Gasket from Victaulic reduces microbial growth in RO systems

Biofouling occurs when microorganisms, fed by nutrients in the feedstock, clog membranes and prevent the system from operating at peak efficiency. When biofouling occurs, more pressure and therefore more energy is needed to push the water through the membranes. This can damage the equipment as well as require more frequent replacement of filtration media, leading to plant downtime and increased costs.

Victaulic’s research consisted of testing various commercial and R&D gasket compounds to evaluate microbiological resistance using three quantitative methods: biomass volume (W270), mean dissolved oxygen difference (MDOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). Based on the results, the researchers identified ingredients that do not support microbial growth, and optimized a new compound using those ingredients.

Jim Renner, vice president of water system technologies with Victaulic, said: “Although there are multiple causes of membrane biofouling, we think we’ve made significant strides in the elimination of one of those causes. We’re proud to be the only company in the mechanical pipe joining industry that does this type of proprietary research and development.”