Optimization of membrane stack configuration for efficient hydrogen production in microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis cells coupled with thermolytic solutions

Xi Luo, Joo Youn Nam, Fang Zhang, Xiaoyuan Zhang, Peng Liang, Xia Huang, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Waste heat can be captured as electrical energy to drive hydrogen evolution in microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis cells (MRECs) by using thermolytic solutions such as ammonium bicarbonate. To determine the optimal membrane stack configuration for efficient hydrogen production in MRECs using ammonium bicarbonate solutions, different numbers of cell pairs and stack arrangements were tested. The optimum number of cell pairs was determined to be five based on MREC performance and a desire to minimize capital costs. The stack arrangement was altered by placing an extra low concentration chamber adjacent to anode chamber to reduce ammonia crossover. This additional chamber decreased ammonia nitrogen losses into anolyte by 60%, increased the coulombic efficiency to 83%, and improved the hydrogen yield to a maximum of 3.5mol H2/mol acetate, with an overall energy efficiency of 27%. These results improve the MREC process, making it a more efficient method for renewable hydrogen gas production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource technology
Volume140
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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