Fast and efficient separation of seawater algae using a low-fouling micro/nano-composite membrane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


High suspended solid loadings due to harmful algal bloom (HAB) pose serious threat to the operation of membrane based desalination plants. Clogging of algal biomass could lead to irreversible damage of the filtration units and eventually disrupting the sustainability of water supply. In this study, we demonstrated a fast and efficient method for separating algae from seawater using a low-fouling micro/nano-composite membrane. The composite membrane was made of a nanoporous nanofiber selective layer on top of a microporous microfiber support layer. The optimized nanoporous selective layer of this composite membrane can effectively separate seawater algae with high efficiency (average 99%) and high flux (3 × 10−5 m3/m2·s) under low operation pressure. More importantly, the membrane exhibits excellent anti-fouling property by maintaining constant water flux and algae rejection rate after a simple backwashing without chemical usage. This superior antifouling property attributes to the underwater superoleophobicity of the composite membrane. These combined merits of fastness, effectiveness and fouling resistance render this membrane-based separation method with greater potential for industrial application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018



  • Algae removal
  • Composite membrane
  • Low-fouling
  • Pretreatment for seawater desalination
  • Superhydrophilicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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