To create an efficient bioelectrochemical system, a high Coulombic efficiency is required. This efficiency is a direct measure for the competition between electrogens and methanogens when acetate is used as substrate. In this study the Coulombic efficiency in a microbial electrolysis cell was investigated. As a result of an increase in substrate concentration from 1 to 35 mM, the current density increased to 21.1 A/m(2), while the Coulombic efficiency decreased to 52%. As a result of an increase in anode potential from -450 to -0.250 mV, the current density increased to 20.9 A/m(2), while the Coulombic efficiency increased 21%. Knowledge about the substrate affinity and growth kinetics is crucial to control the Coulombic efficiency. Further research is required to optimize strategies to find a balance between the Coulombic efficiency, current density and removal rate of organic material.
- microbial fuel-cells
- electrolysis cells