Performance of two different types of anodes in membrane electrode assembly microbial fuel cells for power generation from domestic wastewater
KAUST Grant NumberKUS-I1-003-13
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AbstractGraphite fiber brush electrodes provide high surface areas for exoelectrogenic bacteria in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but the cylindrical brush format limits more compact reactor designs. To enable MFC designs with closer electrode spacing, brush anodes were pressed up against a separator (placed between the electrodes) to reduce the volume occupied by the brush. Higher maximum voltages were produced using domestic wastewater (COD = 390 ± 89 mg L-1) with brush anodes (360 ± 63 mV, 1000 Ω) than woven carbon mesh anodes (200 ± 81 mV) with one or two separators. Maximum power densities were similar for brush anode reactors with one or two separators after 30 days (220 ± 1.2 and 240 ± 22 mW m-2), but with one separator the brush anode MFC power decreased to 130 ± 55 mW m-2 after 114 days. Power densities in MFCs with mesh anodes were very low (<45 mW m-2). Brush anodes MFCs had higher COD removals (80 ± 3%) than carbon mesh MFCs (58 ± 7%), but similar Coulombic efficiencies (8.6 ± 2.9% brush; 7.8 ± 7.1% mesh). These results show that compact (hemispherical) brush anodes can produce higher power and more effective domestic wastewater treatment than flat mesh anodes in MFCs. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationHays S, Zhang F, Logan BE (2011) Performance of two different types of anodes in membrane electrode assembly microbial fuel cells for power generation from domestic wastewater. Journal of Power Sources 196: 8293–8300. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2011.06.027.
SponsorsWe thank Deepak Pant and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, for donating the AC cathodes used in this study. This research was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Award KUS-I1-003-13).
JournalJournal of Power Sources