Olive mill wastewater treatment in microbial fuel cells
Ulutas, M. Sefa
Akarsubasi, A. Tunga
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Olive mill wastewaters create significant environmental issues in olive-processing countries. One of the most hazardous groups of pollutants in these wastewaters is phenolic compounds. Here, olive mill wastewater was used as substrate and treated in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells. Olive mill wastewater yielded a maximum voltage of 381 mV on an external resistance of 1 kΩ. Notable decreases in the contents of 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, tyrosol, gallic acid and p-coumaric acid were detected. Chemical oxygen demand removal rates were 65 % while removal of total phenolics by the process was lower (49 %). Microbial community analysis during the olive mill wastewater treating MFC has shown that both exoelectrogenic and phenol-degrading microorganisms have been enriched during the operation. Brevundimonas-, Sphingomonas- and Novosphingobium-related phylotypes were enriched on the anode biofilm, while Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes dominated the cathode biofilm. As one of the novel studies, it has been demonstrated that recalcitrant olive mill wastewaters could be treated and utilized for power generation in microbial fuel cells.