Microbial desalination cell (MDC) is deemed as an environmentally friendly technology for water treatment using organic matters present in wastewater for the desalination process. Microbial desalination and chemical recovery cell (MDCC) is a modified version of MDC that desalinates saline water using wastewater as fuel, generates electricity, and concurrently produces value-added products. However, several factors have limited the MDCC performance and its development, e.g., pH imbalance, ions accumulation and high internal resistance. MDCCs, so far, are fabricated through modifying the dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) by placing the desalination and recovery chambers between the anodic and cathodic chambers, which not only increases the distance between two electrodes, but also brings different types of membranes between them leading to high internal resistance. This research, for the first time, demonstrated a novel design of MDCC, which is a modified version of a single chamber membrane-less MFC, named as SMDCC; with the focus of removing barriers between the anode and cathode while upholding desalination and chemical recovery features of MDCC. The study focused on assessment of SMDCC performance in terms of electrolyte pH, acid and base recovery and desalination rate at different salt concentrations and in absence and presence of applied power supply.
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