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Vol. 120, 2018, Pages: 127-137

Microbial fuel cells in saline and hypersaline environments: Advancements, challenges and future perspectives

Matteo Grattieri, Shelley D.Minteer

Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, 315 S 1400 E Rm 2020, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


This review is aimed to report the possibility to utilize microbial fuel cells for the treatment of saline and hypersaline solutions. An introduction to the issues related with the biological treatment of saline and hypersaline wastewater is reported, discussing the limitation that characterizes classical aerobic and anaerobic digestions. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology, and the possibility to be applied in the presence of high salinity, is discussed before reviewing the most recent advancements in the development of MFCs operating in saline and hypersaline conditions, with their different and interesting applications. Specifically, the research performed in the last 5 years will be the main focus of this review. Finally, the future perspectives for this technology, together with the most urgent research needs, are presented.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Microbial fuel cells, Saline & hypersaline wastewater, Halotolerant bacteria, Decontamination, Electroactive bacteria, In field application.

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