Enhanced low C/N nitrogen removal in an innovative microbial fuel cell (MFC) with electroconductivity aerated membrane (EAM) as biocathode

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chemical Engineering Journal, 2017, 316 pp. 315 - 322
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. A novel microbial fuel cell (MFC) was developed to enhance simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND) by employing electrons from the anode. The cathode chamber of the reactor consisted of a membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) which was made of an electroconductivity aerated membrane. The maximum power density of 4.20 ± 0.12 W m−3was obtained at a current density of 4.10 ± 0.11 A m−2(external resistance = 10 Ω). Compared with an open-circuit system, the removal rates of NH4+-N and TN were improved by 9.48 ± 0.33% and 19.80 ± 0.84%, respectively, which could be ascribed to the electrochemical denitrification. The anode (chemical oxygen demand, COD) and cathode (NO3−) chambers reached the maximum coulombic efficiencies (CEs) of 40.67 ± 1.05% and 42.84 ± 1.14%, respectively. It suggested that the electroconductivity MABR has some advantages in controlling aeration intensity, thus improving SND and CEs. Overall, EAM-MFC could successfully generate electricity from wastewater whilst showing high capacity for removing nitrogen at a low COD/N ratio of 2.8 ± 0.07 g COD g−1N.
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