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Issue 3, 2017
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Three promising applications of microbial electrochemistry for the water sector

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Abstract

Microbial electrochemical technologies are based on the interactions between living microorganisms and electrodes. There is a wide range of possible applications and many are highly relevant for the water sector. The most well-known is probably the microbial fuel cell, which has been proposed as an environmentally-friendly process for simultaneous wastewater treatment and electrical energy production. However, full-scale implementation at wastewater treatment plants is very challenging and there are several other applications of microbial electrochemistry that are less well-known to people outside the research field, but potentially could be widely applied and make an impact on the water sector in a shorter time perspective. In this paper, we highlight three such applications: (i) sensors for biochemical oxygen demand, volatile fatty acids and toxicity; (ii) in situ bioremediation of contaminated sites; and (iii) removal and recovery of metals from wastewaters, leachates and brines.

Graphical abstract: Three promising applications of microbial electrochemistry for the water sector

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Nov 2016, accepted on 14 Feb 2017 and first published on 17 Feb 2017


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C6EW00325G
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017,3, 391-402
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Three promising applications of microbial electrochemistry for the water sector

    O. Modin and F. Aulenta, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, 3, 391
    DOI: 10.1039/C6EW00325G

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