Biofouling of reverse osmosis membranes: Microbial quorum sensing and fouling propensity

Sejin Kim, Sangyoup Lee, Seungkwan Hong, Youngsook Oh, Mijin Seoul, Jihyang Kweon, Taehyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fouled RO membranes from a real water treatment plant were analyzed biochemically to investigate the role of quorum sensing in controlling the rate and the extent of biofilm formation on the membrane surface. The results showed that 60% of bacterial species found on the fouled membrane surface contribute to biofilm formation through the active intraspecies as well as interspecies communication. It was confirmed that N-acylated homoserine lactones (AHL) produced from microorganisms involved in the quorum sensing transferred bacterial signal. In addition, flow field-flow fractionation (Fl-FFF) analyses demonstrated that most microorganisms contributing to biofilm formation through quorum sensing exhibited favorable adsorption on the membrane surfaces. The skewness values of these microorganisms were noticeably greater than those of organic macromolecules (i.e., natural organic matter) and particles. The study suggests that biochemical control of interfering quorum sensing could be an effective alternative to control biofilm formation and, thus, the reduction in biofouling of RO membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-315
Number of pages13
JournalDesalination
Volume247
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 1

Fingerprint

Biofouling
Osmosis membranes
biofouling
Reverse osmosis
Fouling
fouling
Biofilms
biofilm
membrane
Membranes
Microorganisms
microorganism
Acyl-Butyrolactones
Water treatment plants
skewness
Fractionation
Macromolecules
Biological materials
flow field
Flow fields

Keywords

  • Biofouling
  • Fl-FFF
  • Fouling propensity
  • Quorum sensing
  • RO membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Biofouling of reverse osmosis membranes : Microbial quorum sensing and fouling propensity. / Kim, Sejin; Lee, Sangyoup; Hong, Seungkwan; Oh, Youngsook; Seoul, Mijin; Kweon, Jihyang; Kim, Taehyun.

In: Desalination, Vol. 247, No. 1-3, 01.10.2009, p. 303-315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kim, Sejin ; Lee, Sangyoup ; Hong, Seungkwan ; Oh, Youngsook ; Seoul, Mijin ; Kweon, Jihyang ; Kim, Taehyun. / Biofouling of reverse osmosis membranes : Microbial quorum sensing and fouling propensity. In: Desalination. 2009 ; Vol. 247, No. 1-3. pp. 303-315.
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