Divalent Cation Removal by Donnan Dialysis for Improved Reverse Electrodialysis.
ABSTRACT: Divalent cations in feedwater can cause significant decreases in efficiencies for membrane processes, such as reverse electrodialysis (RED). In RED, power is harvested from the mixing of river and seawater, and the obtainable voltage is reduced and the resistance is increased if divalent cations are present. The power density of the RED process can be improved by removing divalent cations from the fresh water. Here, we study divalent cation removal from fresh water using seawater as draw solution in a Donnan dialysis (DD) process. In this way, a membrane system with neither chemicals nor electrodes but only natural salinity gradients can be used to exchange divalent cations. For DD, the permselectivity of the cation exchange membrane is found to be crucial as it determines the ability to block salt leakage (also referred to as co-ion transport). Operating DD using a membrane stack achieved a 76% reduction in the divalent cation content in natural fresh water with residence times of just a few seconds. DD pretreated fresh water was then used in a RED process, which showed improved gross and net power densities of 9.0 and 6.3%, respectively. This improvement is caused by a lower fresh water resistance (at similar open circuit voltages), due to exchange of divalent for monovalent cations.
Project description:Reverse electrodialysis (RED) is a membrane-based renewable energy technology that can harvest energy from salinity gradients. The anticipated feed streams are natural river and seawater, both of which contain not only monovalent ions but also divalent ions. However, RED using feed streams containing divalent ions experiences lower power densities because of both uphill transport and increased membrane resistance. In this study, we investigate the effects of divalent cations (Mg2+ and Ca2+) on RED and demonstrate the mitigation of those effects using both novel and existing commercial cation exchange membranes (CEMs). Monovalent-selective Neosepta CMS is known to block divalent cations transport and can therefore mitigate reductions in stack voltage. The new multivalent-permeable Fuji T1 is able to transport divalent cations without a major increase in resistance. Both strategies significantly improve power densities compared to standard-grade CEMs when performing RED using streams containing divalent cations.
Project description:An incompatibility P-7 plasmid pCAR1 can be efficiently transferred among artificial microcosms in the presence of divalent cations Ca2+ and Mg2+. One on one mating assays between Pseudomonas strains with different plasmids showed that the promotion of transfer efficiency by divalent cations was also found in other plasmids including pB10 and NAH7, whereas the impacts were larger in IncP-7 plasmids. The impact on pCAR1 transfer altered by different pairs of donor and recipient strains, and the promotion of transfer efficiency was clearly detected between donors P. resinovorans CA10dm4 and P. fluorescens Pf0-1 to the recipients P. putida KT2440 and CA10dm4. Transcriptome analyses showed that genes on the pCAR1 did not respond to the presence of cations, including the tra/trh genes involved in its transfer. Notably, transcriptions of oprH genes, encoding a putative outer membrane proteins, in both of donor and recipient were commonly upregulated under the cation-limited condition. Transfer frequency of the pCAR1 to the transposon mutant of oprH in KT2440 was not promoted by the cations. This effect was partially recovered by the complementation with oprH gene, suggesting that OprH is involved in the promotion the pCAR1 transfer by divalent cations. Overall design: Transcriptome analysis was perfoemed using Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1(pCAR1) and Pseudomonas putida KT2440 mating in carbon-free (CF) buffer with/without cations. RNA maps of the donor or the recipient were used as controls. Biologically duplicated data were obtained.
Project description:As population growth continues to outpace development of water infrastructure in many countries, desalination (the removal of salts from seawater) at high energy efficiency will likely become a vital source of fresh water. Due to its atomic thinness combined with its mechanical strength, porous graphene may be particularly well-suited for electrodialysis desalination, in which ions are removed under an electric field via ion-selective pores. Here, we show that single graphene nanopores preferentially permit the passage of K(+) cations over Cl(-) anions with selectivity ratios of over 100 and conduct monovalent cations up to 5 times more rapidly than divalent cations. Surprisingly, the observed K(+)/Cl(-) selectivity persists in pores even as large as about 20 nm in diameter, suggesting that high throughput, highly selective graphene electrodialysis membranes can be fabricated without the need for subnanometer control over pore size.
