🚨PIN28 Meeting, 🗓Tuesday 5th July 2022, 📍Newcastle University, Research Beehive, Room 2.21, 📋Registration available soon

What is PI? | Facilities | Group Members | Live Grants | News | Publications | PhD Opportunities | Networks | PIG Books | Alumni


  Sam Settle

Postgraduate Student
 
       
 

Developing large-scale microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for treatment of sludge return liquors

 

Bioelectrochemical systems, such as microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), are a novel technology which can promote a circular economy by yielding energy-rich hydrogen from anaerobic treatment of wastewater. Most research on these systems has been conducted at lab-scale using synthetic wastewaters with a handful of pilot-scale reactors operated with real wastewaters at Newcastle University which have provided a proof of concept for hydrogen generation at ambient temperaturesThree significant barriers are impeding commercial implementation of MECs: low performance when treating real wastewater (poor hydrogen yields and energy recovery), high variability between identical electrodes/reactors and high material costs. Hence, this project will aim to:  

 

  • Develop practical sterilisation techniques to eliminate hydrogen scavengers and improve hydrogen production. 

  • Optimize input voltage at pilot-scale using sludge return liquor (a high strength by-product of dewatered digested sludge). 

  • Test and monitor the performance of cheaper electrode materials (e.g recycled carbon fibre). 

  • Explore reactor design by investigating the influence of channel width on current density and hydrogen production using an existing CFD model. 

  • Develop strategies for optimum biofilm formation and reducing variability using a high number of replica reactors and microbial gene-sequencing analysis to identify differences between good and bad performing systems. 

 

 

 

 

 Last modified: 09-Mar-2022