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Removing manganese as pre-treatment to limit (bio)fouling in oligotrophic conditions

  • 15 September, 2023
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Technology
  • C.J.N. Buisman
  • dr. M.C. A.R. MolA. Larasati

Manganese (Mn) is a trace metal found in many aquatic resources and is essential for the survival of various living organisms. In water, Mn naturally exists as Mn2+, but it can transform into insoluble forms (Mn3+, Mn4+) due to oxidizing agents and pH variations. However, the accumulation of these forms during water treatment can cause membrane fouling, forming black fouling layers that can negatively impact the efficiency and performance of engineered systems like reverse osmosis. This fouling is irreversible and can result in increased maintenance and operation costs. Furthermore, Mn oxides can provide nutrients for microbial growth and biofilm formation in nutrient-scarce environments. Therefore, alternative methods for removing Mn from water sources before oxidizing and forming insoluble oxides are necessary to prevent fouling in water treatment processes. This approach can help maintain system performance and efficiency while reducing operational costs and the need for frequent maintenance. It is also crucial to understand the role of Mn in promoting microbial growth and biofouling to develop strategies that can effectively control fouling and maintain the long-term performance of water treatment systems. The main objective of this project is to investigate the complete removal of manganese as a pre-treatment strategy to limit or prevent (irreversible) biofouling in various engineered systems.


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