Long-term performance of activated carbon air cathodes with different diffusion layer porosities in microbial fuel cells

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/598734
Title:
Long-term performance of activated carbon air cathodes with different diffusion layer porosities in microbial fuel cells
Authors:
Zhang, Fang; Pant, Deepak; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
Activated carbon (AC) air-cathodes are inexpensive and useful alternatives to Pt-catalyzed electrodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but information is needed on their long-term stability for oxygen reduction. AC cathodes were constructed with diffusion layers (DLs) with two different porosities (30% and 70%) to evaluate the effects of increased oxygen transfer on power. The 70% DL cathode initially produced a maximum power density of 1214±123mW/m 2 (cathode projected surface area; 35±4W/m 3 based on liquid volume), but it decreased by 40% after 1 year to 734±18mW/m 2. The 30% DL cathode initially produced less power than the 70% DL cathode, but it only decreased by 22% after 1 year (from 1014±2mW/m 2 to 789±68mW/m 2). Electrochemical tests were used to examine the reasons for the degraded performance. Diffusion resistance in the cathode was found to be the primary component of the internal resistance, and it increased over time. Replacing the cathode after 1 year completely restored the original power densities. These results suggest that the degradation in cathode performance was due to clogging of the AC micropores. These findings show that AC is a cost-effective material for oxygen reduction that can still produce ~750mW/m 2 after 1 year. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Citation:
Zhang F, Pant D, Logan BE (2011) Long-term performance of activated carbon air cathodes with different diffusion layer porosities in microbial fuel cells. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2011.08.025.
Publisher:
Elsevier BV
Journal:
Biosensors and Bioelectronics
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-003-13
Issue Date:
Aug-2011
DOI:
10.1016/j.bios.2011.08.025
PubMed ID:
21937216
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0956-5663
Sponsors:
The authors thank D.W. Jones for helping with the analytical measurements, and Dr. Justin C. Tokash for helping with EIS data analysis. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
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Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Fangen
dc.contributor.authorPant, Deepaken
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-25T13:40:08Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-25T13:40:08Zen
dc.date.issued2011-08en
dc.identifier.citationZhang F, Pant D, Logan BE (2011) Long-term performance of activated carbon air cathodes with different diffusion layer porosities in microbial fuel cells. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2011.08.025.en
dc.identifier.issn0956-5663en
dc.identifier.pmid21937216en
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.bios.2011.08.025en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/598734en
dc.description.abstractActivated carbon (AC) air-cathodes are inexpensive and useful alternatives to Pt-catalyzed electrodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but information is needed on their long-term stability for oxygen reduction. AC cathodes were constructed with diffusion layers (DLs) with two different porosities (30% and 70%) to evaluate the effects of increased oxygen transfer on power. The 70% DL cathode initially produced a maximum power density of 1214±123mW/m 2 (cathode projected surface area; 35±4W/m 3 based on liquid volume), but it decreased by 40% after 1 year to 734±18mW/m 2. The 30% DL cathode initially produced less power than the 70% DL cathode, but it only decreased by 22% after 1 year (from 1014±2mW/m 2 to 789±68mW/m 2). Electrochemical tests were used to examine the reasons for the degraded performance. Diffusion resistance in the cathode was found to be the primary component of the internal resistance, and it increased over time. Replacing the cathode after 1 year completely restored the original power densities. These results suggest that the degradation in cathode performance was due to clogging of the AC micropores. These findings show that AC is a cost-effective material for oxygen reduction that can still produce ~750mW/m 2 after 1 year. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors thank D.W. Jones for helping with the analytical measurements, and Dr. Justin C. Tokash for helping with EIS data analysis. This research was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).en
dc.publisherElsevier BVen
dc.subjectActivated carbon air cathodeen
dc.subjectElectrochemical impedance spectroscopyen
dc.subjectLong-termen
dc.subjectMicrobial fuel cellen
dc.titleLong-term performance of activated carbon air cathodes with different diffusion layer porosities in microbial fuel cellsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalBiosensors and Bioelectronicsen
dc.contributor.institutionPennsylvania State University, State College, United Statesen
dc.contributor.institutionFlemish Institute for Technological Research, Mol, Belgiumen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-003-13en

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