Bioelectricity production from acidic food waste leachate using microbial fuel cells: Effect of microbial inocula

Xiao Min Li, Ka Yu Cheng, Ammaiyappan Selvam, Jonathan W C WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of three different inocula (domestic wastewater, activated sludge, and anaerobic sludge) on the treatment of acidic food waste leachate in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were evaluated. A food waste leachate (pH 4.76; 1000 mg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/L) was used as the substrate. The results indicate that the leachate itself can enable electricity production in an MFC, but the co-addition of different inocula significantly reduces the start-up time (approximately 7 days). High COD and volatile fatty acids removal (>87%) were obtained in all MFCs but with only low coulombic efficiencies (CEs) (14-20%). The highest power (432 mW/m3) and CE (20%) were obtained with anaerobic sludge as the co-inoculum. Microbial community analysis (PCR-DGGE) of the established biofilms suggested that the superior performance of the anaerobic sludge-MFC was associated with the enrichment of both fermentative (Clostridium sp. and Bacteroides sp.) and electrogenic bacteria (Magnetospirillum sp. and Geobacter sp.) at the anode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalProcess Biochemistry
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acidic condition
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Bioelectrochemical systems
  • Microbial community
  • Waste-to-energy

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