Removal of hexavalent chromium in dual-chamber microbial fuel cells separated by different ion exchange membranes.

Author(s) Wang, H.; Song, X.; Zhang, H.; Tan, P.; Kong, F.
Journal J Hazard Mater
Date Published 2020 Feb 15
Abstract

An ion exchange membrane (IEM) is an important component in dual-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to separate cathodic chromium from anode bacteria to avoid toxicity. Common used IEMs (e.g., BPM, CEM, PEM, AEM) have different ionic transfer abilities which could influence MFC performance and chromium removal. Additionally, to distinguish chromium "removal" or "reduction" by MFCs, the chromium removal in this study was further analyzed into cathodic reduction, adsorption on the membrane and permeation through membrane to the anode chamber. It was found that BPM achieved the best performance in removing hexavalent chromium (99.4 ± 0.2 %) and balancing pH and conductivity in both chambers, followed by AEM (97.9 ± 0.8 %) and CEM (95.6 ± 0.8 %), while PEM can not well maintain pH and conductivity leading to the worst anode performance and lowest chromium removal efficiency. However, the adsorption of chromium on the AEM accounts for 91.1 ± 0.7 %, which was much higher than the other three membranes. The permeation of chromium through the membrane were all lower than 0.2% which can be ignored. SEM and EDS results showed that chromium deposits and bacteria were detected on the membrane facing cahtode and anode, respectively, indicating that membrane scaling and fouling were inevitable and happened within 24 h operation.

DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121459
ISSN 1873-3336
Citation Wang H, Song X, Zhang H, Tan P, Kong F. Removal of hexavalent chromium in dual-chamber microbial fuel cells separated by different ion exchange membranes. J Hazard Mater. 2020;384:121459.