Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticle-Immobilized Antibacterial Anion-Exchange Membranes for Salinity Gradient Energy Production by Reverse Electrodialysis

Eti M., Cihanoğlu A., HAMALOĞLU K. Ö., Altıok E., Güler E., Tuncel A., ...More

ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, vol.12, no.10, pp.3977-3986, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.3c06320
  • Journal Name: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex
  • Page Numbers: pp.3977-3986
  • Keywords: anion-exchange membranes, antibacterial activity, biofouling, reverse electrodialysis, silver nanoparticles
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Biofouling, stemming from the attachment of living microorganisms, such as bacteria, which form resilient biofilms on membrane surfaces, presents a significant challenge that hampers the efficiency of anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) in reverse electrodialysis (RED) applications. This limitation curtails the generation of electrical power from salinity gradients, which notably is a sustainable form of energy known as osmotic energy. RED stands as a clean and promising process to harness this renewable energy source. This study aimed to impart antibacterial activity to synthesized AEMs by using silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). For that purpose, AgNPs were synthesized at 30 °C using two different pH values (6.0 and 9.0) and immobilized into synthesized AEMs using the dip-coating technique. In nanoparticle synthesis, ascorbic acid and trisodium citrate were used as a reductant and a stabilizer, respectively, to take control of the particle size and agglomeration behavior. The results indicated that AgNPs synthesized at pH 6.0 were dispersed on the AEM surface without agglomeration. The stability of AgNPs immobilized on the membrane surface was tested under low- and high-saline solutions. The antibacterial activities of AEMs were determined with the colony-counting method using Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacterial suspension. The viability of bacteria dramatically decreased after the immobilization of AgNPs in the AEMs. In the short- and long-term RED tests, it has been observed that the AEMs having AgNPs have high energy-generating potentials, and power density up to 0.372 W/m2 can be obtained.