Implementation of a sulfide–air fuel cell coupled to a sulfate-reducing biocathode for elemental sulfur recovery

Enric Blázquez*, David Gabriel, Juan Antonio Baeza, Albert Guisasola, Pablo Ledezma, Stefano Freguia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Bio-electrochemical systems (BES) are a flexible biotechnological platform that can be employed to treat several types of wastewaters and recover valuable products concomitantly. Sulfate-rich wastewaters usually lack an electron donor; for this reason, implementing BES to treat the sulfate and the possibility of recovering the elemental sulfur (S0 ) offers a solution to this kind of wastewater. This study proposes a novel BES configuration that combines bio-electrochemical sulfate reduction in a biocathode with a sulfide–air fuel cell (FC) to recover S0 . The proposed system achieved high elemental sulfur production rates (up to 386 mg S0-S L−1 d−1) with 65% of the sulfate removed recovered as S0 and a 12% lower energy consumption per kg of S0 produced (16.50 ± 0.19 kWh kg−1 S0-S) than a conventional electrochemical S0 recovery system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5571
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Bio-electrochemical systems (BES)
  • Fuel cells (FC)
  • Oxygen-reducing cathode
  • Resource recovery
  • Sulfate removal

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