© 2015 The Authors. This paper describes the potential for algal biomass production in conjunction with wastewater treatment and power generation within a fully biotic Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). The anaerobic biofilm in the anodic half-cell is generating current, whereas the phototrophic biofilm on the cathode is providing the oxygen for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) and forming biomass. The MFC is producing electricity with simultaneous biomass regeneration in the cathodic half-cell, which is dependent on the nutrient value of the anodic feedstock. Growth of algal biomass in the cathode was monitored, assessed and compared against the MFC power production (charge transfer), during this process. MFC generation of electricity activated the cation crossover for the formation of biomass, which has been harvested and reused as energy source in a closed loop system. It can be concluded that the nutrient reclamation and assimilation into new biomass increases the energy efficiency. This work is presenting a simple and self-sustainable MFC operation with minimal dependency on chemicals and an energy generation system utilising waste products and maximising energy turnover through an additional biomass recovery.
Gajda, I., Greenman, J., Melhuish, C., & Ieropoulos, I. (2015). Self-sustainable electricity production from algae grown in a microbial fuel cell system. Biomass and Bioenergy, 82, 87-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2015.05.017