Improved Wastewater Treatment by Combined System of Microbial Fuel Cell with Activated Carbon/TiO2 Cathode Catalyst and Membrane Bioreactor

G. D. Bhowmick, Sovik Das, M. M. Ghangrekar, A. Mitra, R. Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

A two-stage continuous process was developed for treating medium-strength wastewater combining microbial fuel cell (MFC) using activated carbon (AC)/TiO2 composite as cathode catalyst and submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR). Synthetic wastewater, having total chemical oxygen demand (COD) of around 3 g/L, was introduced first in the anodic chamber of MFC in a continuous mode of operation followed by aerobic MBR. Submerged hollow-fibre ultra-filtration membrane assembly was attached to draw permeate from MBR. The electrical performance of MFC was evaluated by polarisation, which showed a maximum volumetric power density of 1.02 W/m3 with much lower whole-cell internal resistance of 10 Ω. The coulombic efficiency of MFC was estimated to be 0.31%, demonstrating AC/TiO2 composite as a promising cathode catalyst for applications in MFC. The permeate of MFC–MBR system showed 98.3 ± 0.3% and 81.9 ± 1.8% of COD and total Kjeldahl nitrogen removal efficiency, respectively, producing permeate with total suspended solids concentration of less than 5 mg/L. Thus, a two-stage reliable process for treatment of wastewater is demonstrated using integrated MFC–MBR for generating high-quality recyclable effluent and facilitating recovery of bio-electricity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of The Institution of Engineers (India): Series A
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bio-electricity
  • Cathode catalyst
  • Membrane bioreactor
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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