Advertisement

Nanotechnology for Wastewater Treatment and Bioenergy Generation in Microbial Fuel Cells

  • M. J. Salar-GarcíaEmail author
  • V. M. Ortiz-MartínezEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)

Abstract

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bioelectrochemical systems that use bacterial metabolism to directly transform chemical energy into electricity. The microorganisms present in the anode chamber oxidize the organic matter present in a given substrate generating protons and electrons. While the electrons are externally led to the cathode to obtain an electrical current, protons migrate from the anode to the cathode normally through a separator and combine with electrons and oxygen to form water at the cathode. If wastewater is used as energy source, it can be treated while electricity is generated, obtaining a twofold benefit.

The main components of these systems comprise anode and cathode electrodes, respectively, and a separator placed between them. During the last years, many electrode and separator materials, including physical and chemical modifications, have been studied in order to optimize this technology. Due to their advantageous properties, such as high catalytic activity and large specific surface, nanomaterials have been widely investigated in the main components of these systems.

Thus, this chapter focuses on the recent advances related to the use of nanotechnology for the enhancement of the performance of MFC devices in terms of bioenergy production and wastewater treatment.

Keywords

Nanotechnology Microbial fuel cells Wastewater treatment Bioenergy 

References

  1. Ahmed J, Yuan Y, Zhou L, Kim S (2012) Carbon supported cobalt oxide nanoparticles–iron phthalocyanine as alternative cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 208:170–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alatraktchi FA, Zhang Y, Angelidaki I (2014) Nanomodification of the electrodes in microbial fuel cell: impact of nanoparticle density on electricity production and microbial community. Appl Energy 116:216–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. An J, Jeon H, Lee J, Chang IS (2011) Bifunctional silver nanoparticle cathode in microbial fuel cells for microbial growth inhibition with comparable oxygen reduction reaction activity. Environ Sci Technol 45:5441–5446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bazrgar B, Mousavi SAM (2016) Effect of casting solvent on the characteristics of Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membranes for microbial fuel cell application. Int J Hydrog Energy 41:476–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bullock RM (2017) Reaction: earth-abundant metal catalysts for energy conversions. Chem 2:444–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheng S, Kiely P, Logan BE (2011) Pre-acclimation of a wastewater inoculum to cellulose in an aqueous-cathode MEC improves power generation in air-cathode MFCs. Bioresour Technol 102:367–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheng S, Liu H, Logan BE (2006) Power densities using different cathode catalysts (Pt and CoTMPP) and polymer binders (Nafion and PTFE) in single chamber microbial fuel cells. Environ Sci Technol 40:364–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ci S, Wen Z, Chen J, He Z (2012) Decorating anode with bamboo-like nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes for microbial fuel cells. Electrochem Commun 14:71–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cusick RD, Kiely PD, Logan BE (2010) A monetary comparison of energy recovered from microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells fed winery or domestic wastewaters. Int J Hydrog Energy 35:8855–8861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Di Palma L, Bavasso I, Sarasini F, Tirillò J, Puglia D, Dominici F, Torre L (2018) Synthesis, characterization and performance evaluation of Fe3O4/PES nano composite membranes for microbial fuel cell. Eur Polym J 99:222–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Erbay C, Pu X, Choi W, Choi M-J, Ryu Y, Hou H, Lin F, de Figueiredo P, Yu C, Han A (2015) Control of geometrical properties of carbon nanotube electrodes towards high-performance microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 280:347–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Feng H, Liang Y, Guo K, Chen W, Shen D, Huang L, Zhou Y, Wang M, Long Y (2016) TiO2 nanotube arrays modified titanium: a stable, scalable, and cost-effective bioanode for