Applied sciences

Chemical and Process Engineering


Chemical and Process Engineering | 2016 | vol. 37 | No 3 September |

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Water is a strategic material. Recycling is an important component of balancing its use. Deep-bed filtration is an inexpensive purification method and seems to be very effective in spreading water recovery. Good filter designs, such as the fibrous filter, have high separation efficiency, low resistance for the up-flowing fluid and high retention capacity. However, one of the substantial problems of this process is the biofouling of the filter. Biofouling causes clogging and greatly reduces the life of the filter. Therefore, the melt-blown technique was used for the formation of novel antibacterial fibrous filters. Such filters are made of polypropylene composites with zinc oxide and silver nanoparticles on the fiber surface. These components act as inhibitors of bacterial growth in the filter and were tested in laboratory and full scale experiments. Antibacterial/bacteriostatic tests were performed on Petri dishes with E. coli and B. subtilis. Full scale experiments were performed on natural river water, which contained abiotic particles and mutualistic bacteria. The filter performance at industrial scale conditions was measured using a particle counter, a flow cytometer and a confocal microscope. The results of the experiments indicate a significant improvement of the composite filter performance compared to the regular fibrous filter. The differences were mostly due to a reduction in the biofouling effect.

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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Sztuk-Sikorska
Gradoń Leon