Directly applicable microbial fuel cells in aeration tank for wastewater treatment.Bioelectrochemistry. 2010 Apr; 78(1):72-9.B
The application of microbial fuel cell (MFC) for wastewater treatment is a promising strategy for the simultaneous treatment of pollutants and generation of electricity. However, for practical application, there are several limitations to the MFC that involve biological and engineering aspects. In this study, a single-chambered MFC able to submerge into the aeration tank of the activated sludge process was developed to optimize the cell configuration and electrode materials. Among four MFCs with different electrode materials, the MFC with a graphite felt (GF) anode and a GF cathode showed the highest power density of 16.7 W m(-3) and the lowest internal resistance of 17 Omega. When the blower was stopped to evaluate the effect of mixing intensity, the concentration of dissolved oxygen nevertheless remained at 8 mg O2 L(-1), and the cell voltage of MFCs dropped rapidly and reached 30 mV. However, the cell voltage immediately returned to around 200 mV after the blowing of air. The MFCs with a GF cathode were sensitive to mixing intensity. At the very low concentration of 0.2 mg O2 L(-1), the cell voltage remained at a high level of 200 mV when the oxygen close to the cathode remained and mixing was sufficient.