American Water/Drexel U to research desalination fouling

The WateReuse Research Foundation has provided a grant to American Water Works Company Inc (American Water) for a joint research project with Drexel University, Philadelphia, to measure and reduce biological fouling on membrane filters in desalination applications.

The project Application of the Bioluminescent Saltwater Assimilable Organic Carbon (AOC) Test as a Tool for Identifying and Reducing Reverse-Osmosis (RO) Membrane Fouling in Desalination provides American Water with an opportunity to appy its recently developed rapid test for measuring AOC in seawater.

American Water is partnering with Dr Charles Haas, LD Betz professor of environmental engineering and head of the Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering at Drexel University, to monitor biological fouling potential using a new tool for measuring readily biodegradable components in seawater.

American Water says that the desalination industry will benefit from improved membrane operations by monitoring and controlling biodegradable matter in the pretreatment process. The total value of the project is US$ 248,170, with US$ 98,452 funded by the WRRF and US$ 149,718 in-kind contribution from the research partners.

The project team will consist of Dr Haas as principal investigator and American Water’s Dr Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship, as co-principal investigator. Lauren Weinrich will serve as the project manager.