Performance of Dairy Wastewater Intrinsic Bacteria in Microbial Fuel Cell

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Patcharaporn Suwanvitaya
Sasiya Boocha


The use of wastewater in microbial fuel cell (MFC) simultaneously clean up the waste and generate electricity.  While organic matters in wastewater serve well as electron donor, electrode-reducing bacteria are responsible for transferring electron to anode. This study investigated the performance of intrinsic bacteria in dairy wastewater in oxidizing organic content and generating electric current. The experiment was conducted in a dual chamber MFC with graphite electrodes.  The variables were electrode surface area and wastewater concentration. An increase in bacterial population, a decrease in organic content (COD) and electric current obtained over the test period confirmed bacterial activity. Electric current generation was found to increase with electrode surface area.  In the 1.7 L chamber with initial COD of 2500 mg/L, the maximum current of 307.6 µA and 635.12 µA 307 across a standard 1k ohm were obtained from the 78 and 150 cm2 electrodes, respectively. Current generation was found to vary with organic concentrations.  In the 1 L chamber using 78 cm2 electrodes with initial COD of 1000 and 400 mg/L, the maximum current were lower, at 42.57 µA and 4.99 µA, respectively. Coulombic efficiency obtained from this study was in the range of 0.13-2.64%. Bacterial identification by PCR-DGGE and DNA sequencing showed that Acidobacterium sp. and Azovibrio restrictus were the predominant species on the anode with 8 anaerobic species predominated in suspension.


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