A single-chamber microbial fuel cell as a biosensor for wastewaters

Mirella Di Lorenzo, Tom P Curtis, Ian M Head, Keith Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 129 Citations

Abstract

The traditional 5-day test of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5 test) has many disadvantages, and principally it is unsuitable for process control and real-time monitoring. As an alternative, a single-chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC) with an air cathode was tested as a biosensor and the performance analysed in terms of its measurement range, its response time, its reproducibility and its operational stability. When artificial wastewater was used as fuel, the biosensor output had a linear relationship with the BOD concentration up to 350 mg BOD cm−3; very high reproducibility; and stability over 7 months of operation.

The system was further improved by reducing by 75% the total anolyte volume. In this way a response time close to the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the biosensor (i.e. 40 min) was reached. When the small volume SCMFC biosensor was fed with real wastewater a good correlation between COD concentration and current output was obtained, demonstrating the applicability of this system to real effluents. The measurements obtained with the biosensor were also in accordance with values obtained with standard measurement methods.

LanguageEnglish
Pages3145-3154
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Volume43
Issue number13
Early online date24 Jan 2009
DOIs
StatusPublished - Jul 2009

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Microbial fuel cells
fuel cell
Biosensors
Wastewater
Biochemical oxygen demand
wastewater
measurement method
biochemical oxygen demand
effluent
hydraulics
air
Process control
monitoring
Effluents
Cathodes
Hydraulics
Monitoring
Air
test

Cite this

A single-chamber microbial fuel cell as a biosensor for wastewaters. / Di Lorenzo, Mirella; Curtis, Tom P; Head, Ian M; Scott, Keith.

In: Water Research, Vol. 43, No. 13, 07.2009, p. 3145-3154.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Di Lorenzo, M, Curtis, TP, Head, IM & Scott, K 2009, 'A single-chamber microbial fuel cell as a biosensor for wastewaters' Water Research, vol. 43, no. 13, pp. 3145-3154. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.01.005
Di Lorenzo M, Curtis TP, Head IM, Scott K. A single-chamber microbial fuel cell as a biosensor for wastewaters. Water Research. 2009 Jul;43(13):3145-3154. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.01.005
Di Lorenzo, Mirella ; Curtis, Tom P ; Head, Ian M ; Scott, Keith. / A single-chamber microbial fuel cell as a biosensor for wastewaters. In: Water Research. 2009 ; Vol. 43, No. 13. pp. 3145-3154
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