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Microbial fuel cell for the treatment of high organic load effluents: analysis of organic matter removal and generation of energy

Grant number: 17/10325-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Antunes Nolasco
Grantee:Julio Cano
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The development of new technologies to meet the energy demand and the management of wastewater treatment are becoming more relevant. With this in view, the microbial fuel cell (CCM) appears as an alternative for the treatment of wastewater and energy generation simultaneously, especially of effluents with high organic load. In this way, the objective is to evaluate the potential of organic matter degradation and energy generation in a tubular MCC model applied to the treatment of effluent with high organic matter concentration. The CCM will be operated intermittently during 8 months, being fed by synthetic effluent in laboratory scale. The efficiency of the treatment will be evaluated through the monitoring of physicochemical parameters, using the data of TOC, COD, temperature and pH. In addition, we will carry out kinetic tests in order to obtain the rate of removal of organic matter. To standardize the decay rates, the concentration of volatile suspended solids of the effluent and the biomass adhered will be determined. The potential difference of the CCM will be obtained through online monitoring and the potential values will be converted so that they are referred to the silver chloride electrode (Ag / AgCl, 3M KCl, assuming +0,210 V vs NHE at 25ºC). With the voltage data the current will be calculated according to Ohm's law, hence the power density based on the volume of the anode and cathodic chamber. As well as Coulomb's efficiency of conversion of organic matter. It is hoped to achieve the development of a prototype that can support technically and scientifically large-scale projects with the purpose of reducing the organic load of wastewater and producing clean and renewable energy. (AU)