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Extensive development of science and technology in this scientific era has made the human life much easier and comfortable. However a simultaneous increase in the pollution due to the dumping of industrial effluents, Plastic utilities, Computer hardware etc has become one of the threatening problems in the present day. It’s the time for the use of this science and technology in the direction of bioremediation or environment management. In association with this concept the present work involves the development of an eco-friendly miniature treatment system for the treatment of waste water. The major source used here are the microbial cells which act as bio scavengers or purifiers. The main principle of the work is the ability of microbes to act as behave as biological catalyst by donating their electrons and protons produced as a result of anaerobic respiration of organic substances. These electrons are accepted by acceptors resulting in the generation of power. The work also involves the simultaneous generation of power from this treatment system. Thus it is not only eco-friendly but also an important source of the generation of electricity. These kind of set ups are also called as Microbial Fuel Cells.
The use of microbes as biofuels in the treatment of waste water and generation of power is one of the most economic, environment safe and on demand technique required. The specially designed closed system in which bacteria are used as proton and electron donors so as to cause a potential difference resulting in power generation is called microbial fuel cells. There are several kind of microbial fuel cells running on different microbes and designed definitely.
Several substrates like Acetate, Lactate and glucose have been used as substrates in the production of microbial fuel cells (1). One of the Single chamber Microbial Fuel cell (SCMFC) was designed by a research team at The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania. It contained eight graphite electrodes and a single air cathode. The continuous flow conditions were maintained in the system for which the primary clarifier effluent is obtained from a nearby waste water treatment plant. Such bioreactor would reduce the COD of the water and generate electric current.
Miniature ecological system was found to be an economical mode of treatment for low concentrated and fermented waste waters. The novel concept of designed system mitigates the natural ecosystem by using natural biological components in the different units of treatment processes. The study was performed with different living components like floating plants (Eichornia) Submerged plants (Hydrilla), Duck Weed, Snails and Fishes. This research documented the effective treatment of waste water Mainly by Eichornia in first stage, submerged plants in second stage and fish, duck weed and snails in the third stage of the process. The electrons accommodated in three tanks were able to generate bio electricity. Experiments documented the simultaneous potential of designed system to generate bio electricity apart from the treatment. Among the three tanks tank 1 and 3 showed higher power generation when compared to tank 2. On connecting the three tanks in series the current was found to improve. When electrodes were connected in parallel the voltage was further improved significantly.
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