OptImisation of the H-type microbial fuel cell using whey as a substrate

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dc.contributor.author Kassonga, Josue
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-13T10:18:29Z
dc.date.available 2011-09-13T10:18:29Z
dc.date.issued 2011-09-13
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/10409
dc.description MSc, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, 2011 en_US
dc.description.abstract A growing interest is on the biological remediation of pollutants with the added benefit of generating electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Therefore, the analyses of suitability and potential of full-strength paper mill effluent and cheese whey were separately investigated in such devices. The most promising effluent was selected for biofilm optimization studies. In the biofilm buildup studies, anodes were enriched with microorganisms inherent to whey for a period between one and three months before their application in reactors. Independently, pre-incubated electrodes which were two-month-old were used serially in four MFCs of seven days each. In the preliminary study, the maximum power densities were 24 ± 3 mW/m2 (0.02 % coulombic efficiency − εcb) and 16.7 ± 1.8 W/m2 (εcb = 3.7 %) in paper mill effluent and whey, respectively. Following a three-month acclimation of whey anodophilic microbes, the power increased to 1 800 W/m2 (εcb = 80.9 %) and 92.8 % total chemical oxygen demand (tCOD) removal after a single batch cycle in MFCs. In anode recycling experiments, the operation was characterised by power of 390 ± 21 W/m2 (εcb = 0.25 %) in the third anode reuse; whilst the second reactor cycle had the highest tCOD removal (44.6 %). The anodophilic microbial species identified in cheese whey were from the Lactobacillus genus. This study concluded that wastes can supply fuel for power generation with simultaneous remediation; whey had greater potential than paper mill effluent; and both continual acclimation of inherent waste microbes and anode recycling improved the performance of MFCs. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject cheese whey en_US
dc.subject microbial fuel cells en_US
dc.subject electricity generation en_US
dc.subject bioremediation en_US
dc.subject paper mill effluent en_US
dc.title OptImisation of the H-type microbial fuel cell using whey as a substrate en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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