Electrochemical self-cleaning anodic surfaces for biofouling control during water treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biofilm formation and growth on submerged surfaces causes numerous operational problems, ranging from hindering diffusion of pollutants to electrode surfaces during electrochemical water treatment to harboring pathogens in indoor plumbing. This work evaluates electrochemical biofilm dispersion kinetics from boron-doped diamond (BDD) surfaces in situ using optical coherence tomography microscopy to track the volume of biofilm (biovolume) on the electrode. After starting with a 75 μm thick biofilm, applying 50 mA cm−2 results in near complete biofilm removal after 60 min, with a pseudo first-order biovolume removal rate of 0.023 min−1; higher applied currents had negligible additional benefits. Thus, it appears plausible to attain biofouling mitigation through electrochemical self-cleaning of BDD electrodes, potentially via the following two-step process: 1) hydroxyl radical production on the electrode surface which oxidizes polysaccharides or other cellular materials that attach bacteria to surface, followed by 2) gas evolution on the electrode surface (beneath the biofilm), which pushes and sloughs off the biofilm. This novel approach to biofouling management can find applications in electrochemical water treatment and other important surfaces (e.g., electrodes, membrane spacers, heat exchange surfaces, interior pipe surfaces, etc.) in water treatment systems where biofilms develop and harbor microbial pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalElectrochemistry Communications
Volume96
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Fingerprint

Biofouling
Water treatment
Biofilms
Cleaning
Electrodes
Diamond
Boron
Pathogens
Diamonds
Plumbing
Optical tomography
Polysaccharides
Ports and harbors
Hydroxyl Radical
Bacteria
Microscopic examination
Gases
Pipe
Membranes
Kinetics

Keywords

  • Biofilms
  • Boron-doped diamond
  • Electrochemical advanced oxidation
  • Self-cleaning electrode
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry

Cite this

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title = "Electrochemical self-cleaning anodic surfaces for biofouling control during water treatment",
abstract = "Biofilm formation and growth on submerged surfaces causes numerous operational problems, ranging from hindering diffusion of pollutants to electrode surfaces during electrochemical water treatment to harboring pathogens in indoor plumbing. This work evaluates electrochemical biofilm dispersion kinetics from boron-doped diamond (BDD) surfaces in situ using optical coherence tomography microscopy to track the volume of biofilm (biovolume) on the electrode. After starting with a 75 μm thick biofilm, applying 50 mA cm−2 results in near complete biofilm removal after 60 min, with a pseudo first-order biovolume removal rate of 0.023 min−1; higher applied currents had negligible additional benefits. Thus, it appears plausible to attain biofouling mitigation through electrochemical self-cleaning of BDD electrodes, potentially via the following two-step process: 1) hydroxyl radical production on the electrode surface which oxidizes polysaccharides or other cellular materials that attach bacteria to surface, followed by 2) gas evolution on the electrode surface (beneath the biofilm), which pushes and sloughs off the biofilm. This novel approach to biofouling management can find applications in electrochemical water treatment and other important surfaces (e.g., electrodes, membrane spacers, heat exchange surfaces, interior pipe surfaces, etc.) in water treatment systems where biofilms develop and harbor microbial pathogens.",
keywords = "Biofilms, Boron-doped diamond, Electrochemical advanced oxidation, Self-cleaning electrode, Water treatment",
author = "Douglas Rice and Paul Westerhoff and Francois Perreault and {GARCIA SEGURA}, Sergio",
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AU - Rice, Douglas

AU - Westerhoff, Paul

AU - Perreault, Francois

AU - GARCIA SEGURA, Sergio

PY - 2018/11/1

Y1 - 2018/11/1

N2 - Biofilm formation and growth on submerged surfaces causes numerous operational problems, ranging from hindering diffusion of pollutants to electrode surfaces during electrochemical water treatment to harboring pathogens in indoor plumbing. This work evaluates electrochemical biofilm dispersion kinetics from boron-doped diamond (BDD) surfaces in situ using optical coherence tomography microscopy to track the volume of biofilm (biovolume) on the electrode. After starting with a 75 μm thick biofilm, applying 50 mA cm−2 results in near complete biofilm removal after 60 min, with a pseudo first-order biovolume removal rate of 0.023 min−1; higher applied currents had negligible additional benefits. Thus, it appears plausible to attain biofouling mitigation through electrochemical self-cleaning of BDD electrodes, potentially via the following two-step process: 1) hydroxyl radical production on the electrode surface which oxidizes polysaccharides or other cellular materials that attach bacteria to surface, followed by 2) gas evolution on the electrode surface (beneath the biofilm), which pushes and sloughs off the biofilm. This novel approach to biofouling management can find applications in electrochemical water treatment and other important surfaces (e.g., electrodes, membrane spacers, heat exchange surfaces, interior pipe surfaces, etc.) in water treatment systems where biofilms develop and harbor microbial pathogens.

AB - Biofilm formation and growth on submerged surfaces causes numerous operational problems, ranging from hindering diffusion of pollutants to electrode surfaces during electrochemical water treatment to harboring pathogens in indoor plumbing. This work evaluates electrochemical biofilm dispersion kinetics from boron-doped diamond (BDD) surfaces in situ using optical coherence tomography microscopy to track the volume of biofilm (biovolume) on the electrode. After starting with a 75 μm thick biofilm, applying 50 mA cm−2 results in near complete biofilm removal after 60 min, with a pseudo first-order biovolume removal rate of 0.023 min−1; higher applied currents had negligible additional benefits. Thus, it appears plausible to attain biofouling mitigation through electrochemical self-cleaning of BDD electrodes, potentially via the following two-step process: 1) hydroxyl radical production on the electrode surface which oxidizes polysaccharides or other cellular materials that attach bacteria to surface, followed by 2) gas evolution on the electrode surface (beneath the biofilm), which pushes and sloughs off the biofilm. This novel approach to biofouling management can find applications in electrochemical water treatment and other important surfaces (e.g., electrodes, membrane spacers, heat exchange surfaces, interior pipe surfaces, etc.) in water treatment systems where biofilms develop and harbor microbial pathogens.

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