Microbial Fuel Cells in Landfill Applications

Investigators: University of New Hampshire

End Date:
Dec 2009

Award Amount:

Microbial fuel cells are a new technology that can be used for treating landfill leachate and simultaneously producing electricity.  Three designs were tested in batch cycles using landfill leachate (908-3200 mg/L COD): a Square (995 mL), Circle (934 mL) and a Large Scale MFC (18.3 L).  A total of seven cycles were completed for each the Square MFC and Circle MFC and two cycles for the Larger Scale MFC.  Maximum power densities of 24-31 mW/m2 (653 mW/m3-824 mW/m3) were achieved using the Circle MFC and a maximum voltage of 635 mV was produced using the Larger Scale MFC.  BOD, TOC, and Ammonia were removed at 50-72%, 17-53 %, and 7-69%, respectively.  The Larger Scale MFC achieved 47-86% BOD removal, 51% TOC removal and 60% ammonia reduction while operating over 52 days.  These results demonstrate MFCs can be used to treat landfill leachate with the benefit of power generation.

Final Report