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Solving biofilm problems in seawater desalination plants

Dr. Frank Löffler visited the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, CA. This plant is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant in the US. Under the auspices of the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI), Dr. Löffler is helping to develop Standard Operating Procedures for analyzing reverse osmosis (RO) membrane biofilms to generate baseline information about the biofilm microbiomes. Controlling biofilm formation and preventing RO membrane clogging can significantly reduce energy consumption and prolong RO module lifespan, which would result in multimillion dollar savings for producing fresh water in desalination plants.