Energetic bacteria remove both organic carbon and nitrogen from wastewater
Biological wastewater treatment is not a new idea. It harnesses the natural ability of some bacteria and other microorganisms to degrade organic matter. Over the last decade, many scientists have turned their attention to microbial electrogenesis in which the decomposition of organic or inorganic carbon is paired with the release of electrons extracellularly. Microbial electrogenesis can be harnessed by wastewater treatment facilities to generate electricity or to produce fuels. The Spanish SME METfilter has developed a technology based on microbial electrogenesis that significantly enhances wastewater treatment in constructed wetlands (engineered wetlands designed to treat waterborne pollutants). Within the scope of the EU-funded ELECTRAMMOX project, scientists are identifying electrogenic microbes that additionally remove nitrogen from wastewater for a holistic biological wastewater treatment process.
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