Horizontal arrangement of anodes of microbial fuel cells enhances remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil
With the aim of in situ bioremediation of soil contaminated by hydrocarbons, anodes arranged with two different ways (horizontal or vertical) were compared in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Charge outputs as high as 833 and 762C were achieved in reactors with anodes horizontally arranged (HA) and vertically arranged (VA). Up to 12.5 % of the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) was removed in HA after 135 days, which was 50.6 % higher than that in VA (8.3 %) and 95.3 % higher than that in the disconnected control (6.4 %). Hydrocarbon fingerprint analysis showed that the degradation rates of both alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in HA were higher than those in VA. Lower mass transport resistance in the HA than that of the VA seems to result in more power and more TPH degradation. Soil pH was increased from 8.26 to 9.12 in HA and from 8.26 to 8.64 in VA, whereas the conductivity was decreased from 1.99 to 1.54 mS/cm in HA and from 1.99 to 1.46 mS/cm in VA accompanied with the removal of TPH. Considering both enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbon and generation of charge in HA, the MFC with anodes horizontally arranged is a promising configuration for future applications.
KeywordsMicrobial fuel cells Petroleum hydrocarbons Soil remediation Anode arrangement
This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology as an 863 project (2012AA101403-2), the MOE Innovative Research Team in University (IRT13024), the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Nos. 21107053 and 21037002), the Ministry of Science and Technology as an 863 major project (2013AA06A205), and the Tianjin Research Program of Application Foundation and Advanced Technology (13JCQNJC08000).
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