Simultaneous pollutant removal and electricity generation in denitrifying microbial fuel cell with boric acid-borate buffer solution
A double-chamber denitrifying microbial fuel cell (MFC), using boric acid-borate buffer solution as an alternative to phosphate buffer solution, was set up to investigate the influence of buffer solution concentration, temperature and external resistance on electricity generation and pollutant removal efficiency. The result revealed that the denitrifying MFC with boric acid-borate buffer solution was successfully started up in 51 days, with a stable cell voltage of 205.1 ± 1.96 mV at an external resistance of 50 Ω. Higher concentration of buffer solution favored nitrogen removal and electricity generation. The maximum power density of 8.27 W/m3 net cathodic chamber was obtained at a buffer solution concentration of 100 mmol/L. An increase in temperature benefitted electricity generation and nitrogen removal. A suitable temperature for this denitrifying MFC was suggested to be 25 °C. Decreasing the external resistance favored nitrogen removal and organic matter consumption by exoelectrogens.