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Life cycle, techno-economic and dynamic simulation assessment of bioelectrochemical systems: A case of formic acid synthesis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Eileen Yu, Dr Shahid RasulORCiD, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott, Professor Ian Head



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2018 Elsevier Ltd A novel framework, integrating dynamic simulation (DS), life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic assessment (TEA) of a bioelectrochemical system (BES), has been developed to study for the first time wastewater treatment by removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) by oxidation in anode and thereby harvesting electron and proton for carbon dioxide reduction reaction or reuse to produce products in cathode. Increases in initial COD and applied potential increase COD removal and production (in this case formic acid) rates. DS correlations are used in LCA and TEA for holistic performance analyses. The cost of production of HCOOH is €0.015–0.005 g−1 for its production rate of 0.094–0.26 kg yr−1 and a COD removal rate of 0.038–0.106 kg yr−1. The life cycle (LC) benefits by avoiding fossil-based formic acid production (93%) and electricity for wastewater treatment (12%) outweigh LC costs of operation and assemblage of BES (−5%), giving a net 61MJkg−1 HCOOH saving.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shemfe M, Gadkari S, Yu E, Rasul S, Scott K, Head IM, Gu S, Sadhukhan J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bioresource Technology

Year: 2018

Volume: 255

Pages: 39-49

Print publication date: 01/05/2018

Online publication date: 04/02/2018

Acceptance date: 15/01/2018

Date deposited: 22/02/2018

ISSN (print): 0960-8524

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2976

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2018.01.071


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