Architectural engineering of bioelectrochemical systems from the perspective of polymeric membrane separators: A comprehensive update on recent progress and future prospects

Péter Bakonyi, László Koók, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Gábor Tóth, Tamás Rózsenberszki, Dinh Duc Nguyen, Soon Woong Chang, Guangyin Zhen, Katalin Bélafi-Bakó, Nándor Nemestóthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Significant advances in the design of bioelectrochemical systems (BES) have promoted these applications to be seen as contemporary biotechnological platforms. However, notable issues in system architecture are still to be addressed and overcome, in particular concerning the membrane separators, which rely widely on polymers. These architectural components play a key-role in facilitating the transport of ions (i.e. protons) between the (compartments containing the) electrodes and therefore, their properties substantially influence the overall BES performance. This article aims presenting an up-to-date survey on the important accomplishments and promising outlooks with polymer-based membranes (both porous/non-porous, charged/uncharged) applied in BES (first and foremost microbial fuel cells, MFCs) that could drive this technology towards enhanced efficiency. Because of the interdisciplinary concept of BES, it attracts attention from scientists and engineers involved in environmental biotechnology, microbial electrochemistry and applied material sciences and as a result, this review paper would target the audience of these fields with particular interest on the progress with membrane separators fabricated with various polymeric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-522
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Péter Bakonyi acknowledges the support received from National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Hungary) under grant number PD 115640 . Gopalakrisnan Kumar would like to acknowledge the financial assistance from Ton Duc Thang University , Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The “GINOP-2.3.2-15 – Excellence of strategic R+D workshops (Development of modular, mobile water treatment systems and waste water treatment technologies based on University of Pannonia to enhance growing dynamic export of Hungary (2016-2020))” is also thanked for supporting this work. The János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is acknowledged for supporting this work. László Koók was supported by the ÚNKP-17-3 ‘‘ New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities ”. This work was supported by the New & Renewable Energy Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20173010092470 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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