Electricity generation and microbial community structure of air-cathode microbial fuel cells powered with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and inoculated with different seeds
J. El-Chakhtoura, M. El-Fadel, H.A. Rao, D. Li, S. Ghanimeh, P.E. Saikaly
Biomass and Bioenergy, volume 67, pp. 2431, (2014)
Biomass energy, Microbial fuel cell, Organic fraction of municipal solid waste, 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing
The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), normally
exceeding 60% of the waste stream in developing countries, could
constitute a valuable source of feed for microbial fuel cells (MFCs).
This study tested the start-up of two sets of OFMSW-fed air-cathode MFCs
inoculated with wastewater sludge or cattle manure. The maximum power
density obtained was 123 ± 41 mW m−2 in the manure-seeded MFCs and 116 ± 29 mW m−2
in the wastewater-seeded MFCs. Coulombic efficiencies ranged between
24 ± 5% (manure-seeded MFCs) and 23 ± 2% (wastewater-seeded MFCs).
Chemical oxygen demand removal was >86% in all the MFCs and
carbohydrate removal >98%. Microbial community analysis using 16S
rRNA gene pyrosequencing demonstrated the dominance of the phylum Firmicutes
(67%) on the anode suggesting the possible role of members of this
phylum in electricity generation. Principal coordinate analysis showed
that the microbial community structure in replicate MFCs converged
regardless of the inoculum source. This study demonstrates efficient
electricity production coupled with organic treatment in OFMSW-fueled
MFCs inoculated with manure or wastewater.
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