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Denitrification of water in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) using seawater bacteria

Samrat, Naga M V V and Rao, Kesava K and Ruggeri, Bernardo and Tommasi, Tonia (2018) Denitrification of water in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) using seawater bacteria. In: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, 178 . pp. 449-456.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.221


The sea contains various microbes which have an ability to reduce and oxidize substances like iron, sulphur, and nitrate. Most of these processes happen in the seawater, but can also be applied for purification of wastewater. In the present work, a consortium of seawater bacteria has been used for the first time in a microbial fuel cell to reduce nitrate in synthetic water samples and produce electricity by oxidizing organic matter. The concentrations of nitrate and nitrite were reduced to well below their permissible limits. Moreover, the growth of the bacterial consortium in cathode causes an increased electricity production in the cell because of the increased bacterial activity. The performance of the cell with a bicarbonate buffered solution in the cathode was superior to that obtained with the commonly used phosphate buffered solution. As bicarbonate is the natural buffering agent found in the sea, the use of bicarbonate buffered solutions is eco-friendly. The same seawater bacterial consortium was used in both the anode and the cathode, confirming their adaptability to different environments. Unfortunately, denitrification was accompanied by the generation of high concentrations of ammonium in the anode and the cathode, probably because of the use of nitrogen gas for sparging the anolyte. This aspect merits further investigation. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for the article belong to ELSEVIER SCI LTD, THE BOULEVARD, LANGFORD LANE, KIDLINGTON, OXFORD OX5 1GB, OXON, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2018 17:40
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2018 17:40
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/59158

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