Transforming an end-of-life reverse osmosis membrane in a cationic exchange membrane and its application in a fungal microbial fuel cell

Anissa Somrani, Mehri Shabani, Zaineb Mohamed, NorEddine Ghaffour, Fabio Seibel, Vandre Barbosa Briao, Maxime Pontié

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article describes for the first time the elaboration of a cationic exchange membrane (CEM) from an end-of-life reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. The cationic exchange membrane has been prepared in two successive steps: (i) chlorine attack and (ii) filtration/adsorption of a polystyrene sulfonic acid (PSS) electrolyte solution. Physicochemical characterizations have been undertaken including (Na+) transference number (t(Na+)), diffusion flux measurements (Js), and cationic exchange capacity (CEC) determinations, as the properties encountered for a classical cationic exchange membrane. The hydraulic permeability (Lp) was also determined to characterize the molecular weight cut-off. This novel membrane denoted as ANIMAX has also been characterized by ATR-FTIR and SEM/AFM tools. We have utilized an old brackish water membrane denoted BW30 (stocked in bisulfite 1% for 10 years) to develop a new sulfonated UF membrane with a molecular cut-off of 55 kDa. We have observed that the roughness was divided by 2 (295 to 144nm) showing a lower propensity to fouling/biofouling of the novel membrane elaborated. As for the application, the newly synthesized membrane has been tested during 4 days of experiments in a fungal microbial fuel cell laboratory set-up vs Nafion© 117 the usual cationic membrane in MFC technology. We observed a lower external resistance with a value of 8 kOhm vs 37 kOhm for ANIMAX vs Nafion®117, respectively. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3169-3184
Number of pages16
JournalIonics
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2021

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