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Water Res. 2016 Oct 15;103:293-301. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.07.049. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Biofouling control: Bacterial quorum quenching versus chlorination in membrane bioreactors.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41566, Republic of Korea; Department of Engineering Technology, Faculty of Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda 10250, Sri Lanka.
2
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41566, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: chookh@knu.ac.kr.
3
School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Biofilm formation (biofouling) induced via cell-to-cell communication (quorum sensing) causes problems in membrane filtration processes. Chorine is one of the most common chemicals used to interfere with biofouling; however, biofouling control is challenging because it is a natural process. This study demonstrates biofouling control for submerged hollow fiber membranes in membrane bioreactors by means of bacterial quorum quenching (QQ) using Rhodococcus sp. BH4 with chemically enhanced backwashing. This is the first trial to bring QQ alongside chlorine injection into practice. A high chlorine dose (100 mg/L as Cl2) to the system is insufficient for preventing biofouling, but addition of the QQ bacterium is effective for disrupting biofouling that cannot be achieved by chlorination alone. QQ reduces the biologically induced metal precipitate and extracellular biopolymer levels in the biofilm, and biofouling is significantly delayed when QQ is applied in addition to chlorine dosing. QQ with chlorine injection gives synergistic effects on reducing physically and chemically reversible fouling resistances while saving substantial filtration energy. Manipulating microbial community functions with chemical treatment is an attractive tool for biofilm dispersal in membrane bioreactors.

KEYWORDS:

Biofouling; Cell communication; Chlorination; Quorum quenching; Signal molecule

PMID:
27474939
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2016.07.049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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