Autotrophic denitrification in microbial fuel cells treating low ionic strength waters

Sebastià Puig, Marta Coma, Joachim Desloover, Nico Boon, Jesús Colprim, M. Dolors Balaguer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (SciVal)


The presence of elevated concentrations of nitrates in drinking water has become a serious concern worldwide. The use of autotrophic denitrification in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for waters with low ionic strengths (i.e., 1000 μScm -1) as not been considered previously. This study evaluated the feasibility of MFC technology for water denitification and also identified and quantified potential energy losses that result from their usage. The low conductivity (2O) production (between 4 and 20% of nitrogen removed). Cathodic overpotential was identified as the main energy loss factors (83-90% of total losses). That high overpotential was influenced by denitrification intermediates (NO 2 - and N 2O) and the potential used by microorganisms for growth, activation, and maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-2315
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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