microbial fuel cells. Environ Sci Technol Lett 3:420–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gajda I, Greenman J, Melhuish C, Santoro C, Li B, Cristiani P, Ieropoulos I (2015) Electro-osmotic-based catholyte production by microbial fuel cells for carbon capture. Water Res 86:108–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ghasemi M, Ismail M, Kamarudin SK, Saeedfar K, Daud WRW, Hassan SHA, Heng LY, Alam J, Oh S-E (2013) Carbon nanotube as an alternative cathode support and catalyst for microbial fuel cells. Appl Energy 102:1050–1056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ghasemi M, Shahgaldi S, Ismail M, Yaakob Z, Daud WRW (2012) New generation of carbon nanocomposite proton exchange membranes in microbial fuel cell systems. Chem Eng J 184:82–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gnana kumar G, Awan Z, Suk Nahm K, Stanley Xavier J (2014) Nanotubular MnO2/graphene oxide composites for the application of open air-breathing cathode microbial fuel cells. Biosens Bioelectron 53:528–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gude VG (2016) Wastewater treatment in microbial fuel cells – an overview. J Clean Prod 122:287–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guo W, Pi Y, Song H, Tang W, Sun J (2012) Layer-by-layer assembled gold nanoparticles modified anode and its application in microbial fuel cells. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 415:105–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Haoran Y, Lifang D, Tao L, Yong C (2014) Hydrothermal synthesis of nanostructured manganese oxide as cathodic catalyst in a microbial fuel cell fed with leachate. Scientific World J 2014:791672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hasani-Sadrabadi MM, Dashtimoghadam E, Saeedi Eslami SN, Bahlakeh G, Shokrgozar MA, Jacob KI (2014) Air-breathing microbial fuel cell with enhanced performance using nanocomposite proton exchange membranes. Polymer (Guildf) 55:6102–6109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. He L, Du P, Chen Y, Lu H, Cheng X, Chang B, Wang Z (2017) Advances in microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment. Renew Sust Energ Rev 71:388–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hernandez-Fernandez FJ, de Los Rios AP, Salar-Garcia MJ, Ortiz-Martinez VM, Lozano-Blanco LJ, Godinez C, Tomas-Alonso F, Quesada-Medina J (2015) Recent progress and perspectives in microbial fuel cells for bioenergy generation and wastewater treatment. Fuel Process Technol 138:284–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hu D, Wang H, Wang J, Zhong Q (2015) Carbon-supported Cu-doped Mn-Co spinel-type oxides used as cathodic catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in dual-chambered microbial fuel cells. Energy Technol 3:48–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jadav GL, Singh PS (2009) Synthesis of novel silica-polyamide nanocomposite membrane with enhanced properties. J Memb Sci 328:257–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kalathil S, Lee J, Cho MH (2012) Efficient decolorization of real dye wastewater and bioelectricity generation using a novel single chamber biocathode-microbial fuel cell. Bioresour Technol 119:22–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Khalid S, Alvi F, Fatima M, Aslam M, Riaz S, Farooq R, Zhang Y (2018) Dye degradation and electricity generation using microbial fuel cell with graphene oxide modified anode. Mater Lett 220:272–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kim IS, Chae K-J, Choi M-J, Verstraete W (2008) Microbial fuel cells: recent advances, bacterial communities and application beyond electricity generation. Environ Eng Res 13:51–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kinoshita K (1988) Carbon: electrochemical and physicochemical properties. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Logan BE, Regan JM (2006) Microbial fuel cells-challenges and applications. Environ Sci Technol 40:5172–5180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mahmoud M, Gad-Allah TA, El-Khatib KM, El-Gohary F (2011) Power generation using spinel manganese–cobalt oxide as a cathode catalyst for microbial fuel cell applications. Bioresour Technol 102:10459–10464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mahreni A, Mohamad AB, Kadhum AAH, Daud WRW, Iyuke SE (2009) Nafion/silicon oxide/phosphotungstic acid nanocomposite membrane with enhanced proton conductivity. J Memb Sci 327:32–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mansoorian