Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

R. Scott. Summers

Second Advisor

Karl Linden

Third Advisor

Mark Hernandez


Biofouling is often called the "Archilles heel" because it has been known to be responsible for about half membrane fouling. For reducing membrane biofouling, metabolic and nutrient conditions were considered without and with biofilter pretreatment in this study.

Both autotrophic and heterotrophic conditions showed similar flux decline behavior without pretreatment. Biofiltration pretreatment improved the membrane flux by approximately 50% under both conditions. Among five different nutrient conditions, the balanced condition was the worst without pretreatment and the best with biofilter pretreatment for reducing flux decline. Biofitration pretreatment significantly improved the membrane performance in every condition. Without pretreatment, ATP was strongly correlated (R2 = 0.76) with flux decline. With pretreatment, EPS gave a better relationship with flux decline than ATP. ATP and EPS were inversely related without pretreatment.