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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 375; doi:10.3390/ijerph13040375

Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors

1
Hydro-Environment Research Centre, Energy and Environment Theme, Cardiff University School of Engineering, Queen’s Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
2
Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research, P.O. Box 24885, Safat 13109, Kuwait
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rao Bhamidiammarri and Kiran Tota-Maharaj
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Systems Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3364 KB, uploaded 31 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

This study investigated the mechanism and key factors influencing concurrent phosphorus (P) recovery and energy generation in microbial fuel cells (MFC) during wastewater treatment. Using a mediator-less dual chamber microbial fuel cell operated for 120 days; P was shown to precipitate as struvite when ammonium and magnesium chloride solutions were added to the cathode chamber. Monitoring data for chemical oxygen demand (COD), pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and aeration flow rate showed that a maximum 38% P recovery was achieved; and this corresponds to 1.5 g/L, pH > 8, −550 ± 10 mV and 50 mL/min respectively, for COD, pHcathode, ORP and cathode aeration flow rate. More importantly, COD and aeration flow rate were shown to be the key influencing factors for the P recovery and energy generation. Results further show that the maximum P recovery corresponds to 72 mW/m2 power density. However, the energy generated at maximum P recovery was not the optimum; this shows that whilst P recovery and energy generation can be concurrently achieved in a microbial fuel cell, neither can be at the optimal value. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-electrochemical system; phosphorus; phosphorus recovery; microbial fuel cell; struvite bio-electrochemical system; phosphorus; phosphorus recovery; microbial fuel cell; struvite
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Almatouq, A.; Babatunde, A.O. Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 375.

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