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Bioelectrochemical conversion of waste to energy using microbial fuel cell technology

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Eileen Yu, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. Numerous traditional methods are available for the conversion of waste to energy (WTE) such as incineration, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, gasification. Most of them suffer from low efficiency and high energy requirements. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is an excellent alternative for the generation of renewable and sustainable energy and has the potential to help alleviate the current global energy crisis. The total wastewater generated in India is almost 250% of the total treatment capacity, and the Government is, therefore, looking for a sustainable solution for the treatment of waste. Indian population consumes around 700 billion cubic meters of water annually, and this figure will rise to 950 and 1422 billion m3 by 2025 and 2050 respectively. Although treatment of wastewater is a serious concern, the energy recovery potential of wastewater has not yet been fully developed. A survey has been conducted through this study, and it was estimated that MFC technology has the potential to generate around 23.3 and 40 Tera Watt (TW) power by 2025 and 2050 by treating wastewater generated throughout India (urban areas) if utilized properly. This review article presents a various aspect of MFC technology for a proper understanding by the readers. This will be a unique study wherein the energy recovery potential of the wastewater produced in the Indian subcontinent has been estimated through MFC technology. A number of factors affecting the performance of MFC such as electron losses, reactor configuration, and varying concentration must be taken into account to augment output energy. The article summarizes an extensive literature survey of some selected papers published in the last decade.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Khan MD, Khan N, Sultana S, Joshi R, Ahmed S, Yu E, Scott K, Ahmad A, Khan MZ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Process Biochemistry

Year: 2017

Volume: 57

Pages: 141-158

Print publication date: 01/06/2017

Online publication date: 06/04/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2017

ISSN (print): 1359-5113

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3298

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.procbio.2017.04.001


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