A new highly scalable microbial fuel cell (MFC) design, consisting of a series of cassette electrodes (CE), was examined for increasing power production from organic matter in wastewater. Each CE chamber was composed of a box-shaped flat cathode (two air cathodes on both sides) sandwiched in between two proton-exchange membranes and two graphite-felt anodes. Due to the simple design of the CE-MFC, multiple cassettes can be combined to form a single unit and inserted into a tank to treat wastewater. A 12-chamber CE-MFC was tested using a synthetic wastewater containing starch, peptone, and fish extract. Stable performance was obtained after 15 days of operation in fed-batch mode, with an organic removal efficiency of 95% at an organic loading rate of 2.9 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD) per cubic meter per day and an efficiency of 93% at 5.8 kg COD per cubic meter per day. Power production was stable during this period, reaching maximum power densities of 129 W m-3 (anode volume) and 899 mW m-2 (anode projected area). The internal resistance of CE-MFC decreased from 2.9 (day 4) to 0.64 Ω (day 25). These results demonstrate the usefulness of the CE-MFC design for energy production and organic wastewater treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology