Spontaneous electrochemical removal of aqueous sulfide

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4965-4975
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


Most of the existing sulfide removal processes from wastewaters and waste gases require substantial amounts of energy inputs. Here we present an electrochemical method by means of a fuel cell that removes sulfide while producing energy. A lab scale fuel cell was operated at ambient temperature and neutral pH, which was capable of removing aqueous sulfide continuously for 2 months at a rate of 0.62 ± 0.1 kg S m-3 d-1 of net anodic compartment (NAC) (0.28 ± 0.05 kg S m-3 d-1 of total anodic compartment, TAC). During continuous operation, on average, the power generated was 12 ± 2 W m-3 NAC (5 ± 1 W m-3 TAC), with a maximum capacity of the cell of 166 W m-3 NAC (74 W m-3 TAC). Potassium ferricyanide was used as cathodic electron acceptor. Elemental sulfur was identified as the predominant final oxidation product that was deposited on the anode. In this abiotic fuel cell, the sulfide oxidation rate was not diminished by the presence of an organic electron donor (acetate) during batch experiments while the acetate concentration remained unchanged. This is particularly important for selective sulfide removal from wastewater where organics are essential for downstream nutrient removal. Elemental sulfur deposited on the anode appeared to limit the operation of the fuel cell after 3 months of operation, necessitating periodic removal of the accumulated sulfur from the electrode. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Electricity, Elemental sulfur, Fuel cell, Removal, Sulfide, Wastewater

Bibliographic Note

Publication details (e.g. title, author(s), publication statuses and dates) are captured on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis at the time of record harvesting from the data source. Suggestions for further amendments or supplementary information can be sent to lbscholars@cityu.edu.hk.

Citation Format(s)

Spontaneous electrochemical removal of aqueous sulfide. / Dutta, Paritam K.; Rabaey, Korneel; Yuan, Zhiguo et al.
In: Water Research, Vol. 42, No. 20, 12.2008, p. 4965-4975.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review