Characterization of biofilm growthrate in a membrane system

Characterization of biofilm growthrate in a membrane system

Internship Description

Membrane filtration plays an important role in seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation. Biofouling is an unacceptable loss of performance caused by the growth of bacteria inside the membrane element. The aim of the project is to establish relations between operational conditions, such as water velocity, production rate and nutrient concentration and the growth rate of biofilms.  The results will allow better understanding and control of biofouling formation. The two main methods to observe the thickness of the biofilm are via its hydraulic resistance and via optical coherence tomography (OCT). 


  • Formulate a research question and design the experiments accordingly.
  • Run experiment (preparation of solutions, setting up  and run equipment, problem solving, OCT-scan of biofilm)
  • Data analysis
  • Written and oral presentation of (intermediate) results.

Faculty Name

Johannes Vrouwenvelder

Field of Study

chemical engineering, environmental science, etc