Development and evaluation of carbon and binder loading in low-cost activated carbon cathodes for air-cathode microbial fuel cells

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/597960
Title:
Development and evaluation of carbon and binder loading in low-cost activated carbon cathodes for air-cathode microbial fuel cells
Authors:
Wei, Bin; Tokash, Justin C.; Chen, Guang; Hickner, Michael A.; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
Activated carbon (AC) air cathodes were constructed using variable amounts of carbon (43-171 mg cm-2) and an inexpensive binder (10 wt% polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE), and with or without a porous cloth wipe-based diffusion layer (DL) that was sealed with PDMS. The cathodes with the highest AC loading of 171 mg cm-2, and no diffusion layer, produced 1255 ± 75 mW m-2 and did not appreciably vary in performance after 1.5 months of operation. Slightly higher power densities were initially obtained using 100 mg cm-2 of AC (1310 ± 70 mW m-2) and a PDMS/wipe diffusion layer, although the performance of this cathode decreased to 1050 ± 70 mW m-2 after 1.5 months, and 1010 ± 190 mW m-2 after 5 months. AC loadings of 43 mg cm-2 and 100 mg cm-2 did not appreciably affect performance (with diffusion layers). MFCs with the Pt catalyst and Nafion binder initially produced 1295 ± 13 mW m-2, but the performance decreased to 930 ± 50 mW m -2 after 1.5 months, and then to 890 ± 20 mW m-2 after 5 months. Cathode performance was optimized for all cathodes by using the least amount of PTFE binder (10%, in tests using up to 40%). These results provide a method to construct cathodes for MFCs that use only inexpensive AC and a PTFE, while producing power densities similar to those of Pt/C cathodes. The methods used here to make these cathodes will enable further tests on carbon materials in order to optimize and extend the lifetime of AC cathodes in MFCs. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Citation:
Wei B, Tokash JC, Chen G, Hickner MA, Logan BE (2012) Development and evaluation of carbon and binder loading in low-cost activated carbon cathodes for air-cathode microbial fuel cells. RSC Adv 2: 12751–12758. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2ra21572a.
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Journal:
RSC Adv.
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-003-13
Issue Date:
2012
DOI:
10.1039/c2ra21572a
Type:
Article
ISSN:
2046-2069
Sponsors:
The authors thank Dr Yiying Hong for helping with the activated carbon cathode preparation. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
Appears in Collections:
Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWei, Binen
dc.contributor.authorTokash, Justin C.en
dc.contributor.authorChen, Guangen
dc.contributor.authorHickner, Michael A.en
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-25T12:59:34Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-25T12:59:34Zen
dc.date.issued2012en
dc.identifier.citationWei B, Tokash JC, Chen G, Hickner MA, Logan BE (2012) Development and evaluation of carbon and binder loading in low-cost activated carbon cathodes for air-cathode microbial fuel cells. RSC Adv 2: 12751–12758. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2ra21572a.en
dc.identifier.issn2046-2069en
dc.identifier.doi10.1039/c2ra21572aen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/597960en
dc.description.abstractActivated carbon (AC) air cathodes were constructed using variable amounts of carbon (43-171 mg cm-2) and an inexpensive binder (10 wt% polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE), and with or without a porous cloth wipe-based diffusion layer (DL) that was sealed with PDMS. The cathodes with the highest AC loading of 171 mg cm-2, and no diffusion layer, produced 1255 ± 75 mW m-2 and did not appreciably vary in performance after 1.5 months of operation. Slightly higher power densities were initially obtained using 100 mg cm-2 of AC (1310 ± 70 mW m-2) and a PDMS/wipe diffusion layer, although the performance of this cathode decreased to 1050 ± 70 mW m-2 after 1.5 months, and 1010 ± 190 mW m-2 after 5 months. AC loadings of 43 mg cm-2 and 100 mg cm-2 did not appreciably affect performance (with diffusion layers). MFCs with the Pt catalyst and Nafion binder initially produced 1295 ± 13 mW m-2, but the performance decreased to 930 ± 50 mW m -2 after 1.5 months, and then to 890 ± 20 mW m-2 after 5 months. Cathode performance was optimized for all cathodes by using the least amount of PTFE binder (10%, in tests using up to 40%). These results provide a method to construct cathodes for MFCs that use only inexpensive AC and a PTFE, while producing power densities similar to those of Pt/C cathodes. The methods used here to make these cathodes will enable further tests on carbon materials in order to optimize and extend the lifetime of AC cathodes in MFCs. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank Dr Yiying Hong for helping with the activated carbon cathode preparation. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).en
dc.publisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (RSC)en
dc.titleDevelopment and evaluation of carbon and binder loading in low-cost activated carbon cathodes for air-cathode microbial fuel cellsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalRSC Adv.en
dc.contributor.institutionPennsylvania State University, State College, United Statesen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-003-13en
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