Process Biochemistry, Vol.99, 270-281, 2020
Resource recovery from paddy field using plant microbial fuel cell
The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a recently developed energy-generating technology that supports sustainable agriculture. Design configuration is the key bottleneck in optimization and upscaling of paddy based PMFCs. In this study, two designs (Type-I (horizontal) and Type-II (vertical)) of terracotta based ceramic PMFCs (C-PMFC) are incorporated into the paddy field to recover nutrients, energy, and water ("NEW") resources. The peak voltage generated in Type-I and Type-II C-PMFC was 292.1 mV and 321.7 mV respectively. The polarisation study in the ripening phase of paddy showed a maximum power density of 9.1 mW/m(2) (type-I) and 16.8 mW/m(2) (type-II). The volume of catholyte recovered is observed to be dependent on the C-PMFC performance and growth phases of the paddy. In the entire 10 weeks of the experimental period, a total of 451 mL and 943 mL of catholyte was collected at 100 Omega load in type-I and type-II, respectively. The collected catholyte is alkaline in nature and maximum catholyte recovery is achieved at the active tillering phase and declined with the advancement of the development stages of the plant. Osmotic and electro-osmotic migration of various nutrients like ammonium from the paddy field to cathode chamber of C-PMFC is observed throughout the experiment.
Keywords:Ceramic-plant microbial fuel cell (C-PMFC);Terracotta membrane;Paddy field;Catholyte;Nutrient recovery