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Low temperature performance of microbial fuel cells

Lookup NU author(s): Amor Larrosa Guerrero, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott, Professor Ian Head


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Single and double chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were tested in batch mode at seven different temperatures ranging from 4 to 35 °C and results were analyzed in terms of efficiency in soluble organic matter removal and capability of energy generation. The reactors were feed with brewery wastewater diluted in domestic wastewater. This mix (initial soluble chemical oxygen demand of 1200 mg L-1 and 492 mg L-1 of volatile suspended solids) was the source of carbon and inoculum for the experiments. Control reactors (sealed container with support for biofilm formation) as well as baseline reactors (sealed container with no support) were run in parallel to the MFCs at each temperature in order to assess the possible differences between water treatment in the MFCs including electrochemical process and conventional anaerobic digestion (either in the presence of a biofilm, or planktonic cells). Anaerobic digestion in MFCs showed improvements regarding rate and extent of COD removal in comparison to control and baseline reactors at low temperatures (4, 8 and 15 °C), whilst differences became negligible at higher temperatures (20, 25, 30 and 35 °C). Temperature was found to be a crucial factor in the yield of MFCs both, for COD removal and electricity production, with results that ranged from 58% final COD removal and maximum power of 15.1 mW m -3 reactor (8.1 mW m-2 cathode) during polarization at 4°C, to 94 % final COD removal and maximum power of 174.0 mW m-3 reactor (92.8 mW m-2 cathode) at 35°C for single chamber MFCs with carbon cloth based cathodes. Bioelectrochemical processes in these MFCs were found to have a temperature coefficient, Q10 of 1.6. Copyright © 2010, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Larrosa-Guerrero A, Scott K, Head I, Mateo F, Ginestá A, Hernández-Fernández J, Godínez C

Editor(s): Klemeš, J.J., Lam, H.L., Varbanov, P.S.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Chemical Engineering Transactions: 13th Conference on Process Integration, Modelling and Optimisation for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction (PRES)

Year of Conference: 2010

Pages: 463-468

ISSN: 1974-9791

Publisher: AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.


DOI: 10.3303/CET1021078

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9788895608051