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Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 561;

Heterotrophic Anodic Denitrification in Microbial Fuel Cells

Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gdansk University of Technology, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Camilo José Cela S/N, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Kusiak
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biofuel Production)
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Nowadays, pollution caused by energy production systems is a major environmental concern. Therefore, the development of sustainable energy sources is required. Amongst others, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) seems to be a possible solution because it can produce clean energy at the same time that waste is stabilized. Unfortunately, mainly due to industrial discharges, the wastes could contain nitrates, or nitrates precursors such ammonia, which could lead to lower performance in terms of electricity production. In this work, the feasibility of coupling anodic denitrification process with electricity production in MFC and the effect of the nitrates over the MFC performance were studied. During the experiments, it was observed that the culture developed in the anodic chamber of the MFC presented a significant amount of denitrificative microorganisms. The MFC developed was able to denitrify up to 4 ppm, without affecting the current density exerted, of about 1 mA/cm2. Regarding the denitrification process, it must be highlighted that the maximum denitrification rate achieved with the culture was about 60 mg·NO3·L−1·h−1. Based on these results, it can be stated that it is possible to remove nitrates and to produce energy, without negatively affecting the electrical performance, when the nitrate concentration is low. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bio-electrochemistry; nitrogen removal; electricity generation; microbial fuel cell; electron acceptor Bio-electrochemistry; nitrogen removal; electricity generation; microbial fuel cell; electron acceptor

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Drewnowski, J.; Fernandez-Morales, F.J. Heterotrophic Anodic Denitrification in Microbial Fuel Cells. Sustainability 2016, 8, 561.

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