Objective: This paper describes examples of membrane engineering for water that take inspiration
from biology. Next generation, high permeability, desalination membranes incorporating natural Aquaporin
water channels are described. A potential consequence of raised flux is boundary layer mass transfer limitation
which can be alleviated by unsteady shear stress, such as vibrations, adopted by some aquatic species to improve
respiration. In many applications, biofilms on membranes cause detrimental biofouling.
Method: Various triggers, or agents, in the biofilm development cycle are being used to control the fouling by
Conclusion: Beneficial biofilms can also exist on membranes, as exemplified by the gravity-driven biostabilized
UF process for water treatment being evaluated as a low energy pretreatment for seawater RO.