Microbial Fuel Cells in Waste Treatment: Recent Advances
Volume 10, Number 4, June 2014 - Paper 4 - pp. 367-376
R. A. NASTRODepartment of Science and Technology, Parthenope University of Naples, ITALY.
(Received on Sept. 18, 2013, revised on Oct. 22 and Oct 25, 2013 and finally on Feb. 26, 2014)
The increasing awareness that there are limits to the availability of nonrenewable resources, as well as that there are limits to the biosphere’s ability to absorb wastes, are at the basis of the growing interest about Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) technology, with particular regards to their application to wastes treatment. MFCs, in fact, couple the direct electric power production to the degradation of organic compounds, liquid and solid wastes included. From municipal wastewater, to landfill leachate and solid waste, the application of MFCs to waste treatment achieved important results both in COD removal and power output. Unlike traditional Fuel Cells (FC), MFCs don't require chemical catalysts neither high working temperatures. Moreover, there is no net production of CO2. In the course of 20 years, the performances of MFC increased significantly and scaled prototypes were realized. The constant progresses achieved make a wide-scale application of MFC to waste treatment more reliable.
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