Microbial fuel cell application in landfill leachate treatment

Sebastià Puig, Marc Serra, Marta Coma, Marina Cabré, M.Dolors Balaguer, Jesús Colprim

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149 Citations (SciVal)


The feasibility of using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in landfill leachate treatment and electricity production was assessed under high levels of nitrogen concentration (6033mgNL-1) and conductivity (73,588μScm-1). An air-cathode MFC was used over a period of 155 days to treat urban landfill leachate. Up to 8.5kgCODm-3d-1 of biodegradable organic matter was removed at the same time as electricity (344mWm-3) was produced. Nitrogen compounds suffered transformations in the MFC. Ammonium was oxidized to nitrite using oxygen diffused from the membrane. However, at high free ammonia concentrations (around 900mgN-NH3L-1), the activity of nitrifier microorganisms was inhibited. Ammonium reduction was also resulted from ammonium transfer through the membrane or from ammonia loss. High salinity content benefited the MFC performance increasing power production and decreasing the internal resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-767
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2011


  • Landfill leachate
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Nitrogen
  • Organic matter
  • Power density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering


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