Increased power generation from primary sludge in microbial fuel cells coupled with prefermentation.Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2014 Dec; 37(12):2549-57.BB
Raw primary sludge and the prefermentation liquor (PL) of primary sludge were used to generate electricity in single-chambered air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The MFCs treating the primary sludge produced 0.53 V and 370 mW/m(2) for the maximum potential and power density, respectively. In the primary sludge-fed MFCs, only 5 % of the total energy production was produced from direct electricity generation, whereas 95 % of that resulted from the conversion of methane to electricity. MFCs treating the PL generated the maximum potential of 0.58 V and maximum power density of 885 mW/m(2), respectively. In the energy production analysis, direct electricity production (1,921 Wh/kg TCODrem) in the MFCs treating the PL was much higher than that of the primary sludge-fed MFC (138 Wh/kg TCODrem). Volatile suspended solids during 10 days were reduced to 18.3 and 38 % in the primary sludge-fed MFCs and prefermentation reactor, respectively. These findings suggest that a two-stage process including prefermentation and MFCs is of great benefit on sludge reduction and higher electricity generation from primary sludge.