Enhanced MFC power production and struvite recovery by the addition of sea salts to urine

Merino-Jimenez, I., Celorrio, V., Fermin, D. J., Greenman, J. and Ieropoulos, I. (2017) Enhanced MFC power production and struvite recovery by the addition of sea salts to urine. Water Research, 109. pp. 46-53. ISSN 0043-1354 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/30306

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.11.017


Urine is an excellent fuel for electricity generation in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), especially with practical implementations in mind. Moreover, urine has a high content in nutrients which can be easily recovered. Struvite (MgNH4PO4·6H2O) crystals naturally precipitate in urine, but this reaction can be enhanced by the introduction of additional magnesium. In this work, the effect of magnesium additives on the power output of the MFCs and on the catholyte generation is evaluated. Several magnesium sources including MgCl2, artificial sea water and a commercially available sea salts mixture for seawater preparation (SeaMix) were mixed with real fresh human urine in order to enhance struvite precipitation. The supernatant of each mixture was tested as a feedstock for the MFCs and it was evaluated in terms of power output and catholyte generation. The commercial SeaMix showed the best performance in terms of struvite precipitation, increasing the amount of struvite in the solid collected from 21 % to 94 %. Moreover, the SeaMix increased the maximum power performance of the MFCs by over 10 % and it also changed the properties of the catholyte collected by increasing the pH, conductivity and the concentration of chloride ions. These results demonstrate that the addition of sea-salts to real urine is beneficial for both struvite recovery and electricity generation in MFCs.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:microbial fuel cell, MFC, ceramic membrane, struvite recovery, catholyte generation, urine treatment
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics
ID Code:30306
Deposited By: Dr I. Merino Jimenez
Deposited On:08 Nov 2016 15:56
Last Modified:20 Jan 2018 13:22

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