The treatment of PPCP-containing sewage in an anoxic/aerobic reactor coupled with a novel design of solid plain graphite-plates microbial fuel cell

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Abstract

Synthetic sewage containing high concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs, mg/L level) was treated using an anoxic/aerobic (A/O) reactor coupled with a microbial fuel cell (MFC) at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 8 h. A novel design of solid plain graphite plates (SPGRPs) was used for the high surface area biodegradation of the PPCP-containing sewage and for the generation of electricity. The average CODCrand total nitrogen removal efficiencies achieved were 97.20% and 83.75%, respectively. High removal efficiencies of pharmaceuticals, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and sulfamethoxazole, were also obtained and ranged from 98.21% to 99.89%. A maximum power density of 532.61 mW/cm2and a maximum coulombic efficiency of 25.20% were measured for the SPGRP MFC at the anode. Distinct differences in the bacterial community were presented at various locations including the mixed liquor suspended solids and biofilms. The bacterial groups involved in PPCP biodegradation were identified as Dechloromonas spp., Sphingomonas sp., and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This design, which couples an A/O reactor with a novel design of SPGRP MFC, allows the simultaneous removal of PPCPs and successful electricity production.

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Chang, Y. T., Yang, C. W., Chang, Y. J., Chang, T. C., & Wei, D. J. (2014). The treatment of PPCP-containing sewage in an anoxic/aerobic reactor coupled with a novel design of solid plain graphite-plates microbial fuel cell. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/765652

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