The use of cloth fabric diffusion layers for scalable microbial fuel cells


Luo, Yong
Zhang, Fang
Wei, Bin
Liu, Guangli
Zhang, Renduo
Logan, Bruce E.

KAUST Grant Number


A scalable and pre-manufactured cloth material (Goretex® fabric) was used as a diffusion layer (DL) material as a replacement for a liquid-applied polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) DL. Cathodes with the Goretex fabric heat-bonded to the air-side of carbon cloth cathode (CC-Goretex) produced a maximum power density of 1330±30mW/m2, similar to that using a PTFE DL (1390±70mW/m2, CC-PTFE). This method was also successfully used to produce cathodes made of inexpensive carbon mesh, which resulted in only slightly less power (1180±10mW/m2) (CM-Goretex). Coulombic efficiencies were a function of current density, with the highest value for CC-PTFE cathodes (63%), similar to CC-Goretex cathodes (61%), and slightly larger than that obtained for the CM-Goretex cathodes (54%). These results show that a commercially available fabric can easily be used as the DL in an MFC, achieving performance similar to that obtained with a more labor-intensive process based on liquid-applied DLs using PTFE. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Luo Y, Zhang F, Wei B, Liu G, Zhang R, et al. (2013) The use of cloth fabric diffusion layers for scalable microbial fuel cells. Biochemical Engineering Journal 73: 49–52. Available:

We gratefully acknowledge help with materials and suggestions by Dr. Guang Chen, David Jones, Dr. John Pisciotta, Dan Sun, and Dr. Justin Tokash. This work was supported by Award KUS-I1-003-13 from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Elsevier BV

Biochemical Engineering Journal


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