HJ, Mahvi AH, Jafari AJ, Amin MM, Rajabizadeh A, Khanjani N (2013) Bioelectricity generation using two chamber microbial fuel cell treating wastewater from food processing. Enzym Microb Technol 52:352–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mansoorian HJ, Mahvi AH, Jafari AJ, Khanjani N (2016) Evaluation of dairy industry wastewater treatment and simultaneous bioelectricity generation in a catalyst-less and mediator-less membrane microbial fuel cell. J Saudi Chem Soc 20:88–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mustakeem M (2015) Electrode materials for microbial fuel cells: nanomaterial approach. Mater Renew Sustain Energy 4:22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ortiz-Martínez VM, Salar-García MJ, Touati K, Hernández-Fernández FJ, de los Ríos AP, Belhoucine F, Berrabbah AA (2016) Assessment of spinel-type mixed valence Cu/Co and Ni/Co-based oxides for power production in single-chamber microbial fuel cells. Energy 113:1241–1249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pan F, Cheng Q, Jia H, Jiang Z (2010) Facile approach to polymer-inorganic nanocomposite membrane through a biomineralization-inspired process. J Memb Sci 357:171–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pandey P, Shinde VN, Deopurkar RL, Kale SP, Patil SA, Pant D (2016) Recent advances in the use of different substrates in microbial fuel cells toward wastewater treatment and simultaneous energy recovery. Appl Energy 168:706–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peng X, Chu X, Wang S, Shan K, Song D, Zhou Y (2017) Bio-power performance enhancement in microbial fuel cell using Ni–ferrite decorated anode. RSC Adv 7:16027–16032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Prabhu NV, Sangeetha D (2014) Characterization and performance study of sulfonated poly ether ether ketone/Fe3O4 nano composite membrane as electrolyte for microbial fuel cell. Chem Eng J 243:564–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Qiao Y, Li CM, Bao S-J, Bao Q-L (2007) Carbon nanotube/polyaniline composite as anode material for microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 170:79–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Quan X, Sun B, Xu H (2015) Anode decoration with biogenic Pd nanoparticles improved power generation in microbial fuel cells. Electrochim Acta 182:815–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rahimnejad M, Ghasemi M, Najafpour GD, Ismail M, Mohammad AW, Ghoreyshi AA, Hassan SHA (2012) Synthesis, characterization and application studies of self-made Fe3O4/PES nanocomposite membranes in microbial fuel cell. Electrochim Acta 85:700–706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roh S-H, Woo H-G (2015) Carbon nanotube composite electrode coated with polypyrrole for microbial fuel cell application. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 15:484–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rudra R, Kumar V, Pramanik N, Kundu PP (2017) Graphite oxide incorporated crosslinked polyvinyl alcohol and sulfonated styrene nanocomposite membrane as separating barrier in single chambered microbial fuel cell. J Power Sources 341:285–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sanchez DVP, Huynh P, Kozlov ME, Baughman RH, Vidic RD, Yun M (2010) Carbon nanotube/platinum (Pt) sheet as an improved cathode for microbial fuel cells. Energy Fuel 24:5897–5902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Santoro C, Arbizzani C, Erable B, Ieropoulos I (2017) Microbial fuel cells: from fundamentals to applications. A review. J Power Sources 356:225–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sawant SY, Han TH, Cho MH (2016) Metal-free carbon-based materials: promising electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cells. Int J Mol Sci 18:25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shahgaldi S, Ghasemi M, Wan Daud WR, Yaakob Z, Sedighi M, Alam J, Ismail AF (2014) Performance enhancement of microbial fuel cell by PVDF/Nafion nanofibre composite proton exchange membrane. Fuel Process Technol 124:290–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sivasankaran A, Sangeetha D (2015a) Influence of sulfonated SiO2 in sulfonated polyether ether ketone nanocomposite membrane in microbial fuel cell. Fuel 159:689–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sivasankaran A. and Sangeetha D (2015b) A study of influence on nanocomposite membrane of sulfonated TiO2 and sulfonated polystyrene-ethylene-butylene-polystyrene for microbial fuel cell