"Microbial electrochemical cells (MECs) show promises for energy recovery from waste and efficient wastewater treatment. MECs are bioelectrochemical reactors in which chemical energy stored in reduced substrates is converted directly into electrical energy (or hydrogen) through immobilized microbial catalysts, usually termed electroactive biofilms (EAB). Current MEC performances are not optimal and prevent their use in large-scale applications. Slow electron transfer at the microorganisms/electrode interface and low overall electroactivity of EABs are among the key scientific bottlenecks that need to be resolved in order to increase MEC output and enable their cost-effective implementation in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). A possible solution is the development of biocompatible advanced materials for electrodes that will enable efficient “wiring” of EAB to the electrode. This project focus on development of such electrode materials and their implementation in established MECs.
The candidate will use ‘forest’ like carbon nanotube (CNTs) and CNT- conducting polymers nanocomposites (CNT-NCs) to modify conventional electrodes for MECs. The new electrodes will have high surface and biocompatibility and support a fully active EAB, thereby increasing extracellular electron transfer and power (or hydrogen) output in MECs.
The training facilities and expertise of the host organization will be used to fulfill the multidisciplinary training of researcher needs for development of an independent research career. Additional training budget management and technology transfer provided within this project will add to the core skills of the candidate and enable her to take forward Research and Technology Development programmes.
Moreover, the results could be of enormous global environmental benefit by ensuring the optimization of MEC as well as economic benefit by reducing costs for existing wastewater treatment systems."
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call