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Title (Primary) Harvesting electricity from benzene and ammonium-contaminated groundwater using a microbial fuel cell with an aerated cathode
Author Wei, M.; Harnisch, F.; Vogt, C.; Ahlheim, J.; Neu, T.R.; Richnow, H.H.;
Journal RSC Advances
Year 2015
Department ISOBIO; UMB; FLOEK; WANA;
Volume 5
Issue 7
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T41;
UFZ wide themes RU3;
Abstract Groundwater contaminated with benzene and ammonium was continuously treated using a microbial fuel
cell (MFC) with an aerated cathode and a control without aeration at the cathode. Benzene (15 mg L1)
was completely removed in the MFC of which 80% disappeared at the anoxic anode. Ammonium (20
mg L1) was oxidized to nitrate at the cathode, which was not directly linked to electricity generation.
The maximum power density was 316 mW m3 NAC at a current density of 0.99 A m3 normalized by
the net anodic compartment (NAC). Coulombic and energy efficiencies of 14% and 4% were obtained
based on the anodic benzene degradation. The control reactor failed to generate electricity, and can be
regarded as a mesocosm in which granular graphite was colonized by benzene degraders with a lower
benzene removal efficiency compared to the MFC. The dominance of phylotypes affiliated to
Chlorobiaceae, Rhodocyclaceae and Comamonadaceae was revealed by 16S rRNA illumina sequencing
in the control and the MFC anode, presumably associated with benzene degradation. Ammonium
oxidation at the cathode of the MFC was mainly carried out by phylotypes belonging to the
Nitrosomonadales and Nitrospirales. Compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) indicated that benzene
degradation was initially activated by monohydroxylation with molecular oxygen. The intermediates of
the benzene degradation pathway were subsequently oxidized accompanied by transferring electrons to
the anode, leading to current production. This study provided valuable insights into the application of
MFCs to treat groundwater contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (e.g. benzene) and ammonium.
ID 15670
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=15670
Wei, M., Harnisch, F., Vogt, C., Ahlheim, J., Neu, T.R., Richnow, H.H. (2015):
Harvesting electricity from benzene and ammonium-contaminated groundwater using a microbial fuel cell with an aerated cathode
RSC Advances 5 (7), 5321 - 5330