The looking for sustainable sewage sludge management technology in the wastewater treatment plants, has brought to light the biocathode microbial fuel cells (bMFCs) which allow simultaneous biological stabilization and direct energy generation, avoiding the production of biogas. In the present study, the performance of bMFCs for the treatment of secondary sludge as anodic substrate was evaluated by analyzing the removal of organic matter, destruction of volatile solids and the generation of electrical energy under different operating conditions and applying two types of cathode chambers. The results indicated that VSS and tCOD removals up to 92% and 87% respectively can be achieved in the anodic chamber generating simultaneously energy. Current and power densities of 1.80 ± 0.09 A∙m−3 and 0.43 ± 0.02 W∙m−3 respectively were reached, showing that bMFCs are a reliable alternative to generate electricity during the sewage sludge stabilization process. It was revealed that the pH value and the type of cathodic zone are statistically significant factors that influenced the performance of the bMFCs. The obtained results demonstrated that the electrochemical performance of the bMFCs was better at pH value of 6 in the anodic chamber and when aerobic cathode zone was used.
Part of the book: Sewage