Unmet Need: Effective strategies for wastewater treatment.
The treatment of municipal wastewater is an energy intensive process, with the delivery of oxygen as a soluble electron acceptor accounting a significant share of the total energy consumption. There is a need to find low-cost effective ways of wastewater treatment.
The Technology: Switchable dual-mode wastewater treatment system.
Earlier, Microbial fuel cells (MFC) have been proposed as a solution to reduce energy requirements but they can demonstrate power generation only under defined conditions. Researchers at WSU have developed a switchable dual-mode bio-electrochemical wastewater treatment system by combining polarized electrodes with microbial fuel cells. It is a multiple bipotentiostat electronic platform capable of polarizing multiple anode and cathode pairs in the same ionic wastewater container with shared electrolyte medium.
• Municipal wastewater treatment.
• Low cost biopotentiostatic enrichment of efficient anodes/cathodes enrichment.
• MFCs with failed cathodes were recovered after bipotentiostatic polarization.
• The system could be operated for more than 12 months without interruption.
• Polarization changes microbial community to improve wastewater treatment.
Provisional patent application filed