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Water Res ; 203: 117506, 2021 Sep 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34371231


The bacterial growth potential (BGP) of drinking water is widely assessed either by flow cytometric intact cell count (BGPICC) or adenosine triphosphate (BGPATP) based methods. Combining BGPICC and BGPATP measurements has been previously applied for various types of drinking water having high to low growth potential. However, this has not been applied for water with ultra-low nutrient content, such as remineralised RO permeate. To conduct a sound comparison, conventionally treated drinking water was included in this study, which was also used as an inoculum source. BGPICC, BGPATP, intact cell-yield (YICC), and ATP-yield (YATP) were determined for conventionally treated drinking water (Tap-water) and remineralised RO permeate (RO-water). In addition, both BGPICC and BGPATP methods were used to identify the growth-limiting nutrient in each water type. The results showed that the BGPICC ratio between Tap-water/RO-water was ∼7.5, whereas the BGPATP ratio was only ∼4.5. Moreover, the YICC ratio between Tap-water/RO-water was ∼2 (9.8 ± 0.6 × 106 vs. 4.6 ± 0.8 × 106 cells/µg-C), whereas the YATP ratio was ∼1 (0.39 ± 0.12 vs. 0.42 ± 0.06 ng ATP/µg-C), resulting in a consistently higher ATP per cell in RO-water than that of Tap-water. Both BGPICC and BGPATP methods revealed that carbon was the growth-limiting nutrient in the two types of water. However, with the addition of extra carbon, phosphate limitation was detected only with the BGPICC method, whereas BGPATP was not affected, suggesting that a combination of carbon and phosphate is essential for biomass synthesis, whereas carbon is probably utilised for cellular activities other than cell synthesis when phosphate is limited. It was estimated that the intact cell-yield growing on phosphate would be 0.70 ± 0.05 × 109 cells/µg PO4-P.

Água Potável , Purificação da Água , Trifosfato de Adenosina , Contagem de Células , Nutrientes , Osmose
Water Res ; 195: 116959, 2021 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33676179


The properties of biofilm EPS are determined by the multiple interactions between its constituents and the surrounding environment. Because of the high complexity of biofilm EPS, its constituents' characterisation is still far from thorough, and identification of these interactions cannot be done yet. Therefore, we use gels of bacterial alginate-like exopolysaccharides (ALEs) as a model component for biofilm EPS in this work. These gels have been examined for their cohesive properties as a function of CaCl2 and KCl concentration. Hereto, ALE gel layers were formed on membranes by dead-end filtration of ALE solutions. Accumulation of the cations Ca2+ and K+ in the gels could be well predicted from a Donnan equilibrium model based on the fixed negative charges in the ALE. This suggests that there is no specific binding of Ca2+ to the ALE and that on the time scale of the experiments, the Ca2+ ions can distribute freely over the gel and the surrounding solution. The concentration of fixed negative charges in the ALE was estimated around 1 mmol/g VSS (volatile suspended solids, organic mass) from the Donnan equilibrium. Moreover, an accumulation of H+ was predicted. Gels with more CaCl2 in the supernatant were more compact and bore a higher osmotic pressure than those with less CaCl2, revealing the role of Ca2+ ions in the network crosslinking. It is hypothesised that this mechanism later transitions into a rearrangement of the ALE molecules, which eventually leads to a fibrous network structure with large voids.

Alginatos , Matriz Extracelular de Substâncias Poliméricas , Biofilmes , Géis , Íons
Water Res ; 71: 171-86, 2015 Mar 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25616114


Biofouling is still a major challenge in the application of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. Here we present a platform approach for environmentally friendly biofouling control using a combination of a hydrogel-coated feed spacer and two-phase flow cleaning. Neutral (polyHEMA-co-PEG10MA), cationic (polyDMAEMA) and anionic (polySPMA) hydrogels have been successfully grafted onto polypropylene (PP) feed spacers via plasma-mediated UV-polymerization. These coatings maintained their chemical stability after 7 days incubation in neutral (pH 7), acidic (pH 5) and basic (pH 9) environments. Anti-biofouling properties of these coatings were evaluated by Escherichia coli attachment assay and nanofiltration experiments at a TMP of 600 kPag using tap water with additional nutrients as feed and by using optical coherence tomography. Especially the anionic polySPMA-coated PP feed spacer shows reduced attachment of E. coli and biofouling in the spacer-filled narrow channels resulting in delayed biofilm growth. Employing this highly hydrophilic coating during removal of biofouling by two-phase flow cleaning also showed enhanced cleaning efficiency, feed channel pressure drop and flux recoveries. The strong hydrophilic nature and the presence of negative charge on polySPMA are most probably responsible for the improved antifouling behavior. A combination of polySPMA-coated PP feed spacers and two-phase flow cleaning therefore is promising and an environmentally friendly approach to control biofouling in NF/RO systems employing spiral-wound membrane modules.

Incrustação Biológica , Filtração/instrumentação , Membranas Artificiais , Purificação da Água/instrumentação , Biofilmes , Escherichia coli , Filtração/métodos , Hidrogel de Polietilenoglicol-Dimetacrilato , Polipropilenos/química , Purificação da Água/métodos
Water Res ; 48: 498-507, 2014 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24156950


Phosphate limitation has been reported as an effective approach to inhibit biofouling in reverse osmosis (RO) systems for water purification. The rejection of dissolved phosphate by negatively charged TiO2 tight ultrafiltration (UF) membranes (1 kDa and 3 kDa) was observed. These membranes can potentially be adopted as an effective process for RO pre-treatment in order to constrain biofouling by phosphate limitation. This paper focuses on electrostatic interactions during tight UF filtration. Despite the larger pore size, the 3 kDa ceramic membrane exhibited greater phosphate rejection than the 1 kDa membrane, because the 3 kDa membrane has a greater negative surface charge and thus greater electrostatic repulsion against phosphate. The increase of pH from 6 to 8.5 led to a substantial increase in phosphate rejection by both membranes due to increased electrostatic repulsion. At pH 8.5, the maximum phosphate rejections achieved by the 1 kDa and 3 kDa membrane were 75% and 86%, respectively. A Debye ratio (ratio of the Debye length to the pore radius) is introduced in order to evaluate double layer overlapping in tight UF membranes. Threshold Debye ratios were determined as 2 and 1 for the 1 kDa and 3 kDa membranes, respectively. A Debye ratio below the threshold Debye ratio leads to dramatically decreased phosphate rejection by tight UF membranes. The phosphate rejection by the tight UF, in combination with chemical phosphate removal by coagulation, might accomplish phosphate-limited conditions for biological growth and thus prevent biofouling in the RO systems.

Cerâmica , Membranas Artificiais , Fosfatos/química , Eletricidade Estática , Incrustação Biológica , Osmose , Ultrafiltração