The availability of clean water and the depletion of non-renewable resources provide challenges to modern society. The widespread use of conventional wastewater treatment necessitates significant financial and energy expenditure. Constructed Wetland Microbial Fuel Cells (CW-MFCs), a more recent alternative technology that incorporates a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) inside a Constructed Wetland (CW), can alleviate these problems. By utilizing a CW’s inherent redox gradient, MFC can produce electricity while also improving a CW’s capacity for wastewater treatment. Electroactive bacteria in the anaerobic zone oxidize the organic contaminants in the wastewater, releasing electrons and protons in the process. Through an external circuit, these electrons travel to the cathode and produce electricity. Researchers have demonstrated the potential of CW-MFC technology in harnessing bio-electricity from wastewater while achieving pollutant removal at the lab and pilot scales, using both domestic and industrial wastewater. However, several limitations, such as inadequate removal of nitrogen, phosphates, and toxic organic/inorganic pollutants, limits its applicability on a large scale. In addition, the whole system must be well optimized to achieve effective wastewater treatment along with energy, as the ecosystem of the CW-MFC is large, and has diverse biotic and abiotic components which interact with each other in a dynamic manner. Therefore, by modifying important components and optimizing various influencing factors, the performance of this hybrid system in terms of wastewater treatment and power generation can be improved, making CW-MFCs a cost-effective, cleaner, and more sustainable approach for wastewater treatment that can be used in real-world applications in the future.
- constructed wetland
- microbial fuel cell
- wastewater treatment
- bioelectricity generation
- sustainable energy generation