Capacitive mixing power production from salinity gradient energy enhanced through exoelectrogen-generated ionic currents

Marta C. Hatzell, Roland D. Cusick, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Several approaches to generate electrical power directly from salinity gradient energy using capacitive electrodes have recently been developed, but power densities have remained low. By immersing the capacitive electrodes in ionic fields generated by exoelectrogenic microorganisms in bioelectrochemical reactors, we found that energy capture using synthetic river and seawater could be increased ∼65 times, and power generation ∼46 times. Favorable electrochemical reactions due to microbial oxidation of organic matter, coupled to oxygen reduction at the cathode, created an ionic flow field that enabled more effective passive charging of the capacitive electrodes and higher energy capture. This ionic-based approach is not limited to the use of river water-seawater solutions. It can also be applied in industrial settings, as demonstrated using thermolytic solutions that can be used to capture waste heat energy as salinity gradient energy. Forced charging of the capacitive electrodes, using energy generated by the bioelectrochemical system and a thermolytic solution, further increased the maximum power density to 7 W m -2 (capacitive electrode).

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages1159-1165
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Fingerprint

salinity
energy
Electrodes
electrode
Seawater
Rivers
seawater
Waste heat
Biological materials
Power generation
Cathodes
Oxygen
Oxidation
Water
Microorganisms
electrical power
generation time
power generation
flow field
river water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Capacitive mixing power production from salinity gradient energy enhanced through exoelectrogen-generated ionic currents. / Hatzell, Marta C.; Cusick, Roland D.; Logan, Bruce E.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 7, No. 3, 03.2014, p. 1159-1165.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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