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Ammonium Removal and Electricity Generation by Using Microbial Desalination Cells.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Water, Sewage and Waste technology.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) has become one of the energy-sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment purpose in the recent years. It combines wastewater treatment and electricity generation together so as to achieve energy balance. By inoculating microorganism in the anode chamber and filling catholyte in the cathode chamber, and also with the help of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) between them, the MFC can transfer protons and produce power. Microbial desalination cells (MDC) are based on MFC’s structure and can fulfill desalination function by the addition of a middle chamber and anion exchange membrane (AEM).

This study focuses on ammonium removal and electricity generation in MDC system. Mainly two types of liquid were tested, a solution of Hjorthorn Salt and filtrated supernatant.

The experiments were performed at Hammarby Sjöstad research station and laboratory of Land and Water Resources department, Stockholm. It consists of a preparation stage, a MFC stage and a MDC stage. Until the end of MFC stage, biofilm in the anode chamber had been formed and matured. After that, solutions of different initial concentrations (1.5, 2.5, 5, 15 g/L) of Hjorthorn Salt and also filtrated supernatant have been tested. Ammonium removal degree can be obtained by measuring the initial concentration and cycle end concentration, while electricity generation ability can be calculated by voltage data which was continuously recorded by a multimeter.

Results showed that this MDC system is suitable for ammonium removal in both of Hjorthorn Salt solutions and supernatant. The removal degrees in Hjorthorn Salt solution at desalination chamber were 53.1%, 52.7%, 60.34%, and 27.25% corresponding to initial NH4+ concentration of 340.7, 376, 376 and 2220 mg/L. The ammonium removal degrees in the supernatant were up to 53.4% and 43.7% under 21 and 71 hours operation, respectively. In power production aspect, MDC produced maximum voltage when potassium permanganate was used in the cathode chamber (217 mV). The power density in solutions of Hjorthorn Salt was relative low (46.73 - 86.61 mW/m3), but in the supernatant it showed a good performance, up to 227.7 and 190.8 mW/m3.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 73 p.
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; LWR-EX-11-29
Keyword [en]
Microbial desalination cell, microbial fuel cell, ammonium removal, power production, digested sludge
National Category
Water Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-96298OAI: diva2:530243
Subject / course
Water, Sewage and Waste
Educational program
Degree of Master - Water System Technology
Available from: 2012-06-01 Created: 2012-06-01 Last updated: 2012-06-01Bibliographically approved

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