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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Nov;25(33):32844-32850. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-8390-1. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Bioelectrochemical anaerobic sewage treatment technology for Arctic communities.

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National Research Council of Canada, 6100 Royalmount Ave, Montreal, QC, H4P 2R2, Canada.
National Research Council of Canada, 12000 Montreal Rd, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0R6, Canada.
National Research Council of Canada, 6100 Royalmount Ave, Montreal, QC, H4P 2R2, Canada.


This study describes a novel wastewater treatment technology suitable for small remote northern communities. The technology is based on an enhanced biodegradation of organic carbon through a combination of anaerobic methanogenic and microbial electrochemical (bioelectrochemical) degradation processes leading to biomethane production. The microbial electrochemical degradation is achieved in a membraneless flow-through bioanode-biocathode setup operating at an applied voltage below the water electrolysis threshold. Laboratory wastewater treatment tests conducted through a broad range of mesophilic and psychrophilic temperatures (5-23 °C) using synthetic wastewater showed a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) removal efficiency of 90-97% and an effluent BOD5 concentration as low as 7 mg L-1. An electricity consumption of 0.6 kWh kg-1 of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removed was observed. Low energy consumption coupled with enhanced methane production led to a net positive energy balance in the bioelectrochemical treatment system.


Anaerobic; Bioelectrochemical; Microbial electrolysis cell; Psychrophilic; Wastewater

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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