Conception and optimization of a membrane electrode assembly microbial fuel cell (MEA-MFC) for treatment of domestic wastewater

O. Lefebvre, A. Uzabiaga, Y. J. Shen, Z. Tan, Y. P. Cheng, W. Liu, H. Y. Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for microbial fuel cells (MEA-MFC) was developed for continuous electricity production while treating domestic wastewater concurrently. It was optimized via three upgraded versions (noted α, β and γ) in terms of design (current collectors, hydrophilic separator nature) and operating conditions (hydraulic retention time, external resistance, aeration rate, recirculation). An overall rise of power by over 100% from version α to γ shows the importance of factors such as the choice of proper construction materials and prevention of short-circuits. A power of 2.5 mW was generated with a hydraulic retention time of 2.3 h when a Selemion proton exchange membrane was used as a hydrophilic separator in the MEA and 2.8 mW were attained with a reverse osmosis membrane. The MFC also showed a competitive value of internal resistance (≈40-50 Ω) as compared to the literature, especially considering its large volume (3 L). However, the operation of our system in a complete loop where the anolyte was allowed to trickle over the cathode (version γ) resulted in system failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1527-1532
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Volume64
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Domestic wastewater
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Spacer
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Conception and optimization of a membrane electrode assembly microbial fuel cell (MEA-MFC) for treatment of domestic wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this