Single-Step Fabrication Using a Phase Inversion Method of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) Activated Carbon Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/599639
Title:
Single-Step Fabrication Using a Phase Inversion Method of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) Activated Carbon Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells
Authors:
Yang, Wulin; He, Weihua; Zhang, Fang; Hickner, Michael A.; Logan, Bruce E.
Abstract:
Air cathodes used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) need to have high catalytic activity for oxygen reduction, but they must also be easy to manufacture, inexpensive, and watertight. A simple one-step, phase inversion process was used here to construct an inexpensive MFC cathode using a poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) binder and an activated carbon catalyst. The phase inversion process enabled cathode preparation at room temperatures, without the need for additional heat treatment, and it produced for the first time a cathode that did not require a separate diffusion layer to prevent water leakage. MFCs using this new type of cathode produced a maximum power density of 1470 ± 50 mW m–2 with acetate as a substrate, and 230 ± 10 mW m–2 with domestic wastewater. These power densities were similar to those obtained using cathodes made using more expensive materials or more complex procedures, such as cathodes with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) binder and a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) diffusion layer, or a Pt catalyst. Even though the PVDF cathodes did not have a diffusion layer, they withstood up to 1.22 ± 0.04 m of water head (∼12 kPa) without leakage, compared to 0.18 ± 0.02 m for cathodes made using PTFE binder and PDMS diffusion layer. The cost of PVDF and activated carbon ($3 m–2) was less than that of the stainless steel mesh current collector ($12 m–2). PVDF-based AC cathodes therefore are inexpensive, have excellent performance in terms of power and water leakage, and they can be easily manufactured using a single phase inversion process at room temperature.
Citation:
Yang W, He W, Zhang F, Hickner MA, Logan BE (2014) Single-Step Fabrication Using a Phase Inversion Method of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) Activated Carbon Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells. Environ Sci Technol Lett 1: 416–420. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ez5002769.
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Journal:
Environmental Science & Technology Letters
KAUST Grant Number:
KUS-I1-003-13
Issue Date:
14-Oct-2014
DOI:
10.1021/ez5002769
Type:
Article
ISSN:
2328-8930; 2328-8930
Sponsors:
This research was supported by the Strategic Environmental
Appears in Collections:
Publications Acknowledging KAUST Support

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorYang, Wulinen
dc.contributor.authorHe, Weihuaen
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Fangen
dc.contributor.authorHickner, Michael A.en
dc.contributor.authorLogan, Bruce E.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-28T06:06:26Zen
dc.date.available2016-02-28T06:06:26Zen
dc.date.issued2014-10-14en
dc.identifier.citationYang W, He W, Zhang F, Hickner MA, Logan BE (2014) Single-Step Fabrication Using a Phase Inversion Method of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) Activated Carbon Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells. Environ Sci Technol Lett 1: 416–420. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ez5002769.en
dc.identifier.issn2328-8930en
dc.identifier.issn2328-8930en
dc.identifier.doi10.1021/ez5002769en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/599639en
dc.description.abstractAir cathodes used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) need to have high catalytic activity for oxygen reduction, but they must also be easy to manufacture, inexpensive, and watertight. A simple one-step, phase inversion process was used here to construct an inexpensive MFC cathode using a poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) binder and an activated carbon catalyst. The phase inversion process enabled cathode preparation at room temperatures, without the need for additional heat treatment, and it produced for the first time a cathode that did not require a separate diffusion layer to prevent water leakage. MFCs using this new type of cathode produced a maximum power density of 1470 ± 50 mW m–2 with acetate as a substrate, and 230 ± 10 mW m–2 with domestic wastewater. These power densities were similar to those obtained using cathodes made using more expensive materials or more complex procedures, such as cathodes with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) binder and a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) diffusion layer, or a Pt catalyst. Even though the PVDF cathodes did not have a diffusion layer, they withstood up to 1.22 ± 0.04 m of water head (∼12 kPa) without leakage, compared to 0.18 ± 0.02 m for cathodes made using PTFE binder and PDMS diffusion layer. The cost of PVDF and activated carbon ($3 m–2) was less than that of the stainless steel mesh current collector ($12 m–2). PVDF-based AC cathodes therefore are inexpensive, have excellent performance in terms of power and water leakage, and they can be easily manufactured using a single phase inversion process at room temperature.en
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was supported by the Strategic Environmentalen
dc.publisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)en
dc.titleSingle-Step Fabrication Using a Phase Inversion Method of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) Activated Carbon Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cellsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalEnvironmental Science & Technology Lettersen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, United Statesen
dc.contributor.institutionState Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, No. 73 Huanghe Road, Nangang District, Harbin 150090, Chinaen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, United Statesen
kaust.grant.numberKUS-I1-003-13en
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