Evaluation of organic matter removal and electricity generation by using integrated microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment.Environ Technol. 2016; 37(2):228-36.ET
A floating all-in-one type of microbial fuel cell (Fa-MFC) that allows simple operation and installation in existing wastewater reservoirs for decomposition of organic matter was designed. A prototype cell was constructed by fixing a tubular floater to an assembly composed of a proton-exchange membrane and an air-cathode. To compare anode materials, carbon-cloth anodes or carbon-brush anodes were included in the assembly. The fabricated assemblies were floated in 1-L beakers filled with acetate medium. Both reactors removed acetate at a rate of 133-181 mg/L/d. The Fa-MFC quipped with brush anodes generated a 1.7-fold higher maximum power density (197 mW/m(2)-cathode area) than did that with cloth anodes (119 mW/m(2)-cathode area). To evaluate the performance of the Fa-MFCs on more realistic substrates, artificial wastewater, containing peptone and meat extract, was placed in a 2-L beaker, and the Fa-MFC with brush anodes was floated in the beaker. The Fa-MFC removed the chemical oxygen demand of the wastewater at a rate of 465-1029 mg/L/d, and generated a maximum power density of 152 mW/m(2)-cathode area. When the Fa-MFC was fed with actual livestock wastewater, the biological oxygen demand of the wastewater was removed at a rate of 45-119 mg/L/d, with electricity generation of 95 mW/m(2)-cathode area. Bacteria related to Geobacter sulfurreducens were predominantly detected in the anode biofilm, as deduced from the analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence.