Greywater Treatment with Simultaneous Generation of Energy Using Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells

K J Sajithkumar, E V Ramasamy


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are an emerging type of biological wastewater treatment units with simultaneous power generation. The present study demonstrates an effective treatment of greywater and generation of electricity in a double-chambered MFC. This MFC was fabricated using cost-effective and easily available materials replacing expensive materials like Nafion membranes, graphite electrodes, etc. Experimental results showed a maximum open circuit voltage of 0.64 ± 0.04 V and 114 ± 1.41 mA current during the study period. The results further indicate a maximum power generation of 24.50 mW along with 307.69 mW/m² of power density; 34.62 mA/m² of current density, 1.33 W/m³ of volumetric power density, 0.15 A/m³ of volumetric current density and a power yield of 0.40 mW /kg of COD removal. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency was 77.6 %. The use of low-cost and easily available raw materials has brought down the total manufacturing cost of MFCs used in this study to less than USD 4.0. However, the performance of the MFCs used in the current study is comparable with other sophisticated MFCs built with expensive raw materials reported in the literature. This cost-effective MFC used in the present study might be an effective replacement of expensive MFCs for wastewater treatment at scaled-up levels.




greywater; microbial fuel cell (MFC); wastewater treatment; cost-effective; power output

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Print ISSN: 1392-1649
Online ISSN: 2029-2139