Corresponding Author

Yu-jie FENG(yujief@hit.edu.cn)


Microbial electrochemical technology (MET) has drawn great attention for its characteristics of synergetic pollution removal and energy recovery of wastewater. In the last decade, significant developments in microbial electrochemical system (MES) have been made in the aspects of electron transfer mechanism, microbial community analysis, function expansion, low-cost electrode materials and scaled-up constructions. However, the feasibility of MET as a wastewater treatment process has been controversial so far. In this paper, the characteristics of MET were systematically compared with anaerobic and aerobic processes from the application point of view in the aspects of pollution degradation and energy recovery processes. The MET-based water treatment technology revealed some comparative advantages for applications because of its low sludge yield rate, energy self-sufficiency operation and current-assisted pollutant removal capability. The better understanding of these advantages would be helpful in finding the proper application scope of MET for wastewater treatment. However, in the process of advancing the practical application of MET, challenges remained require more effort such as the construction simplification, development of low-cost material and maintenance of electrode performance in long-term operation. More considerations were also needed to determine the appropriate application position of MET in a series of water treatment units to overcome shortcomings and take advantages of technical advances.

Graphical Abstract


Microbial Electrochemical Technology, Energy recovery of wastewater, low sludge yield rate, Current assisted substrate removal;Reactor construction, Combined treatment process

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