Electricity generation from wastewater using a microbial fuel cell by using mixed bacterial culture

Harshal D. Kawale , Anil C. Ranveer , Abhijit R. Chavan


A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a device that uses microorganisms as biocatalysts to transform chemical energy into electricity. This study demonstrated the electricity generation from the synthetic wastewater in a two chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC) inoculated with a mixed culture of cellulose degrading bacteria (CDB). With an initial addition of a nutrient broth having concentration of 13 g/l the power density reached 469.48 W/m2; while the maximum voltage reached is 1.0 V. The maximum power for this two chambered MFC was 1.0 W (at current of 1.0 Amp). These results demonstrated that electricity can be produced from the synthetic wastewater by exploiting CDB as the biocatalyst. In this case, the synthetic wastewater consists of cellulosic material and hence the most suitable mixed culture of bacteria is cellulose degrading bacteria. The research study of this kind was done first time and provided satisfactory good results. This method suggests that, if the constituents of the wastewater are known then we can use a bacterial culture as per the constituting elements which can give us the maximum output for bioenergy production. 

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