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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/8999

Title: Performance analysis of electrode materials (biochar and petroleum coke) in microbial fuel cells using industrial wastewater
Authors: Tabbicca, Kwame Effrim
Issue Date: 29-Sep-2016
Abstract: Increasing global energy demand coupled with the problem of global warming have necessitated the need for alternatives to fossil fuels. One possible alternative is the use of Microbial Fuel Cells. Microbial Fuel Cells have the potential to provide decentralized power generation and wastewater treatment systems which is especially needed in many rural households and schools. This study investigated the performance of biochar from palm kernel shells and petroleum coke as electrode materials in microbial fuel cells running on brewery and abattoir wastewater. This study sought to examine the power generation and wastewater treatment potential of the selected electrode materials when used as microbial fuel cell. When carbon paper was run on brewery wastewater and abattoir wastewater the maximum power densities achieved were 1.40 ± 0.34 Wm-3 and 1.35 ± 0.02 Wm-3 respectively. Biochar achieved power densities of 0.78 ± 0.045 Wm-3 and 0.54 ± 0.01 Wm-3 in brewery wastewater and abattoir wastewater respectively. When abattoir wastewater was used carbon paper removed 39.65 ± 14.30 % of chemical oxygen demand content and that of biochar was 21.92 ± 7.13 %. When brewery wastewater was used biochar had the higher percentage of 59.19 ± 20.67% and carbon paper removed 36.41 ± 2.54 % of chemical oxygen demand content. Petroleum coke granules proved to be unsuitable electrode materials to be used in microbial fuel cells. Petroleum coke granules failed inoculation and also failed to acclimate when both wastewaters were used. The maximum power density achieved during the entire study when using petroleum coke was 0.01 Wm-3. Biochar achieved up to 55% of the power density achieved by carbon paper. However, lower material expenses made their power output cost cheaper than that of carbon paper making it a suitable replacement for the more extensively used carbon paper.
Description: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy,2016.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/8999
Appears in Collections:College of Engineering

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