Performance of Layer-by-Layer-Modified Multibore® Ultrafiltration Capillary Membranes for Salt Retention and Removal of Antibiotic Resistance Genes
Polyether sulfone Multibore® ultrafiltration membranes were modified using
polyelectrolyte multilayers via the layer-by-layer (LbL) technique in order to increase their rejection capabilities towards salts and antibiotic resistance genes. The modified capillary membranes were characterized to exhibit a molecular weight cut-o (at 90% rejection) of 384 Da. The zeta-potential at pH 7 was 40 mV. Laboratory tests using single-fibermodified membrane modules were performed to evaluate the removal of antibiotic resistance genes; the LbL-coated membranes were able to completely retain DNA fragments from 90 to 1500 nt in length. Furthermore, the pure water permeability and the retention of single inorganic salts, MgSO4, CaCl2 and NaCl, were measured using a mini-plant testing unit. The modified membranes had a retention of 80% toward MgSO4 and CaCl2 salts, and 23% in case of NaCl. The modified membranes were also found to be stable against mechanical backwashing (up to 80 LMH) and chemical regeneration (in acidic conditions and basic/oxidizing conditions).