Anaerobic bioenergy production processes including fermentative biohydrogen (BioH2), anaerobic digestion (AD) and bioelectrochemical system have been investigated for converting municipal waste or various biomass feedstock to useful energy carriers. However, the performance of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) fed on the effluent from a two-stage biogas production process has not yet been investigated extensively in continuous reactor operation on complex substrates. In this study we have investigated the extent to which a microbial fuel cell (MFC) can reduce COD and recover further energy from the effluent of a two-stage biohydrogen and biomethane system. The performance of a four-module tubular MFC was determined at six different organic loadings (0.036-6.149gsCODL-1d-1) in terms of power generation, COD removal efficiency, coulombic efficiency (CE) and energy conversion efficiency (ECE). A power density of 3.1Wm-3 was observed at the OLR=0.572gsCODL-1d-1, which resulted in the highest CE (60%) and ECE (0.8%), but the COD removal efficiency decreased at higher organic loading rates (35.1-4.4%). The energy recovery was 92.95JL-1 and the energy conversion efficiency, based on total influent COD was found to be 0.48-0.81% at 0.572gsCODL-1d-1. However, the energy recovery by the MFC is only reported for a four-module reactor and improved performance can be expected with an extended module count, as chemical energy remained available for further electrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2014

    Research areas

  • Anaerobic digestion, Bioelectricity, COD removal, Coulombic efficiency (CE), Energy efficiency, Microbial fuel cell (MFC)

ID: 324805