Effect of Cathode Biofilm and Non-feeding condition on the Performance of Membrane-less Microbial Fuel Cell Operated under Different Organic Loading Rates

Sridhar Pilli; M.M. Ghangrekar; R.D. Tyagi; R.Y. Surampalli
The novelty of this study is evaluating the performance of membrane-less microbial fuel cell (ML-MFC) after non-feeding conditions for a few days. Results showed that there was no effect of non-feeding condition up to two weeks on organic matter removal as well as electricity production upon restart. Moreover, effect of formation of cathode biofilm at organic loading rate (OLR) ranging from 0.33 to 1.25 kg COD/m3 d on performance of ML-MFC was evaluated. Although biocathodes are reported to improve performance of the MFC, formation of thicker biofilm on the cathode was observed to reduce power output. However, it contributed to increasing organic matter removal. At OLR of 1.25 kg COD/m3 d the COD removal efficiency was greater than 92%. Maximum TKN and removal of 96.89% and 97.38%, respectively, was observed at this loading. The maximum power density and current density of 3.76 mW/m2 and 14.79 mA/m2, respectively, was observed at OLR of 1.25 kg COD/m3 d, demonstrating the utility of ML-MFC for wastewater treatment and simultaneous electricity harvesting.
MFC; Wastewater Treatment; Electricity Generation; Biofilm; Shutdown
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