The role of microbial electrolysis cell in urban wastewater treatment: integration options, challenges, and prospects

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Abstract

Microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) is an anaerobic biological process for the conversion of organics in wastewater into renewable energy in the form of hydrogen or methane. However, MEC cannot be used as a standalone technology for urban wastewater treatment, and post-treatment or integrated processes are required to meet water reuse and discharge limits. Recent advances in material science and the discovery of new microorganisms capable of extracellular electron transfer to the electrodes have widened the integration opportunities of MEC in mainstream and side-stream urban wastewater treatment. This review addresses recent developments in the integration of MEC with other processes such as membrane filtration, anaerobic ammonium oxidation and anaerobic digestion, as well as discusses current challenges and new integration opportunities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 4 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1971-05-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by Center Competitive Funding Program (FCC/1/1971-05-01) from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Figure 1 was produced by Xavier Pita, scientific illustrator at KAUST. We thank Srikanth Pedireddy, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the WDRC at KAUST, for generating Figure 2 in this manuscript.

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