ClO2 for biofouling control in Seawater Reverse Osmosis


Project Description

It is desirable to apply a disinfectant for biofouling control in the membrane elements as well as in the intake system of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants. Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) would be an ideal candidate, since it is a highly effective disinfectant, does not produce chlorinated disinfection by-products, and as a dissolved gas it easily passes the membrane, allowing disinfection of the permeate side. Compared to chlorine and chloramine, ClO2 is a less aggressive oxidant, however, it has a higher oxidizing capacity. Polyamide membranes are known to be easily damaged by oxidants, and the potential for membrane damage is hampering the application of ClO2 in reverse osmosis. The presence of bromine, relatively high pH and high temperature, suggests that in Middle East, it is a serious possibility that membrane damage occurs in SWRO. Conversely, it is highly likely that ClO2 dosing is effective against biofouling, since it is an effective disinfectant and it can easily be transported into the biofilm and through the membrane.
Program - Environmental Science and Engineering
Division - Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Faculty Lab Link -
Center Affiliation - Water Desalination and Reuse Center
Field of Study - Environmental science and engineering

About the

Johannes Vrouwenvelder

Professor, Environmental Science and Engineering<br/>Director, Water Desalination and Reuse Center<br/>

Johannes Vrouwenvelder

Professor Vrouwenvelder studies microbiological and process technological aspects of water treatment and transport. This includes fouling control of membrane systems and cooling towers, and sensors and tools for biofouling/biofilm monitoring and rapid sensitive microbial water quality monitoring. Additionally, Professor Vrouwenvelder performs numerical modelling of fouling and water treatment system performance, and studies the dynamics of the microbial ecology of water distribution systems.

Desired Project Deliverables

The main objective is to evaluate the potential membrane damage due to ClO2, and the second objective is to evaluate the effect of ClO2 on fouling.