Document Type : Research Article
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran.
University of Sistan and Baluchestan Central Laboratory, Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran.
Response surface methodology is employed to statistically identify the significance of three parameters of separator assembly arrangement, wastewater flow rate, and relative flow patterns of anode and cathode influencing the generation of power and coulombic efficiency of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). Three different assemblies of Nylon-Cloth (NC), artificial rayon cloth as Absorbent Layer (AL), and J-Cloth (JC) were investigated as proton exchange mediums instead of common expensive polymeric membranes. Statistical analyses (ANOVA) revealed that although the addition of the AL after the JC layer had no significant impact on the enhancement of maximum power density, it could improve the coulombic efficiency of the MFCs by 15 %, owing to the crucial impact of oxygen permeability control between the MFC chambers. In the counter-current flow pattern, higher trans-membrane pressure and more oxygen concentration differences diminished the MFC performance and marked the importance of efficient separator layer arrangement, compared to co-current influents. The maximum power density of 285.89 mW/m2, the coulombic efficiency of 4.97 %, and the internal resistance of 323.9 Ω were achieved for the NC-JC-Al arrangement in the co-current mode along with the flow rate of 6.9 ml/min. The higher the flow rate of influent wastewater, the higher the performance of the MFCs.
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