Utilization of a Silicone Rubber Membrane for Passive Oxygen Supply in a Microbial Fuel Cell Treating Carbon and Nitrogen from Synthetic Coke-Oven Wastewater

  • Fengyu WangEmail author
  • Hirokazu Matsubara
  • Tadashi Nittami
  • Masafumi Fujita


This study firstly introduced a silicone rubber membrane (SRM) into microbial fuel cell (MFC) for passive oxygen supply to simultaneously remove phenol and nitrogen from synthetic coke-oven wastewater diluted with seawater. Passive oxygen transport with biofilm on the membrane was improved by ~ 18-fold in comparison with the one without a biofilm. In addition, although the oxygen supply was passive, nitrification accounted for 34% of those aeration conditions. It was also found that silicone rubber membrane can control NO2–N and/or NO3–N production. A dual-chamber MFC treating the synthetic coke-oven wastewater achieved a maximum power density of 54 mW m−2 with a coulombic efficiency of 2.7%. We conclude that silicone rubber membrane is effective for sustainable coke-oven wastewater treatment in MFCs.


Gas-permeable membrane Volumetric oxygen mass transfer coefficient Nitrification Phenol Seawater 



This research was supported by the Steel Foundation for Environmental Protection Technology.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fengyu Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hirokazu Matsubara
    • 2
  • Tadashi Nittami
    • 3
  • Masafumi Fujita
    • 2
  1. 1.Major in Social Infrastructure System ScienceIbaraki UniversityHitachiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental EngineeringIbaraki UniversityHitachiJapan
  3. 3.Division of Materials Science and Chemical EngineeringYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan

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