application. Energy 88:202–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sivasankaran A, Sangeetha D, Ahn YH (2016) Nanocomposite membranes based on sulfonated polystyrene ethylene butylene polystyrene (SSEBS) and sulfonated SiO2 for microbial fuel cell application. Chem Eng J 289:442–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sun M, Zhang F, Tong Z-H, Sheng G-P, Chen Y-Z, Zhao Y, Chen Y-P, Zhou S-Y, Liu G, Tian Y-C, Yu H-Q (2010a) A gold-sputtered carbon paper as an anode for improved electricity generation from a microbial fuel cell inoculated with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Biosens Bioelectron 26:338–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sun J-J, Zhao H-Z, Yang Q-Z, Song J, Xue A (2010b) A novel layer-by-layer self-assembled carbon nanotube-based anode: preparation, characterization, and application in microbial fuel cell. Electrochim Acta 55:3041–3047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Technology B, Patil SA, Universit T, Prasad V, Sanzyme S, Shouche Y, Centre N, Cell F (2016) Electricity generation using chocolate industry wastewater and its treatment in activated sludge based microbial fuel cell and analysis of developed microbial community in the anode. Bioresour Technol 100:5132–5139Google Scholar
  55. Tsai H-Y, Wu C-C, Lee C-Y, Shih EP (2009) Microbial fuel cell performance of multiwall carbon nanotubes on carbon cloth as electrodes. J Power Sources 194:199–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wang H, Wang G, Ling Y, Qian F, Song Y, Lu X, Chen S, Tong Y, Li Y (2013) High power density microbial fuel cell with flexible 3D graphene–nickel foam as anode. Nanoscale 5:10283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wen Z, Ci S, Mao S, Cui S, Lu G, Yu K, Luo S, He Z, Chen J (2013) TiO2 nanoparticles-decorated carbon nanotubes for significantly improved bioelectricity generation in microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 234:100–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wen Q, Wu Y, Zhao L, Sun Q (2010) Production of electricity from the treatment of continuous brewery wastewater using a microbial fuel cell. Fuel 890:1381–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Xie X, Hu L, Pasta M, Wells GF, Kong D, Criddle CS, Cui Y (2011) Three-dimensional carbon nanotube−textile anode for high-performance microbial fuel cells. Nano Lett 11:291–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Xie X, Yu G, Liu N, Bao Z, Criddle CS, Cui Y (2012) Graphene–sponges as high-performance low-cost anodes for microbial fuel cells. Energy Envrion Sci 5:6862–6866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yang G, Chen D, Lv P, Kong X, Sun Y, Wang Z, Yuan Z, Liu H, Yang J (2016a) Core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cell applications. Sci Rep 6:35252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yang Y, Liu T, Zhu X, Zhang F, Ye D, Liao Q, Li Y (2016b) Boosting power density of microbial fuel cells with 3D nitrogen-doped graphene aerogel electrode. Adv Sci 3(8):1600097CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Yu F, Wang C, Ma J (2018) Capacitance-enhanced 3D graphene anode for microbial fuel cell with long-time electricity generation stability. Electrochim Acta 259:1059–1067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Yuan Y, Zhao B, Jeon Y, Zhong S, Zhou S, Kim S (2011) Iron phthalocyanine supported on amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotube as an alternative cathodic oxygen catalyst in microbial fuel cells. Bioresour Technol 102:5849–5854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Yue G, Meng K, Liu Q (2015) One-step synthesis of N-doped carbon and its application as a cost-efficient catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cells. ChemPlusChem 80:1133–1138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhang Y, Mo G, Li X, Zhang W, Zhang J, Ye J, Huang X, Yu C (2011) A graphene modified anode to improve the performance of microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 196:5402–5407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zhao C, Gai P, Song R, Chen Y, Zhang J, Zhu J-J (2017) Nanostructured material-based biofuel cells: recent advances and future prospects. Chem Soc Rev 46:1545–1564CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringCampus Muralla del Mar, Technical University of CartagenaCartagenaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringCampus Espinardo, University of MurciaMurciaSpain

Personalised recommendations