Comparing membrane and spacer biofouling by Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Gram-positive Anoxybacillus sp. in forward osmosis

Anne Bogler, Douglas Rice, Francois Perreault, Edo Bar-Zeev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Bacteria of different Gram-types have inherently different outer cell structures, influencing cell surface properties and bacterial attachment. Dynamic biofouling experiments were conducted over four days in a bench-scale forward osmosis (FO) system with Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Gram-positive Anoxybacillus sp. Biofouling resulted in ∼10% decline in FO permeate water flux and was found to be significant for Anoxybacillus sp. but not for P. aeruginosa. Additionally, a stronger permeate water flux decline for P. aeruginosa in experiments with a superhydrophilic feed spacer demonstrated that mitigation methods require testing with different bacterial Gram-types. It was found that although permeate water flux decline can be affected by bacterial Gram-type the stable performance under enhanced biofouling conditions highlights the potential of FO for wastewater reclamation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-116
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019



  • bacteria Gram-type
  • biofouling
  • Forward osmosis
  • spacer modification
  • wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Water Science and Technology

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