Resource Recovery By Osmotic Bioelectrochemical Systems Towards Sustainable Wastewater Treatment
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Recovering valuable resources from wastewater will transform wastewater management from a treatment focused to sustainability focused strategy, and creates the need for new technology development. An innovative treatment concept - osmotic bioelectrochemical system (OsBES), which is based on cooperation between bioelectrochemical systems (BES) and forward osmosis (FO), has been introduced and studied in the past few years. An OsBES can accomplish simultaneous treatment of wastewater and recovery of resources such as nutrient, energy, and water (NEW). The cooperation can be accomplished in either an internal (osmotic microbial fuel cells, OsMFC) or external (microbial electrolysis cell-forward osmosis system, MEC-FO) configuration. In OsMFC, higher current generation than regular microbial fuel cell (MFC) was observed, resulting from the lower resistance of FO membrane. The electricity generation in OsMFC could greatly inhibit the reverse salt flux. Besides, ammonium removal was successfully demonstrated in OsMFC, making OsMFCs a promising technology for "NEW recovery" (NEW: nutrient, energy and water). For the external configuration of OsBES, an MEC-FO system was developed. The MEC produced an ammonium bicarbonate draw solute via recovering ammonia from synthetic organic solution, which was then applied in the FO for extracting water from the MEC anode effluent. The system has been advanced with treating landfill leachate. A mathematical model developed for ammonia removal/recovery in BES quantitatively confirmed that the NH4+ ions serve as effective proton shuttles across cation exchange membrane (CEM).
- Doctoral Dissertations