Comparison of disinfection-residual-bacteria (DRB) after seven different kinds of disinfection: Biofilm formation, membrane fouling and mechanisms – PubMed (

Published on 07/20/2022 | by Waterline Admin

Wang HB, Wu YH, Wang WL, Chen Z, Chen GQ, Luo LW, Xue S, Tong X, Zhang ZW, Ikuno N, Ishii K, Hu HY. Comparison of disinfection-residual-bacteria (DRB) after seven different kinds of disinfection: Biofilm formation, membrane fouling and mechanisms. Sci Total Environ. 2022 Jun 29:157079. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157079. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35779720.


  • Membrane fouling is the Achilles’ heel of the reverse osmosis (RO) system for high-quality reclaimed water production.
  • Previous studies have found that after the significant selection effect of traditional disinfection, the remaining disinfection-residual bacteria (DRB) may possess more severe biofouling potentials.
  • This study compared the RO membrane fouling characteristics of DRB after using five commonly used disinfection methods (NaClO, NH2Cl, ClO2, UV, and O3) and two novel disinfection methods (K2FeO4and the flow-through electrode system (FES)).
  • Compared with the control group (undisinfected, 21.1 % flux drop), the UV-DRB biofilm aggravated biofouling of the RO membrane (23.4 % flux drop), while the FES, K2FeO4, and NH2Cl treatments showed less severe biofouling, with final flux drops of 6.9 %, 8.1 %, and 8.1 %, respectively.
  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) was found to be a capable indicator for predicting the biofouling potential of DRB.
  • Systematic analysis showed that the thickness and density of the DRB biofilms were most closely related to the different fouling degree of RO membranes. Moreover, the relative abundance of bacteria with higher extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) secretion levels, such as Pseudomonas and Sphingomonas, was found closely related with the biofouling degree of RO membranes.



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Grime Scene


Following on from the successful Grime Scene competition, we have decided to continue the theme for another year, but with a twist. This year, we are asking for photographs of the grimiest pictures you can find accompanied with another photograph of how the ‘scene’ has been improved by your maintenance or cleaning.

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