Development of a setup to enable stable and accurate flow conditions for membrane biofouling studies

Szilard Bucs, Nadia Farhat, Amber Siddiqui, Rodrigo Valladares Linares, Andrea Radu, Joop C. Kruithof, Johannes S. Vrouwenvelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Systematic laboratory studies on membrane biofouling require experimental conditions that are well defined and representative for practice. Hydrodynamics and flow rate variations affect biofilm formation, morphology, and detachment and impacts on membrane performance parameters such as feed channel pressure drop. There is a suite of available monitors to study biofouling, but systems to operate monitors have not been well designed to achieve an accurate, constant water flow required for a reliable determination of biomass accumulation and feed channel pressure drop increase. Studies were done with membrane fouling simulators operated in parallel with manual and automated flow control, with and without dosage of a biodegradable substrate to the feedwater to enhance biofouling rate. High flow rate variations were observed for the manual water flow system (up to ≈9%) compared to the automatic flow control system (
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12893-12901
Number of pages9
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 10 2015

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KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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