The Catholyte Effects on The Microbial Desalination Cell Performance of Desalination and Power Generation


A microbial desalination cell (MDC) is a new approach to bioelectrochemical systems. It provides a more sustainable way to electrical power production, saltwater desalination, and wastewater treatment at the same time. This study examined three operation modes of the MDC: chemical cathode, air cathode, and biocathode MDC, to give clear sight of this system's performance. The experimental work results for these three modes were recorded as power densities generation, saltwater desalination rates, and COD removal percentages. For the chemical cathode MDC, the power density was 96.8 mW/m2, the desalination rate was 84.08 ppm/hr, and the COD removal percentage was 95.94%. The air cathode MDC results were different; the power density was 24.2 mW/m2, the desalination rate was 86.11 ppm/hr, and the COD removal percentage was 91.38%. The biocathode MDC results were 19.91 mW/m2 as the power density, 88.9 ppm/hr as the desalination rate, and 96.94% as the COD removal percentage. The most efficient type of MDC in this study in power production was the chemical cathode MDC, but it is the lowest sustainable. On the other hand, the biocathode MDC was the best in desalination process performance, and both the air cathode and biocathode MDC are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, especially the biocathode MDC.