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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013, Article ID 172010, 10 pages
Research Article

Power Generation Enhancement by Utilizing Plant Photosynthate in Microbial Fuel Cell Coupled Constructed Wetland System

1School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
2School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China

Received 27 June 2013; Accepted 31 August 2013

Academic Editor: Manickavachagam Muruganandham

Copyright © 2013 Shentan Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the present study, a new technology that coupled constructed wetland (CW) with microbial fuel cell (MFC) (CW-MFC) was developed to convert solar energy into electricity on the principles of photosynthetic MFC by utilizing root exudates of Ipomoea aquatica as part of fuel. The maximum power density of 12.42 mW m−2 produced from the CW-MFC planted with Ipomoea aquatica was 142% higher than that of 5.13 mW m−2 obtained from the unplanted CW-MFC. The maximum power output for the planted CW-MFC could be divided into two parts: the maximum power yield from in the water body was 66.05 KJ Kg−1 , and the maximum power transformation from plant photosynthesis was 2.31 GJ ha−1 year−1. The average COD removal efficiencies were 92.1% and 94.8% in the unplanted CW-MFC and planted CW-MFC, respectively; the average TN removal efficiencies amounted to 54.4% and 90.8% in the unplanted CW-MFC and planted CW-MFC. This research demonstrates that planting Ipomoea aquatica in the CW-MFC achieved a higher power density and nutrient removal of nitrogen simultaneously.