Presentation from Amos Taiswa, Ph.D. Student, Montana Tech
“Polydopamine-Copper RO Spacers – A Lasting Solution to Biofouling”
Reverse Osmosis is a key technology for removing NO3- and other dissolved contaminants from groundwater. Nutrient rich water like JRW water has a high microorganism growth which will likely reduce the effectiveness of RO by accelerating biofilm growth (biofouling). In this study, biofilm formation is highly favored by NO3- rich water hampering the RO process. Modification of spacer materials using copper and polydopamine is proposed as a reliable solution to biofouling, and supplementary H2O2 cleaning is evaluated as a paramount addition to this solution.
Bio: Amos Taiswa’s journey to Montana starts in 2017 when he travelled from Kenya to Florida with the dream of becoming an astronaut. A desire to becoming a college athlete changed his plans, landing him at MSU-Northern where he studied civil engineering and graduated in the summer of 2020. His desire for research was inspired by his coach who is a professor for health promotion and a research enthusiast in human health. Amos worked as an undergraduate researcher at the Advanced Fuels Center at MSUN, which inspired him to venture into graduate studies that landed him at Montana Tech as a doctorate student under Dr. Katherine Zodrow. His interest in research extends from water and soil quality to study of materials for environmental sustainability which he plans to take part in to solve issues not only in the US but to his native home in Africa. In his free time, Amos enjoys skiing, hiking, running, playing tennis and racquetball among many others.