The potential of microbial fuel cells for remediation of heavy metals from soil and water—review of application

Chaolin Fang, Varenyam Achal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The global energy crisis and heavy metal pollution are the common problems of the world. It is noted that the microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been developed as a promising technique for sustainable energy production and simultaneously coupled with the remediation of heavy metals from water and soil. This paper reviewed the performances of MFCs for heavy metal removal from soil and water. Electrochemical and microbial biocatalytic reactions synergistically resulted in power generation and the high removal efficiencies of several heavy metals in wastewater, such as copper, hexavalent chromium, mercury, silver, thallium. The coupling system of MFCs and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) successfully reduced cadmium and lead without external energy input. Moreover, the effects of pH and electrode materials on the MFCs in water were discussed. In addition, the remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soil by MFCs were summarized, noting that plant-MFC performed very well in the heavy metal removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Microbial electrolysis cell
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Wastewater

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