Improvement of activated carbons as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral solutions by ammonia gas treatment and their performance in microbial fuel cells

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/598581
Title:
Improvement of activated carbons as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral solutions by ammonia gas treatment and their performance in microbial fuel cells
Authors:
Watson, Valerie J.; Nieto Delgado, Cesar; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
Commercially available activated carbon (AC) powders from different precursor materials (peat, coconut shell, coal, and hardwood) were treated with ammonia gas at 700 C to improve their performance as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral pH solutions used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The ammonia treated ACs exhibited better catalytic performance in rotating ring-disk electrode tests than their untreated precursors, with the bituminous based AC most improved, with an onset potential of Eonset = 0.12 V (untreated, Eonset = 0.08 V) and n = 3.9 electrons transferred in oxygen reduction (untreated, n = 3.6), and the hardwood based AC (treated, E onset = 0.03 V, n = 3.3; untreated, Eonset = -0.04 V, n = 3.0). Ammonia treatment decreased oxygen content by 29-58%, increased nitrogen content to 1.8 atomic %, and increased the basicity of the bituminous, peat, and hardwood ACs. The treated coal based AC cathodes had higher maximum power densities in MFCs (2450 ± 40 mW m-2) than the other AC cathodes or a Pt/C cathode (2100 ± 1 mW m-2). These results show that reduced oxygen abundance and increased nitrogen functionalities on the AC surface can increase catalytic performance for oxygen reduction in neutral media. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Citation:
Watson VJ, Nieto Delgado C, Logan BE (2013) Improvement of activated carbons as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral solutions by ammonia gas treatment and their performance in microbial fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 242: 756–761. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.05.135.
Publisher:
Elsevier BV
Journal:
Journal of Power Sources
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-003-13
Issue Date:
Nov-2013
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.05.135
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0378-7753
Sponsors:
The authors thank Vince Bojan for assistance with XPS analysis. The authors acknowledge support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) by Award KUS-I1-003-13 and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP).
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Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWatson, Valerie J.en
dc.contributor.authorNieto Delgado, Cesaren
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-25T13:32:32Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-25T13:32:32Zen
dc.date.issued2013-11en
dc.identifier.citationWatson VJ, Nieto Delgado C, Logan BE (2013) Improvement of activated carbons as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral solutions by ammonia gas treatment and their performance in microbial fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources 242: 756–761. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.05.135.en
dc.identifier.issn0378-7753en
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.05.135en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/598581en
dc.description.abstractCommercially available activated carbon (AC) powders from different precursor materials (peat, coconut shell, coal, and hardwood) were treated with ammonia gas at 700 C to improve their performance as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral pH solutions used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The ammonia treated ACs exhibited better catalytic performance in rotating ring-disk electrode tests than their untreated precursors, with the bituminous based AC most improved, with an onset potential of Eonset = 0.12 V (untreated, Eonset = 0.08 V) and n = 3.9 electrons transferred in oxygen reduction (untreated, n = 3.6), and the hardwood based AC (treated, E onset = 0.03 V, n = 3.3; untreated, Eonset = -0.04 V, n = 3.0). Ammonia treatment decreased oxygen content by 29-58%, increased nitrogen content to 1.8 atomic %, and increased the basicity of the bituminous, peat, and hardwood ACs. The treated coal based AC cathodes had higher maximum power densities in MFCs (2450 ± 40 mW m-2) than the other AC cathodes or a Pt/C cathode (2100 ± 1 mW m-2). These results show that reduced oxygen abundance and increased nitrogen functionalities on the AC surface can increase catalytic performance for oxygen reduction in neutral media. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank Vince Bojan for assistance with XPS analysis. The authors acknowledge support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) by Award KUS-I1-003-13 and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP).en
dc.publisherElsevier BVen
dc.subjectActivated carbonen
dc.subjectAir cathodeen
dc.subjectMicrobial fuel cellen
dc.subjectNitrogen functional groupsen
dc.subjectOxygen reductionen
dc.subjectRotating ring-disk electrodeen
dc.titleImprovement of activated carbons as oxygen reduction catalysts in neutral solutions by ammonia gas treatment and their performance in microbial fuel cellsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalJournal of Power Sourcesen
dc.contributor.institutionPennsylvania State University, State College, United Statesen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-003-13en
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