Electricity Production and Bioremediation from Synthetic Sugar Industry Wastewater by Using Microbial Isolate in Microbial Fuel Cell


This study was based on simultaneous electricity production and bioremediation of synthetic sugar industry wastewater using microbial fuel cells (MFC). Electrogenic microbial source was obtained from a sugar industry wastewater treatment plant. The electrogenic strain was identified as Bacillus cereus according to its biochemical and molecular characteristics. A completely randomized experimental design (open circuit and 1 K, 220 and 50 Ω) was conducted to evaluate the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal, coulombic efficiency (CE) and power density. The experimental results demonstrated that the B. cereus can use sucrose as an electron donor to generate electricity. At pH 7.0, the MFC generated an open-circuit voltage of 539 ± 22 mV. The maximum CE of 19.44 ± 1.93% and power density of 185.90 mW m−2 were obtained with an external resistance of 50 Ω, while the COD removal was 70%. The maximum COD removal (82%) and a power density of 121.39 ± 2.12 mW m−2 were obtained in the MFC connected to an external resistance of 220 Ω. These results demonstrate that an MFC powered with indigenous B. cereus can be used for simultaneous wastewater bioremediation and electricity production but is dependent on the external resistance.

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This study was supported by projects SEP-CONACYT-239590. We thank Ing. Francisco Cerino Frías María, Alejandra Castellanos Hernández and Johany Kristhell Silvan Lara for technical assistance at biotech laboratory. We thank Nanotech laboratory at Cimav-Chihuahua for letting us use electron microscope.

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Correspondence to G. Martínez-Pereyra.

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Córdova-Bautista, Y., Ramírez-Morales, E., Pérez-Hernández, B. et al. Electricity Production and Bioremediation from Synthetic Sugar Industry Wastewater by Using Microbial Isolate in Microbial Fuel Cell. Sugar Tech 22, 820–829 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-020-00830-1

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  • Microbial fuel cell
  • B. cereus
  • Bioremediation
  • COD removal