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Microbial Fuel Desalination Cell

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Sara Azzam

on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of Microbial Fuel Desalination Cell

Microbial Desalination Cell
A Water Treatment Plant Using Microbial Desalination Cell Technology
CHE 491- Design Project I

- Henna Saeed (38211) - Abdullah Abu Fara (41284)
- Sharifeh Yousef (37936) - Sara Azzam (40591)
- Jawaria Saif (39892) - Rehab Khawaga (35895)

Advisors: Dr. Ghaleb Husseini & Dr. Ahmad Aidan

Assistant: Hiba Chekkath (37132)
Solar Assisted Desalination

-It is estimated that about 8.78 million tons of oil per year is required to produce by desalination 1million/m3/ day of fresh water.

-The source water can be preheated using a solar collector which will reduce the energy load needed for the desalination unite.


Alternatives and Evaluation
- Introduction to Microbial Desalination Cell (MDC)

- Various MDC configurations

- Pretreatment alternatives and evaluation.

- Desalination alternatives and evaluation

- Mass Balance

- Experimental setup and parameters

- Future scope and conclusion
- Increasing population of United Arab Emirates (4% growth)

- Increasing electricity usage and water consumption

- Total desalination capacity in UAE is 8.9 million L/day ( 2.02 L/day/capita)

- Limited number of water resources

- Advances in sea water treatment technology is crucial
Project Objective
- Integrating MDC with a water treatment plant to provide desalinated water meeting the drinking water quality standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO)
Overview of MDC
- Demonstrates the ability of treating waste water with simultaneous production of electricity

- Self-sustaining ability of using biomass to produce electricity

Various MDC Configurations
Reverse Osmosis Desalination
Working principle:
- Apply pressure to overcome osmotic pressure

-Membrane allows only water molecules to pass through

Efficiency of the process depends on:
- Selectivity and permeability of membrane

MSF Desalination
Horizontal series of flashing chambers operating at:
Low pressure --> Decrease of water boiling point --> More evaporation.

Efficiency of the process depends on:
1- Number of stages.
2- Heating surface area.

Pretreatment Stage
Pretreatment methods are designed to remove coarse solids and organics in suspended form.

Granular Media Filtration

- The filtration process is a two stage process :
1- source water processing
2- filter media backwash

Membrane Pretreatment
- A typical membrane pretreatment consists mainly of four stages :

1- processing
2- backwash
3- cleaning
4- integrity test

Pretreatment Comparison
Experimental Setup
-Three-chamber MDC separated by AEM and CEM

-Carbon cloth electrodes

-Anode, desalination and cathode chambers have volumes of 24 mL, 12 mL, and 24 mL respectively

-Saltwater of 40,000 ppm

-Potassium hexacyano ferrate solution used as catholyte

-Equal volumes of prepared yeast solution and methylene blue as anolyte

-3.2 kΩ resistor used as load

-Each experiment run for 96 hours

Room temperature ~22°C

-Orientation of MDC:

-Type of membrane:
Forward Osmosis
Future Scope
1)Scaling up the MDC.

2)Identifying the useful parameters through
experimentation and applying them on actual waste water.

3)Design of the selected waste water treatment plant

4)Detailed mass and energy balances

5) Detailed cost analysis

6)HAZOP of major equipment

-MDCs can prove to be very useful component of wastewater treatment plants.

-Conducted literature review on MFCs, MDC modifications and desalination processes.

-Identified and compared three alternatives

- Mass balance calculations performed.

-Would like to thank Dr. Ghaleb, Dr. Aidan, and the entire CHE faculty for their cooperation.

Preliminary Mass Balance
Wastewater Influent Characteristics:

Average Daily Flow rate: 25,000 m3/day
BOD (g/m3): 200
TSS (g/m3): 220

Wastewater Effluent Characteristics

BOD (g/m3): 10
TSS (g/m3): 10

Recirculation MDC
pH imbalance encountered in MDC during operation

pH value effects desalination efficiency and power generation

Electrolytes circulated using a thin tubing and an external pump to maintain pH
Osmotic MDC
- AEM is replaced by a FO membrane which separates the anode and desalination chamber

- Energy intensive and economically feasible

- Osmotic pressure gradient decreases due to fouling of FO membrane
Bipolar Membrane MDC
- AEM and CEM laminated together as a single membrane.

- Water desalination and production of acid and base solutions done simultaneously.

- Applying a voltage of 0.3-1.0 V, 62%- 97% efficiency was achieved
Biocathode MDC
- Eliminate the use of ferricynaide as a catholyte or the use of air cathode with platinum catalysts

- Allow the electro active bacteria to act as a catalyst

- Enhance the desalination process

Stack MDC
- Consists of alternating AEMs and

- Implement pairs of ion-exchange membranes (IEMs) between the anode and the cathode chambers to improve the charge transfer efficiency

- Allow more salt removal

Ion-Exchange Coupled MDC
- Reduce the ohmic resistance of the MDC

- Implement anion- and cation-exchange resins with high conductivities
Capacitive MDC
- Inhibits the increase in salt concentration of the anolyte and catholyte

- Implement double-layer capacitor on the surface of the electrode
Decoupled MDC
Electrodes placed together in the salt solution

- Easier to control the liquid volume ratios

- Easy to manipulate the number of anode and cathode units being used
- Potassium hexacyanoferrate is a harmful chemical which may be slightly hazardous in cases of skin contact, eye contact, ingestion or inhalation

-Safety goggles, lab coat and gloves to be worn at all times when working in the lab

- Dispose of all chemical waste in an appropriate manner

- Should know locations and operating
procedures of all the safety
equipment available in the lab


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A. R. Zielke, “Application of Microbial Fuel Cell technology for a WaWater Treatment Alternative,” Jan 2006
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