Scaling-free electrochemical production of caustic and oxygen for sulfide control in sewers

Lin, Hui-Wen, Rabaey, Korneel, Keller, Jürg, Yuan, Zhiguo and Pikaar, Ilje (2015) Scaling-free electrochemical production of caustic and oxygen for sulfide control in sewers. Environmental Science and Technology, 49 19: 11395-11402. doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b02188


Author Lin, Hui-Wen
Rabaey, Korneel
Keller, Jürg
Yuan, Zhiguo
Pikaar, Ilje
Title Scaling-free electrochemical production of caustic and oxygen for sulfide control in sewers
Journal name Environmental Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1520-5851
0013-936X
Publication date 2015-09-17
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.5b02188
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 49
Issue 19
Start page 11395
End page 11402
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Caustic shock-loading and oxygen injection are commonly used by the water industry for biofilm and sulfide control in sewers. Caustic can be produced onsite from wastewater using a two-compartment electrochemical cell. This avoids the need for import and storage of caustic soda, which typically represents a cost and a hazard. An issue limiting the practical implementation of this approach is the occurrence of membrane scaling due to the almost universal presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+ in wastewater. It results in a rapid increase in the cell voltage, thereby increasing the energy consumption of the system. Here, we propose and experimentally demonstrate an innovative solution for this problem involving the inclusion of a middle compartment between the anode and cathode compartments. Caustic was efficiently produced from wastewater over a period of 12 weeks and had an average Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 84.1 ± 1.1% at practically relevant caustic strengths (∼3 wt %). Neither membrane scaling nor an increase in the cell voltage was observed throughout the experiments. In addition, dissolved oxygen was produced in the anode, resulting in continuously oxygenated wastewater leaving the three-compartment cell. This membrane-scaling control strategy represents a major step forward toward practical implementation of on-site simultaneous electrochemical caustic and oxygen generation for sulfide control in sewers and also has the potential to be applied to other (bio)electrochemical systems receiving wastewater as source for product recovery.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2016 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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