Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vol.183, No.3, 1076-1092, 2017
Simultaneous Wastewater Treatment, Algal Biomass Production and Electricity Generation in Clayware Microbial Carbon Capture Cells
Performance of microbial carbon capture cells (MCCs), having a low-cost clayware separator, was evaluated in terms of wastewater treatment and electricity generation using algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa in MCC-1 and Anabaena ambigua in MCC-2 and without algae in a cathodic chamber of MCC-3. Higher power production was achieved in MCC-1 (6.4 W/m(3)) compared to MCC-2 (4.29 W/m(3)) and MCC-3 (3.29 W/m(3)). Higher coulombic efficiency (15.23 +/- 1.30%) and biomass production (66.4 +/- 4.7 mg/(L*day)) in MCC-1 indicated the superiority of Chlorella over Anabaena algae for carbon capture and oxygen production to facilitate the cathodic reduction. Algal biofilm formation on the cathode surface of MCC-1 increased dissolved oxygen in the catholyte and decreased the cathodic charge transfer resistance with increase in reduction current. Electrochemical analyses revealed slow cathodic reactions and increase in internal resistance in MCC-2 (55 Omega) than MCC-1 (30 Omega), due to lower oxygen produced by Anabaena algae. Thus, biomass production in conjunction with wastewater treatment, CO2 sequestration and electricity generation can be achieved using Chlorella algal biocathode in MCC.