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Open AccessArticle

Performance Improvement and Biofouling Mitigation in Osmotic Microbial Fuel Cells via In Situ Formation of Silver Nanoparticles on Forward Osmosis Membrane

1
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Anaerobic Biotechnology, School of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
2
Zhejiang Province Environmental Engineering Technology Appraisal Center, Hangzhou 310012, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(6), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10060122
Received: 14 May 2020 / Revised: 11 June 2020 / Accepted: 14 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Applications 2020)
An osmotic microbial fuel cell (OsMFC) using a forward osmosis (FO) membrane to replace the proton exchange membrane in a typical MFC achieves superior electricity production and better effluent water quality during municipal wastewater treatment. However, inevitable FO membrane fouling, especially biofouling, has a significantly adverse impact on water flux and thus hinders the stable operation of the OsMFC. Here, we proposed a method for biofouling mitigation of the FO membrane and further improvement in current generation of the OsMFC by applying a silver nanoparticle (AgNP) modified FO membrane. The characteristic tests revealed that the AgNP modified thin film composite (TFC) polyamide FO membrane showed advanced hydrophilicity, more negative zeta potential and better antibacterial property. The biofouling of the FO membrane in OsMFC was effectively alleviated by using the AgNP modified membrane. This phenomenon could be attributed to the changes of TFC–FO membrane properties and the antibacterial property of AgNPs on the membrane surface. An increased hydrophilicity and a more negative zeta potential of the modified membrane enhanced the repulsion between foulants and membrane surface. In addition, AgNPs directly disturbed the functions of microorganisms deposited on the membrane surface. Owing to the biofouling mitigation of the AgNP modified membrane, the water flux and electricity generation of OsMFC were correspondingly improved. View Full-Text
Keywords: osmotic microbial fuel cell; forward osmosis; membrane fouling; silver nanoparticle osmotic microbial fuel cell; forward osmosis; membrane fouling; silver nanoparticle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lu, Y.; Jia, J.; Miao, H.; Ruan, W.; Wang, X. Performance Improvement and Biofouling Mitigation in Osmotic Microbial Fuel Cells via In Situ Formation of Silver Nanoparticles on Forward Osmosis Membrane. Membranes 2020, 10, 122.

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