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Microbial Electrochemical Technologies for Wastewater Treatment: Principles and Evolution from Microbial Fuel Cells to Bioelectrochemical-Based Constructed Wetlands

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Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ole Worms Allé 1, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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WATEC, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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Department of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Alcalá, Campus Universitario, Ctra. Madrid-Barcelona Km 33.600, 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
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Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(9), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091128
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water and Wastewater Treatment)
Microbial electrochemical technologies (MET) rely on the presence of the metabolic activity of electroactive bacteria for the use of solid-state electrodes for oxidizing different kinds of compound that can lead to the synthesis of chemicals, bioremediation of polluted matrices, the treatment of contaminants of interest, as well as the recovery of energy. Keeping these possibilities in mind, there has been growing interest in the use of electrochemical technologies for wastewater treatment, if possible with simultaneous power generation, since the beginning of the present century. In the last few years, there has been growing interest in exploring the possibility of merging MET with constructed wetlands offering a new option of an intensified wetland system that could maintain a high performance with a lower footprint. Based on that interest, this paper explains the general principles of MET, and the different known extracellular electron transfer mechanisms ruling the interaction between electroactive bacteria and potential solid-state electron acceptors. It also looks at the adoption of those principles for the development of MET set-ups for simultaneous wastewater treatment and power generation, and the challenges that the technology faces. Ultimately, the most recent developments in setups that merge MET with constructed wetlands are presented and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioelectrochemical systems (BES); electroactive bacteria (EAB); extracelullar electron transfer (EET); microbial fuel cells (MFC); treatment of wetlands bioelectrochemical systems (BES); electroactive bacteria (EAB); extracelullar electron transfer (EET); microbial fuel cells (MFC); treatment of wetlands
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Ramírez-Vargas, C.A.; Prado, A.; Arias, C.A.; Carvalho, P.N.; Esteve-Núñez, A.; Brix, H. Microbial Electrochemical Technologies for Wastewater Treatment: Principles and Evolution from Microbial Fuel Cells to Bioelectrochemical-Based Constructed Wetlands. Water 2018, 10, 1128.

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