Influence of carbon electrode material on energy recovery from winery wastewater using a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell.Environ Technol. 2017 Jun; 38(11):1333-1341.ET
The aim of this work was to evaluate three carbon materials as anodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), clarifying their influence on the generation of electricity and on the treatability of winery wastewater, a highly organic-loaded waste. The electrode materials tested were carbon felt, carbon cloth and carbon paper and they were used at the same time as anode and cathode in the tests. The MFC equipped with carbon felt reached the highest voltage and power (72 mV and 420 mW m-2, respectively), while the lowest values were observed when carbon paper was used as electrode (0.2 mV and 8.37·10-6 mW m-2, respectively). Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal from the wastewater was observed to depend on the electrode material, as well. When carbon felt was used, the MFC showed the highest average organic matter consumption rate (650 mg COD L-1 d-1), whereas by using carbon paper the rate decreased to 270 mg COD L-1 d-1. Therefore, both electricity generation and organic matter removal are strongly related not to the chemical composition of the electrode (which was graphite carbon in the three electrodes), but to its surface features and, consequently, to the amount of biomass adhered to the electrode surface.