Author(s): Puig S, Coma M, Desloover J, Boon N, Colprim J,
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Abstract The presence of elevated concentrations of nitrates in drinking water has become a serious concern worldwide. The use of autotrophic denitrification in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for waters with low ionic strengths (i.e., 1000 μS·cm(-1)) has not been considered previously. This study evaluated the feasibility of MFC technology for water denitification and also identified and quantified potential energy losses that result from their usage. The low conductivity (<1600 μS·cm(-1)) of water limited the nitrogen removal efficiency and power production of MFCs and led to the incomplete reduction of nitrate and the nitrous oxide (N(2)O) production (between 4 and 20\% of nitrogen removed). Cathodic overpotential was identified as the main energy loss factors (83-90\% of total losses). That high overpotential was influenced by denitrification intermediates (NO(2)(-) and N(2)O) and the potential used by microorganisms for growth, activation, and maintenance.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation