Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are emerging as promising technology for the treatment of wastewaters. The potential energy conversion efficiencies are examined. The rates of energy recovery (W/m3 reactor) are reviewed and evaluated. Some recent data relating to potato-processing wastewaters and a hospital wastewater effluent are reported. Finally, a set of process configurations in which MFCs could be useful to treat wastewaters is schematized. Overall, the MFC technology still faces major challenges, particularly in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency.

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