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Microbial fuel cell powered by lipid extracted algae: A promising system for algal lipids and power generation

Khandelwal, Amitap, Vijay, Ankisha, Dixit, Ambesh, Chhabra, Meenu
Bioresource technology 2018 v.247 pp. 520-527
algae, algal oils, biomass, cathodes, chemical oxygen demand, electric power, energy, lipids, microbial fuel cells, power generation, wastes
In this study, a promising microbial fuel cell (MFC) system has been developed, wherein algae is cultivated in the cathode chamber, algae biomass is harvested and lipids are extracted. The lipid extracted algal (LEA) biomass was then used asan electron donor substrate. The performance of MFCs fed with LEA biomass was compared with that of fruit waste fed MFCs (FP-MFCs), wherein LEA-fed MFC was superior in all aspects. Power density of 2.7Wm−3 was obtained by LEA-fed MFCs which is 145% and 260% higher than FP MFC and control MFC respectively. The volumetric algae productivity of 0.028kgm−3day−1 in cathode chamber was achieved. The system was able to generate 0.0136kWhKg−1CODday−1 of electric energy and 0.0782kWhm−3day−1 of algal oil energy. The proposed system is a net energy producer which does not rely heavily on the external supply of electron donor substrates.