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Journal of Hazardous Materials
Volume 416, 2021, 125864

Biological detoxification and decolorization enhancement of azo dye by introducing natural electron mediators in MFCs

Tao Lia, Hai-Liang Songb, Han Xua, Xiao-Li Yanga, Qiao-Ling Chena

School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China.


Reactive red 2 (RR2) is a highly recalcitrant and toxic azo dye that can cause the collapse of biological treatment system. Although MFC can decolorize RR2 effectively, its performance is still inevitably affected by toxicity. Anthraquinone can enhance MFCs’ performance through mediating electron transfer. In this study, an anthraquinone-rich natural plants (B.rheum (Rheum offcinale Baill)) was extracted and then added to MFCs. The optimal dosage was selected and the enhanced effects were investigated. The results showed that adding 5%(V/V) extract resulted in the optimal performance elevation of MFC. When 5% extract was added together with RR2, 15.63% and 1.33-fold improvement in RR2 decolorization efficiency and rate were achieved compared with the control group. Meanwhile, higher power density (2.75 W/m3), coulombic efficiency (6.45%), and lower internal resistance (233.69 Ω) were also observed when 5% B.rheum extract and RR2 were added. B.rheum extract in MFCs enhanced microbial activity and enriched the dye-degrading microorganisms, such as Enterobacter, Raoultella, Comamonas and ShinellaB.rheum extract acts as “antidote” in alleviating the biotoxicity of RR2 was firstly illustrated in this study. The results provided a new strategy for using plant-source electron mediators to simultaneously improve biological detoxification, bioelectricity generation and dye decolorization in bioelectrochemical system.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cell, Natural electron mediators, Bioelectricity generation, Reactive Red 2, Biological detoxification.

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