Microbial fuel cell coupled with anaerobic treatment processes for wastewater treatment

Suman Bajracharya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Energy-efficient or even energy-yielding wastewater treatment technologies are sought to meet the ever-increasing energy demands and costs from current wastewater treatment technologies. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology employs electrochemical-catalytic activity of microbes to oxidize organic (in some cases inorganic) substrates present in wastewaters, and the electrons produced are used for electricity generation. MFC technology offers the benefits of waste treatment and electric power production at the same time. Lots of research efforts were dedicated to power output improvement in MFCs. However, the power production from MFC appears to have a restriction, and it seems to have major limitations for upscaling. Instead of highlighting the electricity production from MFC, integration of MFC in conventional wastewater treatments as hybrid systems have the larger potential in enhancing the process and efficiencies of waste treatment. Practically, the integration of MFC in waste treatment becomes more applicable as compared to stand-alone MFC or biological waste treatment systems. The integration of MFC technologies with anaerobic treatment process could provide tangible benefits by increasing the treatment capacity by enhancing the biodegradability of waste, lowering the toxicity, and removing nutrients. This chapter presents the development prospects of MFC coupled waste treatment systems, based on the recent advances reported for integrated MFC configurations and effectiveness. An overview of waste treatment, organic removal, and nutrient removal capacities of MFCs when integrated with anaerobic treatment systems is exemplified. The option of potential energy and nutrient recovery and other implications of MFC in anaerobic treatment systems affirm the benefits of MFC coupling in anaerobic treatments and prospects for the sustainability of the wastewater treatment system.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntegrated Microbial Fuel Cells for Wastewater Treatment
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780128174937
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-11


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