The effects of wastewater types on power generation and phosphorus removal of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with activated carbon (AC) cathodes

Santoro, C., Babanova, S., Artyushkova, K., Atanassov, P., Greenman, J., Cristiani, P., Trasatti, S., Schuler, A. J., Li, B. and Ieropoulos, I. (2014) The effects of wastewater types on power generation and phosphorus removal of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with activated carbon (AC) cathodes. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39 (36). pp. 21796-21802. ISSN 0360-3199 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/28904

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2014.09.167

Abstract/Description

Cost-effective activated carbon (AC) material was investigated for the development of gas-diffusion cathode employed in membraneless single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs) treating different feeding solutions. The electrocatalytic activity of AC cathodes was monitored in synthetic wastewater containing phosphate buffer saline solution and sodium acetate (PBS and NaOAc) and compared with several types of wastewaters (e.g. fresh urine (FU), hydrolysed urine (HU), wastewater and sodium acetate (WW + NaOAc) and raw wastewater (WW)). Solution conductivity and pH significantly affected the cathode and the SCMFCs performance. Synthetic wastewater (PBS) outperformed real wastewater in terms of cathode current and SCMFC power output. The results showed that the SCMFCs fed with urine generated 3 times higher power densities than those with raw WW and 25% higher than those with WW + NaOAc, most likely due to the high amount of electrons generated from organic substances. Chemical analysis showed that nutrient concentrations remained the same in the SCMFCs fed with PBS, but decreased 40% in those fed with urine. High power generation associated with phosphorus removal underlines the possibility of using urine as a feedstock for MFCs in real wastewater treatment processes.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:activated carbon cathode, wastewater, single chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC), organic compound removal, Nutrient transformation
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics
ID Code:28904
Deposited By: B. Jones
Deposited On:23 May 2016 10:36
Last Modified:23 May 2016 10:36

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