Author(s): Luo H, Xu P, Roane TM, Jenkins PE, Ren Z
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Abstract The low conductivity and alkalinity in municipal wastewater significantly limit power production from microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study integrated desalination with wastewater treatment and electricity production in a microbial desalination cell (MDC) by utilizing the mutual benefits among the above functions. When using wastewater as the sole substrate, the power output from the MDC (8.01 W/m(3)) was four times higher than a control MFC without desalination function. In addition, the MDC removed 66\% of the salts and improved COD removal by 52\% and Coulombic efficiency by 131\%. Desalination in MDCs improved wastewater characteristics by increasing the conductivity by 2.5 times and stabilizing anolyte pH, which therefore reduced system resistance and maintained microbial activity. Microbial community analysis revealed a more diverse anode microbial structure in the MDC than in the MFC. The results demonstrated that MDC can serve as a viable option for integrated wastewater treatment, energy production, and desalination. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology