Desalination, Vol.453, 1-9, 2019
ATP measurement in seawater reverse osmosis systems: Eliminating seawater matrix effects using a filtration-based method
A direct method for measuring adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) in seawater was developed recently, in which commercial reagents are added directly to seawater. However, calibration is required if seawater quality changes (such as changes in salinity, pH, Mg2+, Fe3+) as the seawater matrix interferes with ATP measurement. In this research, a 0.1 mu m filtration process is introduced to eliminate such interferences. In addition, a filter rinsing step with sterilized artificial seawater is proposed to eliminate interference of free ATP. The ATP-filtration method is fast (< 5 min), reproducible (VC = 7%), six times more sensitive than the direct ATP-method and correlates (R-2 = 0.72, n = 100) with intact cell concentration. Microbial ATP concentration measured using the ATP-filtration method and the ATP-direct method were comparable. Microbial ATP measured along the treatment train of a full-scale seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant decreased from 530 in the raw seawater to 10 ng-ATP/L after pre-treatment and to 0.5 ng-ATP/L in the SWRO permeate. The method was also applied to monitor bacterial growth potential (BGP) across the pre-treatment train of a (pilot) seawater desalination plant, where the removal of BGP through the media filtration and ultrafiltration was 44% and 7%, respectively.
Keywords:Filtration based ATP method;Adenosine-triphosphate;Biofouling;Seawater reverse osmosis;Pre-treatment;RO permeate