Effect of soil type on heavy metals removal in bioelectrochemical system.Bioelectrochemistry. 2020 Dec; 136:107596.B
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is widely used to remediate heavy metal pollution of soil, and the applicability of soils with different physical and chemical properties under micro-electric field has not been studied. In this study, copper was effectively removed in four typical soil-filled MFCs. The removal efficiencies of copper from closed-circuit MFCs filled with paddy, red, black and alluvial soils were 2.9, 1.50, 3.48 and 3.40 times higher than those in the open-circuit control group, respectively. However, the contributions of electromigration and diffusion mechanisms were different under different soil types. The greatest copper removal (19.3 ± 0.8%) was achieved based on electromigration of the electric field inside the paddy soil MFC in 63 days, while the greatest copper removal (25 ± 2%) was achieved under the action of diffusion mechanism inside the red soil MFC. According to redundancy analysis, the removal of copper by electromigration was positively correlated with electricity generation performance and acid extractable Cu content, whereas copper removal based on diffusion was positively related to soil pore volume and acid extractable Cu content. The cation exchange capacity and total organic carbon of soil were negatively correlated with the acid extractable Cu content, and electrical conductivity of soil was positively correlated with the MFC electricity generation performance. Furthermore, the directional movement of protons under an electric field alleviated the issue of soil acidification caused by citric acid.