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Polysaccharide-hydrolysing enzymes enhance the in vitro cleaning efficiency of Nanofiltration membranes

Laboratoire ERRMECe-EA1391, Université de Cergy-Pontoise, rue Descartes site de Neuville-sur-Oise 95031 Cergy-Pontoise, cedex France

Special Issues: Mastering deleterious Biofilms

The development of biofilm on the surface of filtration membranes is the main fouling component of water filtration systems. Chemical cleaning is only partially effective in removing biofilm components from the membrane surface. In order to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of commercial cleaning solutions used in nanofiltration, we compared the in vitro efficacy of different commercial treatments, with or without the addition of polysaccharidases, to clean fouled membrane samples. The treatments were tested at two stages of biofilm development corresponding to 80 (D80) and 475 (D475) days of filtration in an industrial plant. The cleaning efficiency was evaluated by comparing the ATR-FTIR spectra before and after cleaning. At D80 and D475, all cleaning solutions led to a reduction of infrared signals from the biofilm. At D80, enzymatic alkaline detergent (AEDT) treatment was significantly more effective than alkaline detergent (ADT) treatment in removing proteins, but no significant difference in efficacy between the two treatments was observed for polysaccharides. The addition of polysaccharidases to AEDT did not bring any significant efficiency gain. At D475, ADT and AEDT treatments had the same efficacy, but the addition of polysaccharidases to the AEDT treatment significantly increased the removal of polysaccharides and proteins from the membrane surface. In conclusion, polysaccharidases can increase the in vitro efficacy of a commercially available alkaline enzymatic detergent cleaning solution against sufficiently developed biofilms. These results pave the way for the development of new cleaning solutions containing polysaccharide degrading enzymes for the cleaning of membranes used in the production of drinking water. Further experiments are needed to characterize the mechanism of this polysaccharidase effect and to confirm this increase in cleaning efficiency in an industrial context.
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© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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