Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 5

microbial fuel cell Related Publications

5 Wastewater Treatment and Bio-Electricity Generation via Microbial Fuel Cell Technology Operating with Starch Proton Exchange Membrane

Authors: Livinus A. Obasi, Augustine N. Ajah


Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as “negative value”) in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.

Keywords: Bioelectricity, microbial fuel cell, chemical oxygen demand, sanitary wastewater, wheat starch

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4 Microbial Fuel Cells and Their Applications in Electricity Generating and Wastewater Treatment

Authors: Shima Fasahat


This research is an experimental research which was done about microbial fuel cells in order to study them for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. These days, it is very important to find new, clean and sustainable ways for energy supplying. Because of this reason there are many researchers around the world who are studying about new and sustainable energies. There are different ways to produce these kind of energies like: solar cells, wind turbines, geothermal energy, fuel cells and many other ways. Fuel cells have different types one of these types is microbial fuel cell. In this research, an MFC was built in order to study how it can be used for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. The microbial fuel cell which was used in this research is a reactor that has two tanks with a catalyst solution. The chemical reaction in microbial fuel cells is a redox reaction. The microbial fuel cell in this research is a two chamber MFC. Anode chamber is an anaerobic one (ABR reactor) and the other chamber is a cathode chamber. Anode chamber consists of stabilized sludge which is the source of microorganisms that do redox reaction. The main microorganisms here are: Propionibacterium and Clostridium. The electrodes of anode chamber are graphite pages. Cathode chamber consists of graphite page electrodes and catalysts like: O2, KMnO4 and C6N6FeK4. The membrane which separates the chambers is Nafion117. The reason of choosing this membrane is explained in the complete paper. The main goal of this research is to generate electricity and treating wastewater. It was found that when you use electron receptor compounds like: O2, MnO4, C6N6FeK4 the velocity of electron receiving speeds up and in a less time more current will be achieved. It was found that the best compounds for this purpose are compounds which have iron in their chemical formula. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of nutrients which enters to bacteria chamber. By adding extra nutrients in some cases the result will be reverse.  By using ABR the amount of chemical oxidation demand reduces per day till it arrives to a stable amount.

Keywords: Sustainable, Bioenergy, Electrode, Energy Efficient, Renewable chemicals, microbial fuel cell, anaerobic baffled reactor

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3 Synchrotron X-ray Based Investigation of Fe Environment in Porous Anode of Shewanella oneidensis Microbial Fuel Cell

Authors: Sunil Dehipawala, Gayathrie Amarasuriya, N. Gadura, G. Tremberger Jr, D. Lieberman, Harry Gafney, Todd Holden, T. Cheung


The iron environment in Fe-doped Vycor Anode was investigated with EXAFS using Brookhaven Synchrotron Light Source. The iron-reducing Shewanella oneidensis culture was grown in a microbial fuel cell under anaerobic respiration. The Fe bond length was found to decrease and correlate with the amount of biofilm growth on the Fe-doped Vycor Anode. The data suggests that Fe-doped Vycor Anode would be a good substrate to study the Shewanella oneidensis nanowire structure using EXAFS.

Keywords: Fourier transform, microbial fuel cell, EXAFS, Shewanella oneidensis

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2 Nanostructured Pt/MnO2 Catalysts and Their Performance for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Air Cathode Microbial Fuel Cell

Authors: Maksudur Rahman Khan, Kar Min Chan, Huei Ruey Ong, Chin Kui Cheng, Wasikur Rahman


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a promising technology for simultaneous bioelectricity generation and wastewater treatment. Catalysts are significant portions of the cost of microbial fuel cell cathodes. Many materials have been tested as aqueous cathodes, but air-cathodes are needed to avoid energy demands for water aeration. The sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) rate at air cathode necessitates efficient electrocatalyst such as carbon supported platinum catalyst (Pt/C) which is very costly. Manganese oxide (MnO2) was a representative metal oxide which has been studied as a promising alternative electrocatalyst for ORR and has been tested in air-cathode MFCs. However the single MnO2 has poor electric conductivity and low stability. In the present work, the MnO2 catalyst has been modified by doping Pt nanoparticle. The goal of the work was to improve the performance of the MFC with minimum Pt loading. MnO2 and Pt nanoparticles were prepared by hydrothermal and sol gel methods, respectively. Wet impregnation method was used to synthesize Pt/MnO2 catalyst. The catalysts were further used as cathode catalysts in air-cathode cubic MFCs, in which anaerobic sludge was inoculated as biocatalysts and palm oil mill effluent (POME) was used as the substrate in the anode chamber. The asprepared Pt/MnO2 was characterized comprehensively through field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV) where its surface morphology, crystallinity, oxidation state and electrochemical activity were examined, respectively. XPS revealed Mn (IV) oxidation state and Pt (0) nanoparticle metal, indicating the presence of MnO2 and Pt. Morphology of Pt/MnO2 observed from FESEM shows that the doping of Pt did not cause change in needle-like shape of MnO2 which provides large contacting surface area. The electrochemical active area of the Pt/MnO2 catalysts has been increased from 276 to 617 m2/g with the increase in Pt loading from 0.2 to 0.8 wt%. The CV results in O2 saturated neutral Na2SO4 solution showed that MnO2 and Pt/MnO2 catalysts could catalyze ORR with different catalytic activities. MFC with Pt/MnO2 (0.4 wt% Pt) as air cathode catalyst generates a maximum power density of 165 mW/m3, which is higher than that of MFC with MnO2 catalyst (95 mW/m3). The open circuit voltage (OCV) of the MFC operated with MnO2 cathode gradually decreased during 14 days of operation, whereas the MFC with Pt/MnO2 cathode remained almost constant throughout the operation suggesting the higher stability of the Pt/MnO2 catalyst. Therefore, Pt/MnO2 with 0.4 wt% Pt successfully demonstrated as an efficient and low cost electrocatalyst for ORR in air cathode MFC with higher electrochemical activity, stability and hence enhanced performance.

Keywords: microbial fuel cell, oxygen reduction reaction, Pt/MnO2, palm oil mill effluent, polarization curve

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1 Assessment of Sediment Remediation Potential using Microbial Fuel Cell Technology

Authors: S. W. Hong, Y. S. Choi, T. H. Chung, J. H. Song, H. S. Kim


Bio-electrical responses obtained from freshwater sediments by employing microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology were investigated in this experimental study. During the electricity generation, organic matter in the sediment was microbially oxidized under anaerobic conditions with an electrode serving as a terminal electron acceptor. It was found that the sediment organic matter (SOM) associated with electrochemically-active electrodes became more humified, aromatic, and polydispersed, and had a higher average molecular weight, together with the decrease in the quantity of SOM. The alteration of characteristics of the SOM was analogous to that commonly observed in the early stage of SOM diagenetic process (i.e., humification). These findings including an elevation of the sediment redox potential present a possibility of the MFC technology as a new soil/sediment remediation technique based on its potential benefits: non-destructive electricity generation and bioremediation.

Keywords: Remediation, Sediment, microbial fuel cell, Anaerobic oxidation

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