Microbial desalination cell for simultaneous freshwater generation, sulfate pollution control and electricity recovery

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Microbial desalination cell for simultaneous freshwater generation, sulfate pollution control and electricity recovery

 

Author: Attalage, Dinu Sankalpa
Title: Microbial desalination cell for simultaneous freshwater generation, sulfate pollution control and electricity recovery
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2014
Subject: Sewage -- Purification -- Energy consumption
Saline water conversion -- Energy consumption
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Construction and Environment
Pages: xiii, 85 leaves : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2759219
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7607
Abstract: With the increasing pressure on global challenges such as water shortage, energy security and climate change, various strategies from different fields and perspectives urge for adaptation to these challenges. In this regard, it leads to consider wastewater as a potential resource rather than an element to be treated with a cost. The aim of this research was to work towards facing these challenges, with a three chambered Microbial Desalination Cell (MDC) that innovatively uses synthetic saline waste water with a similar composition to that of Hong Kong's sewage water, as a source of energy that simultaneously treats waste water, removes sulfate pollutants, produces fresh water and generates electricity. The MDCs are comprised of an anode fed with the synthetic saline waste water with phosphate buffer saline (PBS) to stabilize pH at ~ 6.5, desalination chamber with synthetic seawater (54900 μS/cm) and a cathode chamber with an air cathode with PBS of 50mM. Four such MDCs tested, with the anode chambers being fed in batch mode (flow rate 7.5mL/day), each attached to an external resistor of 1000Ω and operated at 35°C showed results reaching a maximum power density of 8.1W/m³ (0.323W/m²) , maximum Coulombic efficiency of 76.6%, a maximum (chemical oxygen demand) COD removal of 53.5% and salt removal of 89.3% . Microbial community analysis using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene demonstrated that the dominant genus of the exoelectrogenic Geobacter and fermentative Propincicella, Spirochaeta coupled with, sulfur storing Azospirillum, Sulfur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) such as Thiobacillus and Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) such as Desulfobulbus effectively drove the MDC system with functions of organic matter removal, sulfate removal and electricity removal.

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