The effect of mechanical cleaning technology (MCT) on membrane fouling in a novel hybrid membrane photobioreactor (HMPBR) containing Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina)

  • Mahsa Keyvan Hosseini
  • Farshid Pajoum ShariatiEmail author
  • Babak Bonakdarpour
  • Amir Heydarinasab


Membrane fouling is considered in a novel hybrid membrane photobioreactor (HMPBR) including airlift, membrane, and granular particles. In microalgae systems, cake resistance is the main fouling resistance. To mitigate membrane fouling, this system works under varied granular packing ratios, such as 0, 0.5, 1, and 1.5% (v/v). The results confirm the good effect of polymeric granules on the reduction of the cake resistance. Compared with the absence of granular particles, the addition of these particles up to 1.5% decreases cake resistance by 53%, whereas cake resistance is the most part of total fouling resistance. Regarding the major foulants, FTIR analysis demonstrates protein which has been known as a major foulant. Moreover, with the increase in the granular packing ratio, the protein concentration in the cake layer increases. This issue could be related to the increase in pore blocking owing to the blockage of the membrane pores and the inability of the protein-like substances to pass the membrane and stay on the membrane surface.


Hybrid membrane photobioreactor Membrane fouling Microalgae Mechanical cleaning process Granular particle 



The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the authority of Kubota Company and also to the great team members Parisa Keyvan Hosseini, Salar Helchi, Soroush Azizi, and Ali Hashemi, for their collaboration in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringScience and Research Branch, Islamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran

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