Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) technology is a promising alternative to municipal and industrial wastewater treatment owing to low sludge production and wide range of acceptable influents. Biofouling in MBRs hampers long term functionality of the system through reduction in permeate flux over time. Membrane biofouling could necessitate periodic membrane backwashing or even require membrane replacement, thus increasing operational cost for the systems. Microbe-secreted extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) forms a complex matrix on the surface; is persistent against physical removal and tends to resist high concentrations of antimicrobial agents, thus playing a major role in membrane biofouling. There is a need for developing methods towards efficient removal of biofoulants from surfaces. In tandem with low DC current, the synergistic effect of antimicrobial agents has been reported successful towards reducing biofilm formation leading to biofouling. This paper discusses the application of in-plane bioelectric effect as a solution to biofouling in MBRs; especially Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Desalination Cells towards harnessing in-situ current for tackling biofouling, thus facilitating longer system functionality.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.