Crossing the Border between Laboratory and Field: Bacterial Quorum Quenching for Anti-Biofouling Strategy in an MBR

Seonki Lee, Seung Kook Park, Hyeokpil Kwon, Sang Hyun Lee, Kibaek Lee, Chang Hyun Nahm, Sung Jun Jo, Hyun Suk Oh, Pyung Kyu Park, Kwang Ho Choo, Chung Hak Lee, Taewoo Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Quorum quenching (QQ) has recently been acknowledged to be a sustainable antifouling strategy and has been investigated widely using lab-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems. This study attempted to bring this QQ-MBR closer to potential practical application. Two types of pilot-scale QQ-MBRs with QQ bacteria entrapping beads (QQ-beads) were installed and run at a wastewater treatment plant, feeding real municipal wastewater to test the systems' effectiveness for membrane fouling control and thus the amount of energy savings, even under harsh environmental conditions. The rate of transmembrane pressure (TMP) build-up was significantly mitigated in QQ-MBR compared to that in a conventional-MBR. Consequently, QQ-MBR can substantially reduce energy consumption by reducing coarse bubble aeration without compromising the effluent water quality. The addition of QQ-beads to a conventional MBR substantially affected the EPS concentrations, as well as microbial floc size in the mixed liquor. Furthermore, the QQ activity and mechanical stability of QQ-beads were well maintained for at least four months, indicating QQ-MBR has good potential for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1788-1795
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 16

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Commercializations Promotion Agency for R&D Outcomes (COMPA) (2014K000240) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MISP) and Convergence Technology Program (2015001640001) funded by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Crossing the Border between Laboratory and Field: Bacterial Quorum Quenching for Anti-Biofouling Strategy in an MBR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this