Application of liquid-infused membranes to mitigate biofouling

Hanieh Bazyar, Linya Xu, Hendrik Jan De Vries, Slawomir Porada, Rob G.H. Lammertink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Among different types of membrane fouling, biofouling is a critical issue which can significantly reduce the process productivity. If the initial phase of the microorganism attachment to the pore wall is prevented, a remarkable reduction in biofilm formation can be obtained. A novel approach to achieve this goal is the infusion of the porous membrane with an infusion liquid (oil) forming liquid-infused membranes (LIMs). It has been shown that the pore wall during permeation is still covered with the infusion liquid forming so-called liquid-lined pores. The liquid-lining can enhance anti-biofouling performance by preventing direct contact between the microorganisms and pore wall. Here, we investigate the capability of LIMs in mitigation of biofouling by conducting long-term cross-flow filtration experiments at constant flow rate for approximately 10-20 days. The results show significantly lower increase in transmembrane pressure (TMP) values for LIMs compared to non-infused counterparts (dry membranes). The bacterial growth curves are further investigated by fitting a sigmoidal function (logistic model). Approximately 4 times increase in the lag period λ and 7 times decrease in the bacterial growth rate μm are observed for LIMs compared to dry membranes revealing improved anti-biofouling performance of LIMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science: Water Research and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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