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Energy harvesting by waste acid/base neutralization via bipolar membrane reverse electrodialysis

  • Autori: Zaffora A.; Culcasi A.; Gurreri L.; Cosenza A.; Tamburini A.; Santamaria M.; Micale G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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Bipolar Membrane Reverse Electrodialysis (BMRED) can be used to produce electricity exploiting acid-base neutralization, thus representing a valuable route in reusing waste streams. The present work investigates the performance of a lab-scale BMRED module under several operating conditions. By feeding the stack with 1 M HCl and NaOH streams, a maximum power density of ∼17Wm-2 was obtained at 100 A m-2 with a 10-triplet stack with a flow velocity of 1 cm s-1, while an energy density of ∼10 kWh m-3 acid could be extracted by a complete neutralization. Parasitic currents along feed and drain manifolds significantly affected the performance of the stack when equipped with a higher number of triplets. The apparent permselectivity at 1 M acid and base decreased from 93% with the five-triplet stack to 54% with the 38-triplet stack, which exhibited lower values (∼35% less) of power density. An important role may be played also by the presence of NaCl in the acidic and alkaline solutions. With a low number of triplets, the added salt had almost negligible effects. However, with a higher number of triplets it led to a reduction of 23.4-45.7% in power density. The risk of membrane delamination is another aspect that can limit the process performance. However, overall, the present results highlight the high potential of BMRED systems as a productive way of neutralizing waste solutions for energy harvesting.