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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072446

Effect of Operating Parameters on the Performance Evaluation of Benthic Microbial Fuel Cells Using Sediments from the Bay of Campeche, Mexico

1
Renewable Energy Unit, Yucatan Center for Scientific Research (CICY), Carretera Sierra Papacal-Chuburná Puerto Km 5, Sierra Papacal 97302, Yucatán, Mexico
2
Separation and Conversion Technologies, VITO-Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium
3
Laboratorio de Cultivo de Tejidos Vegetales, Instituto Tecnológico el Llano Aguascalientes (ITEL), Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM), Aguascalientes, Km 18 Carr. Aguascalientes-San Luis Potosí, El Llano, Ags. C.P. 20330, Mexico
4
Marine Chemistry Laboratory, Center for Research and Advanced Studies, National Polytechnic Institute Mérida Unit, Carretera Antigua a Progreso Km 6, Mérida 97310, Yucatán, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract

Benthic microbial fuel cells (BMFC) are devices that remove organic matter (OM) and generate energy from sediments rich in organic nutrients. They are composed of electrodes with adequate different distances and floating air cathodes in an aqueous medium with saturated oxygen. In this study we proposed to design, build, analyze and evaluate a set of BMFCs with floating air cathodes to test the optimal distance between the electrodes, using sediment from the Bay of Campeche as a substrate. For the analysis of OM removal, COD tests, volatile solids (VS), E4/E6 study and FTIR analysis were performed. Power generation was evaluated through polarization curves, cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We achieved a current density and power density at 10 cm depth of 929.7 ± 9.5 mA/m2 and 109.6 ± 7.5 mW/m2 respectively, with 54% removal of OM from the sediment, obtaining formation of aliphatic structures. BMFCs are proposed as adequate systems for bioremediation and power generation. The system at 10 cm depth and 100 cm distance between sediment and the floating air cathode had a good performance and therefore the potential for possible scaling. View Full-Text
Keywords: benthic microbial fuel cell; organic matter; floating air cathodes benthic microbial fuel cell; organic matter; floating air cathodes
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González-Gamboa, N.; Domínguez-Benetton, X.; Pacheco-Catalán, D.; Kumar-Kamaraj, S.; Valdés-Lozano, D.; Domínguez-Maldonado, J.; Alzate-Gaviria, L. Effect of Operating Parameters on the Performance Evaluation of Benthic Microbial Fuel Cells Using Sediments from the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2446.

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