UV-LED/PMS preoxidation to control fouling caused by harmful marine algae in the UF pretreatment of seawater desalination

Hyunkyung Lee, Jihun Lim, Min Zhan, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Preoxidation is gaining spotlight in the mitigation of ultrafiltration (UF) membrane fouling caused by algal organic matter (AOM). Although it is known to be beneficial in freshwater, its applicability in seawater treatment has barely been explored. This study first evaluated the effect of UV/permonosulfate (PMS) oxidation for UF process against marine harmful algal blooms (HAB). The transition of AOM released from Pseudo Nitzchia was investigated which produces a neurotoxin, domoic acid (DA). Specifically, UV light emitting diodes (LED) were employed as UV source. The results indicated UV-LED/PMS treatment effectively reduces the fouling potential of AOM. However, the participation of abundant chloride ions generated free chlorine and disinfection byproducts, thus, PMS addition below 0.5 mM was suggested for seawater applications. With respect to PMS 0.5 mM, TOC and cake layer resistance were reduced by 10% and 85%, respectively, and this was followed by significant improvements in water permeability, flux reversibility and permeate quality of UF process. Furthermore, PMS exhibited significant reactivity for decomposing DA achieving rapid disappearance of 1 ppm of DA within a minute. The aforementioned results encourage the use of PMS as a bulk oxidant in seawater treatment to simultaneously mitigate membrane fouling and improve permeate quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • HAB
  • Seawater desalination
  • UF membrane fouling
  • UV-LED/PMS oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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