF)

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