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Biofouling of FeNP-Coated SWRO Membranes with Bacteria Isolated after Pre-Treatment in the Sea of Cortez

1
Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora. 5 de Febrero 818 Sur, Cd. Obregón, Sonora, C.P. 85000, Mexico
2
CONACYT–Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, 5 de Febrero 818 Sur, Cd. Obregón, Sonora, C.P. 85000, Mexico
3
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(7), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9070462
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Marine Antifouling Coatings)
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Abstract

Commercial seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) membranes were coated with iron nanoparticles (FeNPs) and biofouled with a bacterium strain isolated from the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. This strain was selected and characterized, as it was the only cultivable strain in pretreated seawater. Molecular identification of the strain showed that it belongs to Bacillus halotolerans MCC1. This strain was Gram positive with spore production, and was susceptible to Fe+2 toxicity with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 1.8 g L−1. Its biofouling potential on both uncoated and FeNP coated reverse osmosis (RO) membranes was measured via biofilm layer thickness, total cell count, optical density and organic matter. The FeNP-coated RO membrane presented a significant reduction in biofilm cake layer thickness (>90%), total cells (>67%), optical density (>42%) and organic matter (>92%) with respect to an uncoated commercial membrane. Thus, Bacillus halotolerans MCC1 shows great potential to biofoul RO membranes as it can pass through ultrafiltration membranes due to its spore producing ability; nonetheless, FeNP-coated membranes represent a potential alternative to mitigate RO membrane biofouling. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bacillus halotolerans; biofouling; reverse osmosis; model biofoulant; iron nanoparticles Bacillus halotolerans; biofouling; reverse osmosis; model biofoulant; iron nanoparticles
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MDPI and ACS Style

Armendáriz-Ontiveros, M.M.; Fimbres Weihs, G.A.; de los Santos Villalobos, S.; Salinas-Rodriguez, S.G. Biofouling of FeNP-Coated SWRO Membranes with Bacteria Isolated after Pre-Treatment in the Sea of Cortez. Coatings 2019, 9, 462.

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