Project description:The defensive slime of hagfish consists of a polyanionic mucin hydrogel that synergistically interacts with a fiber network forming a coherent and elastic hydrogel in high ionic strength seawater. In seawater, the slime deploys in less than a second entrapping large quantities of water by a well-timed thread skein unravelling and mucous gel swelling. This rapid and vast hydrogel formation is intriguing, as high ionic strength conditions generally counteract the swelling speed and ratio of polyelectrolyte hydrogels. In this work we investigate the effect of ionic strength and seawater cations on slime formation dynamics and functionality. In the absence of ionic strength skeins swell radially and unravel uncontrolled, probably causing tangling and creating a confined thread network that entraps limited water. At high ionic strength skeins unravel, but create a collapsed and dense fiber network. High ionic strength conditions therefore seem crucial for controlled skein unraveling, however not sufficient for water retention. Only the presence of naturally occurring Ca2+ or Mg2+-ions allowed for an expanded network and full water retention probably due to Ca2+-mediated vesicle rupture and cross-linking of the mucin. Our study demonstrates that hagfish slime deployment is a well-timed, ionic-strength, and divalent-cation dependent dynamic hydrogel formation process.
Project description:In Mitchell's chemiosmotic theory, membrane potential Δψ was given as the electric potential difference across the membrane. However, its physical origin for membrane potential Δψ was not well explained. Using the Lee proton electrostatic localization model with a newly formulated equation for protonic motive force (pmf) that takes electrostatically localized protons into account, membrane potential has now been better understood as the voltage difference contributed by the localized surface charge density ([HL+]+∑i=1n[MLi+]) at the liquid-membrane interface as in an electrostatically localized protons/cations-membrane-anions capacitor. That is, the origin of membrane potential Δψ is now better understood as the electrostatic formation of the localized surface charge density that is the sum of the electrostatically localized proton concentration [HL+] and the localized non-proton cations density ∑i=1n[MLi+] at the liquid membrane interface. The total localized surface charge density equals to the ideal localized proton population density [HL+]0 before the cation-proton exchange process; since the cation-proton exchange process does not change the total localized charges density, neither does it change to the membrane potential Δψ . The localized proton concentration [HL+] represents the dominant component, which accounts about 78% of the total localized surface charge density at the cation-proton exchange equilibrium state in animal mitochondria. Liquid water as a protonic conductor may play a significant role in the biological activities of membrane potential formation and utilization.
Project description:The bacterial flagellar motor is a reversible rotary molecular nanomachine, which couples ion flux across the cytoplasmic membrane to torque generation. It comprises a rotor and multiple stator complexes, and each stator complex functions as an ion channel and determines the ion specificity of the motor. Although coupling ions for the motor rotation were presumed to be only monovalent cations, such as H+ and Na+, the stator complex MotA1/MotB1 of Paenibacillus sp. TCA20 (MotA1TCA/MotB1TCA) was reported to use divalent cations as coupling ions, such as Ca2+ and Mg2+. In this study, we initially aimed to measure the motor torque generated by MotA1TCA/MotB1TCA under the control of divalent cation motive force; however, we identified that the coupling ion of MotA1TCAMotB1TCA is very likely to be a monovalent ion. We engineered a series of functional chimeric stator proteins between MotB1TCA and Escherichia coli MotB. E. coli ?motAB cells expressing MotA1TCA and the chimeric MotB presented significant motility in the absence of divalent cations. Moreover, we confirmed that MotA1TCA/MotB1TCA in Bacillus subtilis ?motAB?motPS cells generates torque without divalent cations. Based on two independent experimental results, we conclude that the MotA1TCA/MotB1TCA complex directly converts the energy released from monovalent cation flux to motor rotation.
Project description:Water softening is a relatively untapped area of research in capacitive deionization (CDI). In this work, we demonstrate how an asymmetric combination of oxidized and aminated carbon can be used for selective removal of divalent cations for water softening. We first show how higher electrosorption performances can be achieved in single-salt experiments involving NaCl, KCl, MgCl2, and CaCl2 before proceeding to multi-salt experiments using different combinations of the four salts. The salt combinations are chosen to investigate one of the three factors: (1) ionic mass, (2) ionic charge, or (3) concentration. We show how divalent selectivity can be achieved due to high local electrostatic attraction between negatively charged oxygen moieties and divalent cations. Additionally, an ion-exchange process between the oxidized carbon surface and cations can result in lower pH values, which prevent the precipitation of scale-forming ions.
