A microbial fuel cell equipped with a biocathode for organic removal and denitrification

O. Lefebvre*, A. Al-Mamun, H. Y. Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising anaerobic technology but they are limited by the high cost of the catalyst used at the cathode (typically platinum). in this study, we designed a novel type of two-chambered MFC wherein an autoheterotrophic denitrifying biofilm replaced the costly catalyst on the cathode surface. Micro-organisms performed denitrification by using electrons supplied by bacteria oxidizing domestic wastewater and acetate as substrates in the anode chamber. This two-chambered MFC equìpped with a biocathode generated during more than 1.5 month up to 9.4mWm-2 of anode surface or 0.19Wm-3 of anode chamber volume, while removing over 65% of COD, 84% of total nitrogen and nearly 30% of suspended solids with domestic wastewater as a substrate, and nearly 95% of acetate in the subsequent experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-885
Number of pages5
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biocathode
  • Denitrification
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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