[Electricity generation from corn steepwater using microbial fuel cell technology].Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2009 Feb 15; 30(2):563-7.HJ
Corn steepwater containing 49,732.2 mg/L of chemical oxygen demand (COD) was used as fuel for a membrane electrode assembly microbial fuel cell (MEA-MFC), which could generate electricity and treat the wastewater at the same time. During a batch experiment of 94 days with a fixed 1,000 Omega external resistance, the maximum voltage output of 525.0 mV and power density of 169.6 mW/m2 were obtained after 17 days, corresponding to the current density, internal resistance and open voltage of 440.2 mA/m2, 350 Omega and 619.5 mV, respectively. However, data showed that the coulombic efficiency was only 1.6%, suggesting very limited COD was utilized for electricity generation. At the conclusion of the test, the removals of COD and ammonia-nitrogen were achieved 51.6% and 25.8%, respectively. This study demonstrates that corn steepwater can be used for power generation in MFC with simultaneous accomplishments of wastewater treatment, providing a novel approach for the safe disposal and recycle of corn steepwater.