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Application of Membrane-less Microbial Fuel Cell in Reducing Human Hazards from Dewatered Sludge

Fatin Nur Izzati Mohd Fadzil, Chen Sep Ngee, Mohammed Zharif Asyrani Mohammed Alias, Muhammad Adib Fadhlullah Muhammad Lukman, Amira Suriaty Yaakop, Muaz Mohd Zaini Makhtar and Ana Masara Ahmad Mokhtar

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 32, Issue 3, April 2024


Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), cytotoxicity, dewatered sludge, inflammation, microbial fuel cell (MFC)

Published on: 24 April 2024

Membrane-less microbial fuel cell (ML-MFC) technology has emerged as a potential for wastewater treatment and electricity generation. Despite its benefit in green energy production, studies have yet to determine its role in minimizing the human hazards stemming from dewatered sludge (DS). Hence, this research aims to investigate the effects of ML-MFC-treated DS on cell toxicity and its benefits in reducing protein-denaturation-related inflammation and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) dissemination. MTT assay was performed to determine the cytotoxic effect of ML-MFC-treated DS on 3T3-L1 and Hep G2 cells at 24 h. The anti-inflammatory property of ML-MFC-treated DS was determined using a protein denaturation assay. Next, the antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria isolated from ML-MFC-treated samples was determined using the disk-diffusion method. All the data obtained were statistically analyzed using GraphPad Prism software (Version 9.2.0) with a p-value ≤0.05 was considered significant. Interestingly, ML-MFC-treated DS showed 80% cell viability on 3T3-L1 and slight toxicity on Hep G2 cells. ML-MFC-treated DS exhibited anti-inflammatory properties with 62.43% protein denaturation inhibition and displayed fewer antibiotic-resistance bacteria than the untreated. Overall, the ML-MFC technology showed novel applications by decreasing DS-related health hazards.

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