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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Feb;102(3):2731-5. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.11.030. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

Treatment of wastewater from Dioscorea zingiberensis tubers used for producing steroid hormones in a microbial fuel cell.

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Key Laboratory for Urban Habitat Environmental Science and Technology, School of Environment and Energy, Peking University, Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen, China.


A two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was used to treat Dioscorea zingiberensis processing wastewater and generate electricity. The contaminant degradation process was systematically investigated with the help of UV-Vis, FTIR spectra and GC-MS. The results showed that the COD removal efficiency of the MFC reached 93.5% and the maximum power density achieved 175 mW/m(2). In the anodic chamber, low molecule weight acid, sugars and cellulose in D. zingiberensis processing wastewater were completely consumed, while complicated contaminants including some furanic and phenolic compounds were decomposed under co-metabolism process. In the cathodic chamber, fatty ester and alkene generated in the anodic chamber were removed, and aromatic compounds were further degraded. Aromatic ester and N-containing compounds were detected as the main residual contaminants by GC-MS. Compared to the effluents of anaerobic digestion and biological aerated filter, fewer and simpler aromatic pollutants existed in the effluents of MFC.

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