Effects of nitrate and sulfate on the performance and bacterial community structure of membraneless single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell

Yoonjoo Seo, Hyemin Kang, Sumin Chang, Yun Yeong Lee, Kyung Suk Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membrane-less, single-chamber, air-cathode, microbial fuel cells (ML-SC MFCs) have attracted attention as being suitable for wastewater treatment. In this study, the effects of nitrate and sulfate on the performance of ML-SC MFCs and their bacterial structures were evaluated. The maximum power density increased after nitrate addition from 8.6 mW m−2 to 14.0 mW m−2, while it decreased after sulfate addition from 11.5 mW m−2 to 7.7 mW m−2. The chemical oxygen demand removal efficiencies remained at more than 90% regardless of the nitrate or sulfate additions. The nitrate was removed completely (93.0%) in the ML-SC MFC, while the sulfate removal efficiency was relatively low (17.6%). Clostridium (23.1%), Petrimonas (20.0%), and unclassified Rhodocyclaceae (6.2%) were dominant on the anode before the addition of nitrate or sulfate. After the addition of nitrate, Clostridium was still the most dominant on the anode (23.6%), but Petrimonas significantly decreased (6.0%) and unclassified Rhodocyclaceae increased (17.1%). After the addition of sulfate, the amount of Clostridium almost doubled in the composition on the anode (43.2%), while Petrimonas decreased (5.5%). The bacterial community on the cathode was similar to that on the anode after the addition of nitrate. However, Desulfovibrio was remarkably dominant on the cathode (32.9%) after the addition of sulfate. These results promote a deeper understanding of the effects of nitrate or sulfate on the ML-SC MFCs’ performance and their bacterial community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Bacterial community
  • Microbial fuel cells (MFCs)
  • Nitrate removal
  • Sulfate removal
  • Wastewater treatment

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