Project description:Human red blood cells (RBCs) lack the actin-myosin-microtubule cytoskeleton that is responsible for shape changes in other cells. Nevertheless, they can display highly dynamic local deformations in response to external perturbations, such as those that occur during the process of apical alignment preceding merozoite invasion in malaria. Moreover, after lysis in divalent cation-free media, the isolated membranes of ruptured ghosts show spontaneous inside-out curling motions at the free edges of the lytic hole, leading to inside-out vesiculation. The molecular mechanisms that drive these rapid shape changes are unknown. Here, we propose a molecular model in which the spectrin filaments of the RBC cortical cytoskeleton control the sign and dynamics of membrane curvature depending on whether the ends of the filaments are free or anchored to the bilayer. Computer simulations of the model reveal that curling, as experimentally observed, can be obtained either by an overall excess of weakly-bound filaments throughout the cell, or by the flux of such filaments toward the curling edges. Divalent cations have been shown to arrest the curling process, and Ca2+ ions have also been implicated in local membrane deformations during merozoite invasion. These effects can be replicated in our model by attributing the divalent cation effects to increased filament-membrane binding. This process converts the curl-inducing loose filaments into fully bound filaments that arrest curling. The same basic mechanism can be shown to account for Ca2+-induced local and dynamic membrane deformations in intact RBCs. The implications of these results in terms of RBC membrane dynamics under physiological, pathological, and experimental conditions is discussed.
Project description:Ion exchange membranes (IEMs) have consolidated applications in energy conversion and storage systems, like fuel cells and battery separators. Moreover, in the perspective to address the global need for non-carbon-based and renewable energies, salinity-gradient power (SGP) harvesting by reverse electrodialysis (RED) is attracting significant interest in recent years. In particular, brine solutions produced in desalination plants can be used as concentrated streams in a SGP-RED stack, providing a smart solution to the problem of brine disposal. Although Nafion is probably the most prominent commercial cation exchange membrane for electrochemical applications, no study has investigated yet its potential in RED. In this work, Nafion 117 and Nafion 115 membranes were tested for NaCl and NaCl + MgCl2 solutions, in order to measure the gross power density extracted under high salinity gradient and to evaluate the effect of Mg2+ (the most abundant divalent cation in natural feeds) on the efficiency in energy conversion. Moreover, performance of commercial CMX (Neosepta) and Fuji-CEM 80050 (Fujifilm) cation exchange membranes, already widely applied for RED applications, were used as a benchmark for Nafion membranes. In addition, complementary characterization (i.e., electrochemical impedance and membrane potential test) was carried out on the membranes with the aim to evaluate the predominance of electrochemical properties in different aqueous solutions. In all tests, Nafion 117 exhibited superior performance when 0.5/4.0 M NaCl fed through 500 µm-thick compartments at a linear velocity 1.5 cm·s-1. However, the gross power density of 1.38 W·m-2 detected in the case of pure NaCl solutions decreased to 1.08 W·m-2 in the presence of magnesium chloride. In particular, the presence of magnesium resulted in a drastic effect on the electrochemical properties of Fuji-CEM-80050, while the impact on other membranes investigated was less severe.
Project description:Drosophila Big Brain (BIB) is a transmembrane protein encoded by the neurogenic gene big brain (bib), which is important for early development of the fly nervous system. BIB expressed in Xenopus oocytes is a monovalent cation channel modulated by tyrosine kinase signaling. Results here demonstrate that the BIB conductance shows voltage- and dose-dependent block by extracellular divalent cations Ca(2+) and Ba(2+) but not by Mg(2+) in wild-type channels. Site-directed mutagenesis of negatively charged glutamate (Glu(274)) and aspartate (Asp(253)) residues had no effect on divalent cation block. However, mutation of a conserved glutamate at position 71 (Glu(71)) in the first transmembrane domain (M1) altered channel properties. Mutation of Glu(71) to Asp introduced a new sensitivity to block by extracellular Mg(2+); substitutions with asparagine or glutamine decreased whole-cell conductance; and substitution with lysine compromised plasma membrane expression. Block by divalent cations is important in other ion channels for voltage-dependent function, enhanced signal resolution, and feedback regulation. Our data show that the wild-type BIB conductance is attenuated by external Ca(2+), suggesting that endogenous divalent cation block might be relevant for enhancing signal resolution or voltage dependence for the native signaling process in neuronal cell fate determination.