Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 315–321 | Cite as

Simultaneous organics removal and bio-electrochemical denitrification in microbial fuel cells

  • Yu-Hong Jia
  • Hung-Thuan Tran
  • Dae-Hee Kim
  • Se-Jin Oh
  • Doo-Hyun Park
  • Rui-Hong Zhang
  • Dae-Hee Ahn
Original Paper


Simultaneous organics removal and bio-electrochemical denitrification using a microbial fuel cell (MFC) reactor were investigated in this study. The electrons produced as a result of the microbial oxidation of glucose in the anodic chamber were transferred to the anode, which then flowed to the cathode in the cathodic chamber through a wire, where microorganisms used the transferred electrons to reduce the nitrate. The highest power output obtained on the MFCs was 1.7 mW/m2 at a current density of 15 mA/m2. The maximum volumetric nitrate removal rate was 0.084 mg NO3 –N cm−2 (electrode surface area) day−1. The coulombic efficiency was about 7%, which demonstrated that a substantial fraction of substrate was lost without current generation.


Microbial fuel cell Microbial biocathode Denitrification Organic removal 



This subject is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as “The Eco-technopia 21 project”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-Hong Jia
    • 1
  • Hung-Thuan Tran
    • 1
  • Dae-Hee Kim
    • 1
  • Se-Jin Oh
    • 1
  • Doo-Hyun Park
    • 2
  • Rui-Hong Zhang
    • 3
  • Dae-Hee Ahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering and BiotechnologyMyongji UniversityKyonggidoRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biological EngineeringSeokyeong UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA

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