From microbial fuel cell (MFC) to microbial electrochemical snorkel (MES): maximizing chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal from wastewater.

  • Erable B
  • Etcheverry L
  • Bergel A
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The paper introduces the concept of the microbial electrochemical snorkel (MES), a simplified design of a "short-circuited" microbial fuel cell (MFC). The MES cannot provide current but it is optimized for wastewater treatment. An electrochemically active biofilm (EAB) was grown on graphite felt under constant polarization in an urban wastewater. Controlling the electrode potential and inoculating the bioreactor with a suspension of an established EAB improved the performance and the reproducibility of the anodes. Anodes, colonized by an EAB were tested for the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal from urban wastewater using a variety of bio-electrochemical processes (microbial electrolysis, MFC, MES). The MES technology, as well as a short-circuited MFC, led to a COD removal 57% higher than a 1000 Ω-connected MFC, confirming the potential for wastewater treatment.

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