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Microbial fuel cell biosensor for the determination of biochemical oxygen demand of wastewater samples containing readily and slowly biodegradable organics

Authors
  • Tardy, Gábor Márk1
  • Lóránt, Bálint1
  • Gyalai-Korpos, Miklós2, 3
  • Bakos, Vince1
  • Simpson, David4
  • Goryanin, Igor4, 5, 6
  • 1 Budapest University of Technology and Economics,
  • 2 Pannon Pro Innovations Ltd., P.O.B 41, Budapest, 1400 Hungary
  • 3 BES Europe Ltd, 39 Murányi u., Budapest, 1078 Hungary
  • 4 Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology,
  • 5 University of Edinburgh,
  • 6 Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biotechnology Letters
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Nov 27, 2020
Volume
43
Issue
2
Pages
445–454
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10529-020-03050-5
PMID: 33245467
PMCID: PMC7822768
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objectives Single-chamber air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were applied as biosensors for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) measurement of real wastewaters with considerable suspended and/or slowly biodegradable organic content. Results The measurement method consists of batch sample injection, continuous measurement of cell voltage and calculation of total charge (Q) gained during the biodegradation of organic content. Diverse samples were analyzed: acetate and peptone samples containing only soluble readily biodegradable substrates; corn starch and milk samples with suspended and colloidal organics; real domestic and brewery wastewaters. Linear regression fitted to the Q vs. BOD5 measurement points of the real wastewaters provided high (> 0.985) R2 values. Time requirement of the measurement varied from 1 to 4 days, depending on the composition of the sample. Conclusions Relative error of BOD measured in the MFCs comparing with BOD5 was less than 10%, thus the method might be a good basis for the development of on-site automatic BOD sensors for real wastewater samples. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s10529-020-03050-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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