Generating of electricity and municipal wastewater treatment using microbial fuel cells (MFC) in the city of Huancavelica

Keywords: wastewater treatment, municipal wastewater, electricity generating, microbial fuel cell, MFC


In this research, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) was studied as a bioelectrochemical system that employs the metabolism of bacteria to generate electricity, in addition to treating wastewater. The overall aim of the study was to evaluate the potential for electricity generation and the efficiency of municipal wastewater treatment using MFC in the city of Huancavelica. The procedure for data collection was conducted in two stages; in the first stage the acclimation of three MFCs was constructed: Cell N°1 (40% bacterial inoculum and 60% substrate); Cell N°2 (50% bacterial inoculum and 50% substrate); and Cell N°3 (60% bacterial inoculum and 40% substrate). The MFC prototype was tested, bacterial inoculum and substrate were collected, the residual water was characterized, and the system was installed for acclimation. In the second pre-test stage, during the operating of the system difficulties were identified, analyzed, and corrected. Data was based on the flow of the municipality’s wastewater, managed by the EMAPA-Huancavelica service provider, which was equal to 20 m3/s, and the sample taken, 1 L/month (sampling period), was sufficient for laboratory scale analysis. The most relevant results showed Cell N°2 with an average voltage of 521.24 mV, while Cells N°2 and N°3 exhibited average COD removal efficiencies of 44.75% and 39.95%, respectively. Therefore, it was concluded
that it is possible to generate more than 500 mV in at least one cell (Cell N°2).


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