Jump to Main Content
Enhanced nitrogen removal in bio-electrochemical systems by pH control
- Clauwaert, Peter, Desloover, Joachim, Shea, Caitlyn, Nerenberg, Rob, Boon, Nico, Verstraete, Willy
- Biotechnology letters 2009 v.31 no.10 pp. 1537-1543
- bioactive properties, electrodes, microbial fuel cells, microorganisms, nitrogen, nitrogen compounds, pH
- Microbial fuel cells can be designed to remove nitrogenous compounds out of wastewater, but their performance is at present limited to 0.33 kg NO₃ ⁻-Nm⁻³ net cathode compartment (NCC) d⁻¹. By maintaining the pH in the cathode at 7.2, nitrogen removal was increased from 0.22 to 0.50 kg NO₃ ⁻-Nm⁻³ NCC d⁻¹. Bio-electrochemical active microorganisms seem to struggle with the deterioration of their own environment due to slow proton fluxes. Therefore, the results suggest that an appropriate pH adjustment strategy is necessary to allow a sustained and enhanced biological activity in bio-electrochemical systems.