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Effects of anode materials on electricity production from xylose and treatability of TMP wastewater in an up-flow microbial fuel cell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume372
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine an optimal anode material for electricity production and COD removal from xylose containing synthetic wastewater in an up-flow microbial fuel cell (MFC), and assess its suitability for treatment of thermomechanical pulping (TMP) wastewater with an enrichment culture at 37 °C. The anode materials tested included carbon-based electrodes (graphite plate, carbon cloth and zeolite coated carbon cloth), metal-based electrodes (tin coated copper) and a metal-carbon assembly (granular activated carbon in stainless steel cage). During continuous operation with xylose, COD removal was 77–86% of which 25–28% was recovered as electricity. The highest power density of 333 (±15) mW/m 2 was obtained with the carbon cloth electrode. However, based on an overall analysis including electrode performance, surface area and scalability, the granular activated carbon in stainless steel cage (GAC in SS cage) was chosen to be used as electrode for bioelectrochemical treatment of TMP wastewater. The TMP fed MFC was operated in continuous mode with 1.8 days hydraulic retention time, resulting in 47 (±13%) COD removal of which 1.5% was recovered as electricity with the average power production of 10–15 mW/m 2 . During operation with TMP wastewater, membrane fouling increased the polarization resistance causing a 50% decrease in power production within 30 days. This study shows that MFC pretreatment removes half of the TMP wastewater COD load, reducing the energy required for aerobic treatment.

Keywords

  • Electricity production, Electrode material, Granular activated carbon, Membrane fouling, Microbial electrochemical technology, Thermomechanical pulping wastewater

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland