Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Enhancement of simultaneous batik wastewater treatment and electricity generation in photocatalytic fuel cell

  • 220 Accesses

  • 3 Citations


The objective of this study was to investigate several operating parameters, such as open circuit, different external resistance, pH, supporting electrolyte, and presence of aeration that might enhance the degradation rate as well as electricity generation of batik wastewater in solar photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC). The optimum degradation of batik wastewater was at pH 9 with external resistor 250 Ω. It was observed that open circuit of PFC showed only 17.2 ± 7.5% of removal efficiency, meanwhile the degradation rate of batik wastewater was enhanced to 31.9 ± 15.0% for closed circuit with external resistor 250 Ω. The decolorization of batik wastewater in the absence of photocatalyst due to the absorption of light irradiation by dye molecules and this process was known as photolysis. The degradation of batik wastewater increased as the external resistor value decreased. In addition, the degradation rate of batik wastewater also increased at pH 9 which was 74.4 ± 34.9% and at pH 3, its degradation rate was reduced to 19.4 ± 8.7%. The presence of aeration and sodium chloride as supporting electrolyte in batik wastewater also affected its degradation and electricity generation. The maximum absorbance of wavelength (λmax) of batik wastewater at 535 nm and chemical oxygen demand gradually decreased as increased in irradiation time; however, batik wastewater required prolonged irradiation time to fully degrade and mineralize in PFC system.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


  1. Akyol A, Bayramoğlu M (2005) Photocatalytic degradation of Remazol Red F3B using ZnO catalyst. J Hazard Mater B124:241–246

  2. Awad HS, Galwa NA (2005) Electrochemical degradation of Acid Blue and Basic Brown dyes on Pb/PbO2 electrode in the presence of different conductive electrolyte and effect of various operating factors. Chemosphere 61:1327–1335

  3. Bai J, Wang R, Li Y, Tang Y, Zeng Q, Xia L, Li X, Li J, Li C, Zhou B (2016) A solar light driven dual photoelectrode photocatalytic fuel cell (PFC) for simultaneous wastewater treatment and electricity generation. J Hazard Mater 311:51–62

  4. Bakhshian S, Kariminia H-R, Roshandel R (2011) Bioelectricity generation enhancement in a dual chamber microbial fuel cell under cathodic enzyme catalyzed dye decolorization. Bioresour Technol 102:6761–6765

  5. Benmouiza K, Cheknane A (2018) Analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cells voltage drops for different operating parameters. Int J Hydrog Energy 43:3512–3519

  6. Boopathy R, Karthikeyan S, Mandal AB, Sekaran G (2013) Adsorption of ammonium ion by coconut shell-activated carbon from aqueous solution: kinetic, isotherm, and thermodynamic studies. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:533–542

  7. Brillas E, Martínez-Huitle CA (2015) Decontamination of wastewaters containing synthetic organic dyes by electrochemical methods. An updated review. Appl Catal B Environ 166–167:603–643

  8. Chen Q, Bai J, Li J, Huang K, Li X, Zhou B, Cai W (2014) Aerated visible-light responsive photocatalytic fuel cell for wastewater treatment with producing sustainable electricity in neutral solution. Chem Engine J 252:89–94

  9. Chong MN, Jin B, Chow CWK, Saint C (2010) Recent developments in photocatalytic water treatment technology: a review. Water Res 44:2997–3027

  10. Cristina Bocca MP, Cerisola G (2000) Electrochemical treatment of wastewater containing polyaromatic organic pollutants. Water Res 34:2601–2605

  11. Fernando E, Keshavarz T, Kyazze G (2014) External resistance as a potential tool for influencing azo dye reductive decolourisation kinetics in microbial fuel cells. Int Biodeterior Biodegradation 89:7–14

  12. Fujishima A, Zhang X, Tryk DA (2008) TiO2 photocatalysis and related surface phenomena. Surf Sci Rep 63:515–582

  13. Galindo C, Jacques P, Kalt A (2001) Photooxidation of the phenylazonaphthol AO 20 on TiO2: kinetic and mechanistics investigations. Chemosphere 45:997–1005

  14. Gümüş D, Akbal F (2011) Photocatalytic degradation of textile dye and wastewater. Water Air Soil Pollut 216:117–124

  15. Gupta VK, Gupta B, Rastogi A, Agarwal S, Nayak A (2011) A comparative investigation on adsorption performances of mesoporous activated carbon prepared from waste rubber tire and activated carbon for a hazardous azo dye – Acid Blue 113. J Hazard Mater 186:891–901

  16. Kaur S, Singh V (2007) Visible light induced sonophotocatalytic degradation of Reactive Red dye 198 using dye sensitized TiO2. Ultrason Sonochem 14:531–537

  17. Khalik WF, Ho L-N, Ong S-A, Wong Y-S, Yusuf NA, Ridwan F (2015) Decolorization and mineralization of batik wastewater through solar photocatalytic process. Sains Malays 44:607–612

  18. Khalik WF, Ho L-N, Ong S-A, Voon C-H, Wong Y-S, Yusoff NA, Lee S-L, Yusuf SY (2017) Optimization of degradation of Reactive Black 5 (RB5) and electricity generation in solar photocatalytic fuel cell system. Chemosphere 184:112–119

  19. Khalik WF, Ho L-N, Ong S-A, Voon C-H, Wong Y-S, Yusuf SY, Yusoff NA, Lee S-L (2018) Reactive Black 5 as electron donor and/or electron acceptor in dual chamber of solar photocatalytic fuel cell. Chemosphere 202:467–475

  20. Khataee AR, Pons MN, Zahraa O (2009) Photocatalytic degradation of three azo dyes using immobilized TiO2 nanoparticles on glass plates activated by UV light irradiation: influence of dye molecular structure. J Hazard Mater 168:451–457

  21. Lau Y-Y, Wong Y-S, Teng T-T, Morad N, Rafatullah M, Ong S-A (2014) Coagulation-flocculation of azo dye Acid Orange 7 with green refined laterite soil. Chem Engine J 246:383–390

  22. Lee S-L, Ho L-N, Ong S-A, Wong Y-S, Voon C-H, Khalik WF, Yusoff NA, Nordin N (2016) Enhanced electricity generation and degradation of the azo dye Reactive Green 19 in a photocatalytic fuel cell using ZnO/Zn as the photoanode. J Clean Prod 127:579–584

  23. Lee S-L, Ho L-N, Ong S-A, Wong Y-S, Voon C-H, Khalik WF, Yusoff NA, Nordin N (2017) A highly efficient immobilized ZnO/Zn photoanode for degradation of azo dye Reactive Green 19 in a photocatalytic fuel cell. Chemosphere 166:118–125

  24. Li K, Zhang H, Tang T, Xu Y, Ying D, Wang Y, Jia J (2014) Optimization and application of TiO2/Ti-Pt photo fuel cell (PFC) to effectively generate electricity and degrade organic pollutants simultaneously. Water Res 62:1–10

  25. Li K, Zhang H, Tang Y, Ying D, Xu Y, Wang Y, Jia J (2015) Photocatalytic degradation and electricity generation in a rotating disk photoelectrochemical cell over hierarchical structured BiOBr film. Appl Catal B Environ 164:82–91

  26. Li Q, Li Y, Ma X, Du Q, Sui K, Wang D, Wang C, Li H, Xia Y (2017) Filtration and adsorption properties of porous calcium alginate membrane for methylene blue removal from water. Chem Engine J 316:623–630

  27. Lianos P (2011) Production of electricity and hydrogen by photocatalytic degradation of organic wastes in a photoelectrochemical cell. The concept of the Photofuelcell: a review of a re-emerging research field. J Hazard Mater 185:575–590

  28. Liao Q, Li L, Chen R, Zhu X, Wang H, Ye D, Cheng X, Zhang M, Zhou Y (2015) Respective electrode potential characteristics of photocatalytic fuel cell with visible-light responsive photoanode and air-breathing cathode. Inter J Hydrog Energy 40:16547–16555

  29. Liu Y, Li J, Zhou B, Lv S, Li X, Chen H, Chen Q, Cai W (2012) Photoelectrocatalytic degradation of refractory organic compounds enhanced by a photocatalytic fuel cell. Appl Catal B Environ 111-112:485–491

  30. Liu G, Zhou H, Ding X, Li X, Zou D, Li X, Wang X, Lee JK (2016) Effect of fabrication and operating parameters on electrochemical property of anode and cathode for direct methanol fuel cells. Energy Convers Manag 122:366–371

  31. Liu M, Chen Q, Lu K, Huang W, Lü Z, Zhou C, Yu S, Gao C (2017) High efficient removal of dyes from aqueous solution through nanofiltration using diethanolamine-modified polyamide thin-film composite membrane. Sep Purif Technol 173:135–143

  32. Lizama C, Freer J, Baeza J, Mansilla HD (2002) Optimized photodegradation of reactive blue 19 on TiO2 and ZnO suspensions. Catal Today 76:235–246

  33. Michal R, Sfaelou S, Lianos P (2014) Photocatalysis for renewable energy production using photofuelcells. Molecules 19:19732–19750

  34. Mumjitha M, Raj V (2015) Electrochemical synthesis, structural features and photoelectrocatalytic activity of TiO2-SiO2 ceramic coatings on dye degradation. Mater Sci Engine B 198:62–73

  35. Nadjia L, Abdelkader E, Ahmed B (2012) ZnO-mediated photocatalytic degradation of Benzopurpurine BP4B in aqueous solution. Fiber Polym 13:303–312

  36. Ong S-A, Min O-M, Ho L-N, Wong Y-S (2012) Comparative study on photocatalytic degradation of mono azo dye Acid Orange 7 and Methyl Orange under solar light irradiation. Water Air Soil Pollut 223:5483–5493

  37. Pardeshi SK, Patil AB (2009) Solar photocatalytic degradation of resorcinol a model endocrine disrupter in water using zinc oxide. J Hazard Mater 163:403–409

  38. Piccin JS, Gomes CS, Mella B, Gutterres M (2016) Color removal from real leather dyeing effluent using tannery waste as an adsorbent. J Environ Chem Engine 4:1061–1067

  39. Preethi V, Kalyani KSP, Iyappan K, Srinivasakannan C, Balasubramaniam N, Vedaraman N (2009) Ozonation of tannery effluent for removal of cod and color. J Hazard Mater 166:150–154

  40. Qamar M, Muneer M (2009) A comparative photocatalytic activity of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide by investigating the degradation of vanillin. Desalination 249:535–540

  41. Qamar M, Saquib M, Muneer M (2004) Semiconductor-mediated photocatalytic degradation of an azo dye, chrysoidine Y in aqueous suspensions. Desalination 171:185–193

  42. Rauf MA, Meetani MA, Hisaindee S (2011) An overview on the photocatalytic degradation of azo dyes in the presences of TiO2 doped with selective transition metals. Desalination 276:13–27

  43. Sakthivel S, Neppolian B, Shankar MV, Arabindoo B, Palanichamy M, Murugesan V (2003) Solar photocatalytic degradation of azo dye: comparison of photocatalytic efficiency of ZnO and TiO2. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells 77:65–82

  44. Saquib M, Muneer M (2002) Semiconductor mediated photocatalysed degradation of an anthraquinone dye, Remazol Brilliant Blue R under sunlight and artificial light source. Dyes Pigments 53:237–249

  45. Sfaelou S, Lianos P (2016) Photoactivated fuel cells (Photofuelcells). An alternative source of renewable energy with environmental benefits. AIMS Mater Sci 3:270–288

  46. Shu D, Wu J, Gong Y, Li S, Hu L, Yang Y, He C (2014) BiOI-based photoactivated fuel cell using refractory organic compounds as substrates to generate electricity. Catal Today 224:13–20

  47. Sobana N, Swaminathan M (2007) The effect of operational parameters on the photocatalytic degradation of acid red 18 by ZnO. Sep Purif Technol 56:101–107

  48. Son H-S, Ko G, Zoh K-D (2009) Kinetics and mechanism of photolysis and TiO2 photocatalysis of triclosan. J Hazard Mater 166:954–960

  49. Sridewi N, Tan L-T, Sudesh K (2011) Solar photocatalytic decolorization and detoxification of industrial batik dye wastewater using P(3HB)-TiO2 nanocomposite films. Clean-Soil, Air, Water 39:266–273

  50. Strataki N, Antoniadou M, Dracopoulos V, Lianos P (2010) Visible-light photocatalytic hydrogen production from ethanol-water mixtures using a Pt-CdS-TiO2 photocatayst. Catal Today 151:53–57

  51. Sui M, Dong Y, Wang Z, Wang F, You H (2017) A biocathode-driven photocatalytic fuel cell using an Ag-doped TiO2/Ti mesh photoanode for electricity generation and pollutant degradation. J Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 348:238–245

  52. Tang WZ, Zhang Z, An H, Quintana MO, Torres DF (1997) TiO2/UV photodegradation of azo dyes in aqueous solutions. Environ Technol 18:1–12

  53. Wang Y, Hosono T, Hasebe Y (2013) Hemin-adsorbed carbon felt for sensitive and rapid flow-amperometric detection of dissolved oxygen. Microchim Acta 180:1295–1302

  54. Wang Y, Chen K, Mo L, Li J, Xu J (2014a) Optimization of coagulation-flocculation process for papermaking-reconstituted tobacco slice wastewater treatment using response surface methodology. J Ind Engine Chem 20:391–396

  55. Wang B, Zhang Hao LX-Y, Xuan J, Leung MKH (2014b) Solar photocatalytic fuel cell using CdS-TiO2 photoanode and air-breathing cathode for wastewater treatment and simultaneous electricity production. Chem Engine J 253:174–182

  56. Xia L, Bai J, Li J, Zeng Q, Li X, Zhou B (2016a) A highly efficient BiVO4/WO3/W heterojunction photoanode for a visible-light responsive dual photoelectrode photocatalytic fuel cell. Appl Catal B Environ 183:224–230

  57. Xia M, Chen B, Zhu X, Liao Q, An L, Wang Z, He X, Jiao L (2016b) A micro photocatalytic fuel cell with an air-breathing, membraneless and monolithic design. Sci Bull 61:1699–1710

  58. Xie S, Ouyang K (2017) Degradation of refractory organic compounds by photocatalytic fuel cell with solar responsive WO3/FTO photoanode and air-breathing cathode. J Colloid Interface Sci 500:220–227

  59. Yang J, Liao W, Liu Y, Murugananthan M, Zhang Y (2014) Degradation of rhodamine B using a visible-light driven photocatalytic fuel cell. Electrochim Acta 144:7–15

  60. Yi F, Chen S, Yuan C (2008) Effect of activated carbon fiber anode structure and electrolysis conditions on electrochemical degradation of dye wastewater. J Hazard Mater 157:79–87

  61. Yun Y-H, Choi S-C (2009) Surface modification of stainless steel bipolar plates for PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) application. J Electroceram 23:462–467

  62. Zangeneh H, Zinatizadeh AAL, Habibi M, Akia M, Isa MH (2015) Photocatalytic oxidation of organic dyes in wastewater using different modified titanium dioxides: a comparative review. J Ind Engine Chem 26:1–36

  63. Zhao K, Zeng Q, Bai J, Li J, Xia L, Chen S, Zhou B (2017) Enhanced organic pollutants degradation and electricity production simultaneously via strengthening the radicals reaction in a novel Fenton-photocatalytic fuel cell system. Water Res 108:293–300

Download references


The authors would like to thank Maido Corporation, Japan, and Osaka Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd., Japan, for supplying the carbon felt in this study.


This project is supported by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/1/2016/STG01/UNIMAP/02/1) provided by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia.

Author information

Correspondence to Li-Ngee Ho.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Suresh Pillai

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 176 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Khalik, W.F., Ho, L., Ong, S. et al. Enhancement of simultaneous batik wastewater treatment and electricity generation in photocatalytic fuel cell. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 35164–35175 (2018).

Download citation


  • Batik wastewater
  • Color removal
  • External resistor
  • Photocatalytic fuel cell
  • Polarization curve