Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Assessing the ageing process of cation exchange membranes in bioelectrochemical systems

Version 1 : Received: 15 March 2019 / Approved: 18 March 2019 / Online: 18 March 2019 (09:07:18 CET)

How to cite: San-Martín, M.I.; Carmona, F.J.; Prádanos, P.; Morán, A.; Escapa, A. Assessing the ageing process of cation exchange membranes in bioelectrochemical systems. Preprints 2019, 2019030167 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201903.0167.v1). San-Martín, M.I.; Carmona, F.J.; Prádanos, P.; Morán, A.; Escapa, A. Assessing the ageing process of cation exchange membranes in bioelectrochemical systems. Preprints 2019, 2019030167 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201903.0167.v1).

Abstract

Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) encompass a group of biobased technologies capable of directly converting organic matter into electricity. In these systems, which are derived from conventional electrochemical systems, the ion exchange membrane represents a key element because of its influence on the economic feasibility and on the performance of BES. This study examines the impact of long-term operation of a BES on the mechanical, chemical and electrochemical properties of five different kind of cation exchange membranes (Nafion-117, CMI-7001, Zirfon UTP 500, FKE and FKB) through several techniques: (i) scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to assess the changes on the membranes surface, (ii) thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to evaluate the structural stability of the membranes, and (iii) ion exchange capacity (IEC) to monitor any change in their electrochemical properties. Results confirmed that there is not an ideal membrane for BES. While Nafion and CMI-7000 exhibited the strongest chemical structure, they also underwent the highest fouling as revealed by a fast increase in surface roughness.

Subject Areas

Bioelectrochemical system; Cation exchange membranes; Ageing of membranes; Microbial electrolysis cell.

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