Impacts of hydraulic retention time on a continuous flow mode dual-chamber microbial fuel cell for recovering nutrients from municipal wastewater.

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Journal Article
The Science of the total environment, 2020, 734, pp. 139220
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Nutrients recovery has become a meaningful solution to address shortage in the fertilizer production which is the key issue of nations' food security. The concept of municipal wastewater is based on its ability to be a major potential source for recovered nutrients because of its vast quantity and nutrient-rich base. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) has emerged as a sustainable technology, which is able to recover nutrients and simultaneously generate electricity. In this study a two-chambered MFC was constructed, and operated in a continuous flow mode employing artificial municipal wastewater as a substrate. The effects of hydraulic retention time (HRT) on the recovery of nutrients by MFC were studied. The COD removal rates were insignificantly influenced by varying HRT from 0.35 to 0.69 d, that were over 92%. Furthermore, the recovery rate of nutrients was insignificantly affected while increasing the HRT, which fluctuates from 80% to 90%. In contrast, the maximum power generation declined when HRT increased and the lowest one was 510.3 mV at the HRT of 0.35 d. These results demonstrate that the lab-scale double chamber MFC using municipal wastewater as the substrate can provide a highly effective removal strategy for organic matter, nutrients recovery and electricity output when operating at a specific HRT.
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