Electricity generation and struvite recovery from human urine using microbial fuel cells

You, J., Greenman, J., Melhuish, C. and Ieropoulos, I. (2016) Electricity generation and struvite recovery from human urine using microbial fuel cells. Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 91 (3). pp. 647-654. ISSN 0268-2575 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/26976

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jctb.4617

Abstract/Description

BACKGROUND: Urine is an abundant waste product which requires energy intensive treatment processes in modern wastewater treatment plants. However urine can be utilised as fertiliser in the form of struvite. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising technology for treating waste whilst producing electricity. Combining these two approaches, a 3-stage MFC/struvite extraction process system was developed and its feasibility tested in order to maximise urine utilisation in terms of electricity generation and struvite recovery. RESULTS: At the first stage, whilst generating electrical energy, MFCs accelerated urea hydrolysis, which was beneficial for the struvite precipitation process in the following stage. After collecting struvite by adding magnesium into the initial effluent, the supernatant was used at the final stage for additional power and more efficient COD reduction. In total, 82 % of PO43–-P and 20 % of COD of undiluted human urine were removed by the 3-stage system. Also 14.32 W/m3 (absolute power: 358 µW) and 11.76 W/m3 (absolute power: 294 µW) of power was produced from the 1st and 3rd stages of the system, respectively, during operation. CONCLUSION: This work shows how MFCs and struvite precipitation could be integrated for both energy generation and resource recovery from urine, leading to a truly sustainable energy future.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: You, J., Greenman, J., Melhuish, C. and Ieropoulos, I. (2015) Electricity generation and struvite recovery from human urine using microbial fuel cells. Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology. ISSN 0268-2575, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jctb.4617. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:microbial fuel cells, struvite, source-separated urine, resource recovery
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences
ID Code:26976
Deposited By: J. You
Deposited On:24 Sep 2015 11:46
Last Modified:24 May 2017 16:01

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