Previous studies have shown that the application of cation exchange membranes (CEMs) in bioelectrochemical systems running on wastewater can cause operational problems. In this paper the effect of alternative types of ion exchange membrane is studied in biocatalyzed electrolysis cells. Four types of ion exchange membranes are used: (i) a CEM, (ii) an anion exchange membrane (AEM), (iii) a bipolar membrane (BPM), and (iv) a charge mosaic membrane (CMM). With respect to the electrochemical performance of the four biocatalyzed electrolysis configurations, the ion exchange membranes are rated in the order AEM > CEM > CMM > BPM. However, with respect to the transport numbers for protons and/or hydroxyl ions (tH/OH) and the ability to prevent pH increase in the cathode chamber, the ion exchange membranes are rated in the order BPM > AEM > CMM > CEM.

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