Bioelectrochemical systems are employing microbes as biocatalysts to convert waste into valuable resources. For example, a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) utilises chemical energy locked in human urine into direct electrical current and can be scaled-up to power practical applications . It is therefore paramount to improve power output and study catalytic reactions in which wastes are converted to useful products. In this work, an iron based electrocatalyst incorporated into an air-breathing cathode was tested in order to verify the functionality of the MFC as a simple, trigenerative system for (i) improved electricity levels (ii) to efficiently treat waste (neat human urine) in the anode and (iii) to obtain electrochemically treated (cleaned) catholyte as a function of system performance. The novelty of this process is in the simplicity of the operation, chemical-free and self-sustaining recovery.
Gajda, I., Greenman, J., Santoro, C., Serov, A., Atanassov, P., & Ieropoulos, I. (2018, September). Small ceramic microbial fuel cell as a trigenerative system for electricity, organics degradation and urine filtration. Paper presented at AiMES 2018 : ECS and SMEQ Joint International Meeting, Cancun, Mexico