1. Hydrogel-coated feed spacers in two-phase flow cleaning in spiral wound membrane elements: A novel platform for eco-friendly biofouling mitigation

    Hydrogel-coated feed spacers in two-phase flow cleaning in spiral wound membrane elements: A novel platform for eco-friendly biofouling mitigation

    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-PEG 10 MA), 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 ...

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