Using microbial desalination cells to reduce water salinity prior to reverse osmosis

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/600152
Title:
Using microbial desalination cells to reduce water salinity prior to reverse osmosis
Authors:
Mehanna, Maha; Saito, Tomonori; Yan, Jingling; Hickner, Michael; Cao, Xiaoxin; Huang, Xia; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
A microbial desalination cell (MDC) is a new method to reduce the salinity of one solution while generating electrical power from organic matter and bacteria in another (anode) solution. Substantial reductions in the salinity can require much larger volumes of the anode solution than the saline water, but any reduction of salinity will benefit the energy efficiency of a downstream reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system. We investigated here the use of an MDC as an RO pre-treatment method using a new type of air-cathode MDC containing three equally sized chambers. A single cycle of operation using a 1 g L -1 acetate solution reduced the conductivity of salt water (5 g L-1 NaCl) by 43 ± 6%, and produced a maximum power density of 480 mW m-2 with a coulombic efficiency of 68 ± 11%. A higher concentration of acetate (2 g L-1) reduced solution conductivity by 60 ± 7%, and a higher salt concentration (20 g L-1 NaCl) reduced solution conductivity by 50 ± 7%. The use of membranes with increased ion exchange capacities further decreased the solution conductivity by 63 ± 2% (20 g L-1 NaCl). These results demonstrate substantial (43-67%) desalination of water is possible using equal volumes of anode solution and salt water. These results show that MDC treatment could be used to substantially reduce salt concentrations and thus energy demands for downstream RO processing, while at the same time producing electrical power. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Citation:
Mehanna M, Saito T, Yan J, Hickner M, Cao X, et al. (2010) Using microbial desalination cells to reduce water salinity prior to reverse osmosis. Energy Environ Sci 3: 1114. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c002307h.
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Journal:
Energy & Environmental Science
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-003-13
Issue Date:
2010
DOI:
10.1039/c002307h
Type:
Article
ISSN:
1754-5692; 1754-5706
Sponsors:
The authors thank S. Cheng and D. Jones for assistance with experiments and analysis. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
Appears in Collections:
Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMehanna, Mahaen
dc.contributor.authorSaito, Tomonorien
dc.contributor.authorYan, Jinglingen
dc.contributor.authorHickner, Michaelen
dc.contributor.authorCao, Xiaoxinen
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Xiaen
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-28T06:43:49Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-28T06:43:49Zen
dc.date.issued2010en
dc.identifier.citationMehanna M, Saito T, Yan J, Hickner M, Cao X, et al. (2010) Using microbial desalination cells to reduce water salinity prior to reverse osmosis. Energy Environ Sci 3: 1114. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c002307h.en
dc.identifier.issn1754-5692en
dc.identifier.issn1754-5706en
dc.identifier.doi10.1039/c002307hen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/600152en
dc.description.abstractA microbial desalination cell (MDC) is a new method to reduce the salinity of one solution while generating electrical power from organic matter and bacteria in another (anode) solution. Substantial reductions in the salinity can require much larger volumes of the anode solution than the saline water, but any reduction of salinity will benefit the energy efficiency of a downstream reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system. We investigated here the use of an MDC as an RO pre-treatment method using a new type of air-cathode MDC containing three equally sized chambers. A single cycle of operation using a 1 g L -1 acetate solution reduced the conductivity of salt water (5 g L-1 NaCl) by 43 ± 6%, and produced a maximum power density of 480 mW m-2 with a coulombic efficiency of 68 ± 11%. A higher concentration of acetate (2 g L-1) reduced solution conductivity by 60 ± 7%, and a higher salt concentration (20 g L-1 NaCl) reduced solution conductivity by 50 ± 7%. The use of membranes with increased ion exchange capacities further decreased the solution conductivity by 63 ± 2% (20 g L-1 NaCl). These results demonstrate substantial (43-67%) desalination of water is possible using equal volumes of anode solution and salt water. These results show that MDC treatment could be used to substantially reduce salt concentrations and thus energy demands for downstream RO processing, while at the same time producing electrical power. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank S. Cheng and D. Jones for assistance with experiments and analysis. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).en
dc.publisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (RSC)en
dc.titleUsing microbial desalination cells to reduce water salinity prior to reverse osmosisen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalEnergy & Environmental Scienceen
dc.contributor.institutionPennsylvania State University, State College, United Statesen
dc.contributor.institutionTsinghua University, Beijing, Chinaen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-003-13en
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