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Issue 30, 2018, Issue in Progress
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Long-term performance of a microbial electrolysis cell operated with periodic disconnection of power supply

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Abstract

This study describes a new approach for achieving stable long-term performance and maximizing the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) in a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC). In the proposed approach, the MEC power supply is periodically disconnected, e.g. at a frequency of 0.1–0.5 Hz and a duty cycle of 90–95%. To evaluate the impact of such periodic power supply disconnection (on/off mode) on MEC performance, experiments were carried out in two flow-through MECs with activated granular carbon electrodes. The on/off operating strategy was applied to one MEC, while the other one was operated at a fixed voltage (control MEC). Long-term on/off operation resulted in progressive increase in COD removal efficiency (from 80% to 90%) and MEC current over time, while the control MEC showed stable but inferior performance. Furthermore, by changing the operating strategies and applying the on/off approach to the control MEC, its COD removal was increased from 78% to 83% and internal resistance decreased. The proposed on/off mode of operation can be used to develop a high-rate MEC-based wastewater treatment system.

Graphical abstract: Long-term performance of a microbial electrolysis cell operated with periodic disconnection of power supply

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Mar 2018, accepted on 24 Apr 2018 and first published on 08 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8RA01863D
Citation: RSC Adv., 2018,8, 16842-16849
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Long-term performance of a microbial electrolysis cell operated with periodic disconnection of power supply

    S. A. Hussain, M. Perrier and B. Tartakovsky, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 16842
    DOI: 10.1039/C8RA01863D

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