375392 A Study on Effect of Temperature, COD and Influent Tds on Microbial Desalination Cells' Performance with an Approach to a Unique Predictive Model

Monday, November 17, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Mohammad Tanhaemami, Chemical Engineering, Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE/WERC), New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

For several years it has been demonstrated that microorganisms existing in the nature can break down organic substrates in order to generate electricity directly. However, controlling the generated electricity was just a theory for a long time. It has been barely two decades ago since scientists could find methods to overcome this challenge and academics became interested in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) which can convert the energy within a substrate to electrical energy by getting help from bacteria. Several ways of electron transfer have been discovered until now and there are many future applications available for MFCs. One of the newly revealed approaches is to desalinate water while treating wastewater and producing energy at the same time. This technology is called Microbial Desalination Cells (MDC). MDCs are basically MFCs with an additional chamber for feed water to be desalinated. MDCs are taking their very first steps into technological world and there are several obstacles on the way to bring them into industrial scale.

During this study a new approach for MDC technology is provided for desalination of brackish ground water. An artificial wastewater is used in the anode, and a solution containing potassium hexacyanoferrate is used as the catholyte in our reactors. Different principal parameters such as temperature, COD, and feed water TDS are studied thoroughly in order to achieve a general model for behavior of Microbial Desalination Cells.

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