Heterotrophic Anodic Denitrification in Microbial Fuel Cells

Jakub Drewnowski, Francisco Fernandez-Morales
2016 Sustainability  
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
more » ... ty 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/cm 2 . Regarding the denitrification process, it must be highlighted that the maximum denitrification rate achieved with the culture was about 60 mg¨NO 3 ´¨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.
doi:10.3390/su8060561 fatcat:r32nvvl4a5hfjjo6o5khm6zgee