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Optimization of Microbial Fuel Cell for Treating Industrial Wastewater and Simultaneous Power Generation

Author(s): Aswin T, Sabarunisha Begum S, and Mohamed Yacin Sikkandar

The dual application of microbial fuel cells (MFC) make them more prolific in research at present. In this study, microbial fuel cell was fabricated in an economical way and the experiment was carried out in two phases. In first phase of experimental run, dairy and leather effluent was used as substrate without any mediators and in second phase, dairy, leather and sewage wastewater were used as substrate with ferroin as mediator. Physiochemical characteristics such as total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) were determined before and after treating the effluent in MFC using saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heavy metals present in the effluent were also removed during biodegradation process. In first phase of experimental run, COD and BOD removal efficiency was found to be 80.4% and 59.3% for leather effluent, 83.4% and 64.3% for dairy effluent and in second phase, COD and BOD removal efficiency was found to be 80% and 64% for leather effluent, 85.4% and 79% for dairy effluent and 65% and 47% for domestic wastewater. The maximum power generated in first phase during the treatment of dairy and leather wastewater was found to be 385.25 μW and 304.5 μW and in second phase, 1.98 mW, 1.95 mW and 1.28 mW of power was generated during the treatment of dairy, leather and domestic wastewater. In both phases of experimental run, power generated during the treatment of dairy wastewater is more. The results showed that the organic matter has been effectively degraded more in the dairy wastewater and produced more electrons when compared to leather and domestic wastewater.

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