Biofouling control by UV/H2O2 pretreatment for brackish water reverse osmosis process

Anat Lakretz, Hadas Mamane, Eli Asa, Tali Harif, Moshe Herzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


UV applied with H2O2 is a well-known advanced oxidation process (AOP) for degradation of trace organic compounds. However, the UV/H2O2 process has scarcely been documented as a disinfection method for brackish or seawater applications or particularly as a potential reverse osmosis (RO) biofouling control tool in varied treatment scenarios. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential of medium-pressure (MP)-UV/H2O2 as a pretreatment step to control brackish water RO (BWRO) biofouling caused by indigenous microorganisms. UV/H2O2 pretreatment significantly reduced total heterotrophic counts. Consequently, the quantity of biofilm cells and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) following UV/H2O2 pretreatment was significantly lower than that obtained after the control and the singular UV pretreatment steps. This is attributed to the additive or synergistic effect of MP UV light, H2O2 and OH radicals. Hence, UV/H2O2 has a high potential as a biofouling control tool in BWRO desalination systems. Higher H2O2 concentrations may achieve improved biofouling control due to enhanced radical formation and higher H2O2 residual effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1344
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science: Water Research and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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