The effects of biofouling on a reverse osmosis membrane purification system at Sasol, Sasolburg

Show simple item record Takaidza, Samkeliso 2021-04-29T00:42:51Z 2021-04-29T00:42:51Z 2011-06
dc.description M. Tech. (Biotechnology, Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences), Vaal University of Technology. en_US
dc.description.abstract Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are widely used in water purification. The presence of biofilms in water and industrial water purification systems is prevalent. As a result, biofouling which is a biofilm problem causes adverse effects on reverse osmosis process, which include flux decline, shorter membrane lifetime and an increase in energy consumption The effect of biofouling on RO membranes was investigated at a water treatment facility at Sasol, Sasolburg by investigating the quality of water purified by the RO system and the extent of fouling that is attributed to biofouling. Chemical and microbiological data was averaged based on the results obtained from water analysis and samples from a fouled membrane. Bacteriological plate counts ranged between log 1.5 to 4 cfu/ml in water samples and log 3.9 to 4.5 cfu/cm2 on biofilm from the membrane surface. Water analysis indicated a high conductivity of 121 µS/cm in the feed and 81 ppm of the TDS, whereas in the permeate conductivity was found to be around 6 µS/cm and 3.8 ppm of the TDS. This indicated that components present in the feed were retained by the membrane. This was supported by membrane autopsy which showed that the bacteria and elements found in the feedwater were also present on the membrane surface, hence contributing to fouling. An average of 33% of cellular ATP was measured on the biofilm from membrane sample, showing that the fouling bacteria are metabolically active in situ. The results clearly indicated that an important biological activity occurred at the membrane surface. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Vaal University of Technology en_US
dc.subject extracellular polymeric substance, Flocculent, reverse osmosis, solids, desalination, polarization, colloid, biofouling en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Extracellular polymeric substance en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Water -- Purification -- Reverse osmosis process en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Fouling en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Dissertations, Academic -- South Africa en_US
dc.title The effects of biofouling on a reverse osmosis membrane purification system at Sasol, Sasolburg en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Stegmann, Dr. P. Van Wyk, C. S.

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