Petroleum refinery wastewater treatment in two-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCS)


1 Esfahan University of Technology

2 Amirkabir University of Technology


Petroleum refinery wastewaters (PRW) contain water-soluble hydrocarbons which can not be separated by physical methods. In recent years, there have been enormous approaches to treat PRW. The most outstanding methods involve biological, photocatalytic, electro photo-Fenton and etc. Using microbial fuel cell is a new method to treat PRW. In the present paper, treatment of petroleum wastewater of Isfahan refinery (COD= 213.9 mg/l, PH=7.1) was investigated in twochamber microbial fuel cell having 350 mL anode and cathode capacity. Anaerobic activated sludge prepared from Isfahan refinery treatment reactors was used as inoculum. Maximum power production was 0.03 W/m2 at 33 using oxygen as cathodic electron acceptor. Also COD removal efficiency was 49.27% during 44 hr. To enhance power production of the MFC, potassium permanganate was used as cathodic electron acceptor. At temperature of 33 and 0.2 g/l permanganate concentration, the maximum power density was 0.95 W/m2 and COD removal efficiency was 78% during 44hr. Then effect of temperature and external resistance on treatment of PRW was investigated. In fact the motivation of this paper is investigation of COD removal from PRW in two-chamber MFC.