A New Method for Water Desalination Using Microbial Desalination Cells

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/597342
Title:
A New Method for Water Desalination Using Microbial Desalination Cells
Authors:
Cao, Xiaoxin; Huang, Xia; Liang, Peng; Xiao, Kang; Zhou, Yingjun; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
Current water desalination techniques are energy intensive and some use membranes operated at high pressures. It is shownhere that water desalination can be accomplished without electrical energy input or high water pressure by using a source of organic matter as the fuel to desalinate water. A microbial fuel cell was modified by placing two membranes between the anode and cathode, creating a middle chamber for water desalination between the membranes. An anion exchange membrane was placed adjacent to the anode, and a cation exchange membrane was positioned next to the cathode. When current was produced by bacteria on the anode, ionic species in the middle chamber were transferred into the two electrode chambers, desalinating the water in the middle chamber. Proof-of-concept experiments for this approach, using what we call a microbial desalination cell (MDC), was demonstrated using water at different initial salt concentrations (5, 20, and 35 g/L) with acetate used as the substrate for the bacteria. The MDC produced a maximum of 2 W/m2 (31 W/m3) while at the same time removing about 90% of the salt in a single desalination cycle. As the salt was removed from the middle chamber the ohmic resistance of the MDC (measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) increased from 25 Ω to 970 Ω at the end of the cycle. This increased resistance was reflected by a continuous decrease in the voltage produced over the cycle. These results demonstrate for the first time the possibility for a new method for water desalination and power production that uses only a source of biodegradable organic matter and bacteria. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Citation:
Cao X, Huang X, Liang P, Xiao K, Zhou Y, et al. (2009) A New Method for Water Desalination Using Microbial Desalination Cells. Environ Sci Technol 43: 7148–7152. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es901950j.
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Journal:
Environmental Science & Technology
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-11-003-13
Issue Date:
15-Sep-2009
DOI:
10.1021/es901950j
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0013-936X; 1520-5851
Sponsors:
This research was supported by International Program of MOST (2006DFA91120) and 863 Project (2006AA06Z329) in China and Award KUS-11-003-13 (to B.E.L.) by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
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Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorCao, Xiaoxinen
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Xiaen
dc.contributor.authorLiang, Pengen
dc.contributor.authorXiao, Kangen
dc.contributor.authorZhou, Yingjunen
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Xiaoyuanen
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-25T12:31:07Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-25T12:31:07Zen
dc.date.issued2009-09-15en
dc.identifier.citationCao X, Huang X, Liang P, Xiao K, Zhou Y, et al. (2009) A New Method for Water Desalination Using Microbial Desalination Cells. Environ Sci Technol 43: 7148–7152. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es901950j.en
dc.identifier.issn0013-936Xen
dc.identifier.issn1520-5851en
dc.identifier.doi10.1021/es901950jen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/597342en
dc.description.abstractCurrent water desalination techniques are energy intensive and some use membranes operated at high pressures. It is shownhere that water desalination can be accomplished without electrical energy input or high water pressure by using a source of organic matter as the fuel to desalinate water. A microbial fuel cell was modified by placing two membranes between the anode and cathode, creating a middle chamber for water desalination between the membranes. An anion exchange membrane was placed adjacent to the anode, and a cation exchange membrane was positioned next to the cathode. When current was produced by bacteria on the anode, ionic species in the middle chamber were transferred into the two electrode chambers, desalinating the water in the middle chamber. Proof-of-concept experiments for this approach, using what we call a microbial desalination cell (MDC), was demonstrated using water at different initial salt concentrations (5, 20, and 35 g/L) with acetate used as the substrate for the bacteria. The MDC produced a maximum of 2 W/m2 (31 W/m3) while at the same time removing about 90% of the salt in a single desalination cycle. As the salt was removed from the middle chamber the ohmic resistance of the MDC (measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) increased from 25 Ω to 970 Ω at the end of the cycle. This increased resistance was reflected by a continuous decrease in the voltage produced over the cycle. These results demonstrate for the first time the possibility for a new method for water desalination and power production that uses only a source of biodegradable organic matter and bacteria. © 2009 American Chemical Society.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was supported by International Program of MOST (2006DFA91120) and 863 Project (2006AA06Z329) in China and Award KUS-11-003-13 (to B.E.L.) by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).en
dc.publisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)en
dc.titleA New Method for Water Desalination Using Microbial Desalination Cellsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalEnvironmental Science & Technologyen
dc.contributor.institutionTsinghua University, Beijing, Chinaen
dc.contributor.institutionPennsylvania State University, State College, United Statesen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-11-003-13en
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