Microbial Reverse-Electrodialysis Electrolysis and Chemical-Production Cell for H 2 Production and CO 2 Sequestration

Xiuping Zhu, Marta C. Hatzell, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Natural mineral carbonation can be accelerated using acid and alkali solutions to enhance atmospheric CO 2 sequestration, but the production of these solutions needs to be carbon-neutral. A microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis and chemical-production cell (MRECC) was developed to produce these solutions and H 2 gas using only renewable energy sources (organic matter and salinity gradient). Using acetate (0.82 g/L) as a fuel for microorganisms to generate electricity in the anode chamber (liquid volume of 28 mL), 0.45 mmol of acid and 1.09 mmol of alkali were produced at production efficiencies of 35% and 86%, respectively, along with 10 mL of H 2 gas. Serpentine dissolution was enhanced 17-87-fold using the acid solution, with approximately 9 mL of CO 2 absorbed and 4 mg of CO 2 fixed as magnesium or calcium carbonates. The operational costs, based on mineral digging and grinding, and water pumping, were estimated to be only $25/metric ton of CO 2 fixed as insoluble carbonates. Considering the additional economic benefits of H 2 generation and possible wastewater treatment, this method may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for CO 2 sequestration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-235
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 8 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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