Salt removal using multiple microbial desalination cells under continuous flow conditions

Youpeng Qu, Yujie Feng, Jia Liu, Weihua He, Xinxin Shi, Qiao Yang, Jiangwei Lv, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four microbial desalination cells (MDCs) were hydraulically connected and operated under continuous flow conditions. The anode solution from the first MDC flowed into the cathode, and then on to the anode of the next reactor, which avoided pH imbalances that inhibit bacterial metabolism. The salt solution also moved through each desalination chamber in series. Increasing the hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of the salt solution from 1 to 2. days increased total NaCl removal from 76 ± 1% to 97 ± 1%, but coulombic efficiencies decreased from 49 ± 4% to 35 ± 1%. Total COD removals were similar at both HRTs (60 ± 2%, 2. days; 59 ± 2%, 1. day). Community analysis of the anode biofilms showed that bacteria most similar to the xylose fermenting bacterium Klebsiella ornithinolytica predominated in the anode communities, and sequences most similar to Geobacter metallireducens were identified in all MDCs except the first one. These results demonstrated successful operation of a series of hydraulically connected MDCs and good desalination rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalDesalination
Volume317
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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