Life cycle assessment of microbial fuel cell
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Bioenergy has been treated as one of the most promising energy alternatives in recent years. In the wastewater industry, one of the bioenergy technologies, microbial fuel cells (MFC), has been developing rapidly. It can use bacterial metabolism to produce electrical current while simultaneously treating wastewater. A comprehensive environmental performance evaluation is needed in order to track its environmental performance with the development of the technology and avoid environmental burden shifting. In this study, life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to conduct assessment for two lab scale MFC systems¬-one is vertical design and the other is side-lying design. Their environmental performance was analyzed and compared with an aeration system. From our analysis, it shows that carbon and graphite materials used for electrodes construction and Pt used for cathode construction brought large environmental burden. The inventory methods chose for MFC analysis may have an influence on the result.