Spirulina was cultivated in cathodic compartments of photo-microbial fuel cells (P-MFC). Anodic compartments were fed with swine-farming wastewater, enriched with sodium acetate (2.34gCOD L-1). Photosynthetic oxygen generation rates were sufficient to sustain cathodic oxygen reduction, significantly improving P-MFC electrochemical performances, as compared to water-cathode control experiments. Power densities (0.8-1Wm-2) approached those of air-cathode MFCs, run as control. COD was efficiently removed and only negligible fractions leaked to the cathodic chamber. Spirulina growth rates were comparable to those of control (MFC-free) cultures, while pH was significantly (0.5-1unit) higher in P-MFCs, due to cathodic reactions. Alkaliphilic photosynthetic microorganisms like Spirulina might take advantage of these selective conditions. Electro-migration along with diffusion to the cathodic compartment concurred for the recovery of most nutrients. Only P and Mg were retained in the anodic chamber. A deeper look into electro-osmotic mechanisms should be addressed in future studies.

Assisting cultivation of photosynthetic microorganisms by microbial fuel cells to enhance nutrients recovery from wastewater / A. Colombo, S. Marzorati, G. Lucchini, P. Cristiani, D. Pant, A. Schievano. - In: BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 0960-8524. - (2017). [Epub ahead of print] [10.1016/j.biortech.2017.03.038]

Assisting cultivation of photosynthetic microorganisms by microbial fuel cells to enhance nutrients recovery from wastewater

A. Colombo;S. Marzorati;G. Lucchini;A. Schievano
2017

Abstract

Spirulina was cultivated in cathodic compartments of photo-microbial fuel cells (P-MFC). Anodic compartments were fed with swine-farming wastewater, enriched with sodium acetate (2.34gCOD L-1). Photosynthetic oxygen generation rates were sufficient to sustain cathodic oxygen reduction, significantly improving P-MFC electrochemical performances, as compared to water-cathode control experiments. Power densities (0.8-1Wm-2) approached those of air-cathode MFCs, run as control. COD was efficiently removed and only negligible fractions leaked to the cathodic chamber. Spirulina growth rates were comparable to those of control (MFC-free) cultures, while pH was significantly (0.5-1unit) higher in P-MFCs, due to cathodic reactions. Alkaliphilic photosynthetic microorganisms like Spirulina might take advantage of these selective conditions. Electro-migration along with diffusion to the cathodic compartment concurred for the recovery of most nutrients. Only P and Mg were retained in the anodic chamber. A deeper look into electro-osmotic mechanisms should be addressed in future studies.
Microalgae; Nutrients recovery; Photo-microbial fuel cells; Spirulina; Wastewater; Bioengineering; Environmental Engineering; Waste Management and Disposal
Settore AGR/10 - Costruzioni Rurali e Territorio Agroforestale
Settore AGR/13 - Chimica Agraria
BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY
www.elsevier.com/locate/biortech
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/489521
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