A sandwiched denitrifying biocathode in a microbial fuel cell for electricity generation and waste minimization

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


A denitrifying biocathode in a microbial fuel cell was developed to investigate the replacement of the costly Pt-coated abiotic cathodes for electricity generation. The denitrifying biocathode was sandwiched between the dual-anode systems. The study investigated the performance for simultaneous treatment of wastewater on the anode, biological denitrification on the cathode and the potential recovery of electrical energy. Autotrophic biofilms performed denitrification on the cathode using supplied electrons by the biodegradation of organics on the anode. Graphite granules were used as electrodes for biofilm attachment, and nafion membranes were used as separators between electrodes. The system achieved a volumetric power of 7 ± 0.4 W m−3 net cathodic compartment (NCC) with the simultaneous removal of 229.5 ± 18 mg L−1 COD on anode and 88.9 g m−3 NCC day−1 nitrogen on cathode, respectively. The columbic efficiency for cathodic and anodic reactions was 98.9 ± 0.57 and 23.54 ± 0.87 %, respectively. This is a combined study for domestic wastewater treatment and biological denitrification in a compact MFC reactor. Further optimization of the system is desired to improve its performance and applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1064
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Autotrophic biofilms
  • Biocathode
  • Bioelectricity production
  • Biological denitrification
  • Microbial electrochemistry
  • Microbial fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'A sandwiched denitrifying biocathode in a microbial fuel cell for electricity generation and waste minimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this