Synergistic Prevention of Biofouling in Seawater Desalination by Zwitterionic Surfaces and Low-Level Chlorination




Smooth, durable, ultrathin antifouling layers are deposited onto commercial reverse osmosis membranes without damaging them and they exhibit a fouling reduction. A new synergistic approach to antifouling, by coupling surface modification and drinking-water-level chlorination is enabled by the films' unique resistance against chlorine degradation. This approach substantially enhances longer-term fouling resistance compared with surface modification or chlorination alone, and can reduce freshwater production cost and its collateral toxicity to marine biota.