Biocathodic nitrous oxide removal in bioelectrochemical systems

Desloover, Joachim, Puig, Sebastia, Virdis, Bernardino, Clauwaert, Peter, Boeckx, Pascal, Verstraete, Willy and Boon, Nico (2011) Biocathodic nitrous oxide removal in bioelectrochemical systems. Environmental Science and Technology, 45 24: 10557-10566. doi:10.1021/es202047x


Author Desloover, Joachim
Puig, Sebastia
Virdis, Bernardino
Clauwaert, Peter
Boeckx, Pascal
Verstraete, Willy
Boon, Nico
Title Biocathodic nitrous oxide removal in bioelectrochemical systems
Journal name Environmental Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-936X
1520-5851
Publication date 2011-12-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/es202047x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 45
Issue 24
Start page 10557
End page 10566
Total pages 10
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Language eng
Abstract Anthropogenic nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions represent up to 40% of the global N2O emission and are constantly increasing. Mitigation of these emissions is warranted since N2O is a strong greenhouse gas and important ozone-depleting compound. Until now, only physicochemical technologies have been applied to mitigate point sources of N2O, and no biological treatment technology has been developed so far. In this study, a bioelectrochemical system (BES) with an autotrophic denitrifying biocathode was considered for the removal of N2O. The high N2O removal rates obtained ranged between 0.76 and 1.83 kg N m(-3) net cathodic compartment (NCC) d(-1) and were proportional to the current production, resulting in cathodic coulombic efficiencies near 100%. Furthermore, our experiments suggested the active involvement of microorganisms as the catalyst for the reduction of N2O to N-2, and the optimal cathode potential ranged from -200 to 0 mV vs standard hydrogen electrode (SHE) in order to obtain high conversion rates. Successful operation of the system for more than 115 days with N2O as the sole cathodic electron acceptor strongly indicated that N2O respiration yielded enough energy to maintain the biological process. To our knowledge, this study provides for the first time proof of concept of biocathodic N2O removal at long-term without the need for high temperatures and expensive catalysts.
Formatted abstract
Anthropogenic nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions represent up to 40% of the global N2O
emission and are constantly increasing. Mitigation of these emissions is warranted since N2O is a strong greenhouse gas and important ozone-depleting compound. Until now, only physicochemical technologies have been applied to mitigate point sources of N2O, and no biological treatment technology has been developed so far. In this study, a bioelectrochemical system (BES) with an autotrophic denitrifying biocathode was considered for the removal of N2O. The high N2O removal rates obtained ranged between 0.76 and 1.83 kg N m-3 net cathodic compartment (NCC) d-1 and were proportional to the current production, resulting in cathodic coulombic efficiencies near 100%. Furthermore, our experiments suggested the active involvement of microorganisms as the catalyst for the reduction of N2O toN2, and the optimal cathode potential ranged from -200 to 0mV vs standard hydrogen electrode (SHE) in order to obtain high conversion rates. Successful operation of the system for more than 115 days with N2O as the sole cathodic electron acceptor strongly indicated that N2O respiration yielded enough energy to maintain the biological process. To our knowledge, this study provides for the first time proof of concept of biocathodic N2O removal at long-term without the need for high temperatures and expensive catalysts.
Keyword Water treatment plants
Microbial fuel-Cells
Waste-water
Biological denitrification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID SB-091144
2010
MCYT-CTQ2008-06865-C02-01/PPQ
DP0985000
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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