Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 386

Search results for: microbial fuel cells

Landfill Leachate: A Promising Substrate for Microbial Fuel Cells

Authors: Jayesh M. Sonawane, Prakash C. Ghosh

Abstract:

Landfill leachate emerges as a promising feedstock for microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In the present investigation, direct air-breathing cathode-based MFCs are fabricated to investigate the potential of landfill leachate. Three MFCs that have different cathode areas are fabricated and investigated for 17 days under open circuit conditions. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) is observed to be as high as 1.29 V. The maximum cathode area specific power density achieved in the reactor is 1513 mW m-2. Further studies are under progress to understand the origin of high OCV obtained from landfill leachate-based MFCs.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cells, landfill leachate, air-breathing cathode, performance study.

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

Authors: Shima Fasahat

Abstract:

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: Anaerobic baffled reactor, bioenergy, electrode, energy efficient, microbial fuel cell, renewable chemicals, sustainable.

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Unraveling Biostimulation of Decolorized Mediators for Microbial Fuel Cell-Aided Textile Dye Decontamination

Authors: Pei-Lin Yueh, Bor-Yann Chen, Chuan-Chung Hsueh

Abstract:

This first-attempt study revealed that decolorized intermediates of azo dyes could act as redox mediators to assist wastewater (WW) decolorization due to enhancement of electron-transport phenomena. Electrochemical impedance spectra indicated that hydroxyl and amino-substituent(s) were functional group(s) as redox-mediator(s). As azo dyes are usually multiple benzene-rings structured, their derived decolorized intermediates are likely to play roles of electron shuttles due to lower barrier of energy gap for electron shuttling. According to cyclic voltammetric profiles, redox mediating characteristics of decolorized intermediates of azo dyes (e.g., RBu171, RR198, RR141, RBk5) were clearly disclosed. With supplementation of biodecolorized metabolites of RR141 and 198, decolorization performance of could be evidently augmented. This study also suggested the optimal modes of microbial fuel cell (MFC)-assisted WW decolorization would be plug-flow or batch mode of operation with no mix. Single chamber-MFCs would be more favourable than double chamber MFCs due to non-mixing contacting reactor scheme for operation.

Keywords: Redox mediators, dye decolorization, bioelectricity generation, microbial fuel cells.

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A Review on Electrical Behavior of Different Substrates, Electrodes and Membranes in Microbial Fuel Cell

Authors: Bharat Mishra, Sanjay Kumar Awasthi, Raj Kumar Rajak

Abstract:

The devices, which convert the energy in the form of electricity from organic matters, are called microbial fuel cell (MFC). Recently, MFCs have been given a lot of attention due to their mild operating conditions, and various types of biodegradable substrates have been used in the form of fuel. Traditional MFCs were included in anode and cathode chambers, but there are single chamber MFCs. Microorganisms actively catabolize substrate, and bioelectricities are produced. In the field of power generation from non-conventional sources, apart from the benefits of this technique, it is still facing practical constraints such as low potential and power. In this study, most suitable, natural, low cost MFCs components are electrodes (anode and cathode), organic substrates, membranes and its design is selected on the basis of maximum potential (voltage) as an electrical parameter, which indicates a vital role of affecting factor in MFC for sustainable power production.

Keywords: Substrates, electrodes, membranes, microbial fuel cells, voltage.

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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

Abstract:

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: Anaerobic oxidation, microbial fuel cell, remediation, sediment.

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Preparation and Characterization of Pectin Based Proton Exchange Membranes Derived by Solution Casting Method for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Authors: Mohanapriya Subramanian, V. Raj

Abstract:

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are considered to be one of the most promising candidates for portable and stationary applications in the view of their advantages such as high energy density, easy manipulation, high efficiency and they operate with liquid fuel which could be used without requiring any fuel-processing units. Electrolyte membrane of DMFC plays a key role as a proton conductor as well as a separator between electrodes. Increasing concern over environmental protection, biopolymers gain tremendous interest owing to their eco-friendly bio-degradable nature. Pectin is a natural anionic polysaccharide which plays an essential part in regulating mechanical behavior of plant cell wall and it is extracted from outer cells of most of the plants. The aim of this study is to develop and demonstrate pectin based polymer composite membranes as methanol impermeable polymer electrolyte membranes for DMFCs. Pectin based nanocomposites membranes are prepared by solution-casting technique wherein pectin is blended with chitosan followed by the addition of optimal amount of sulphonic acid modified Titanium dioxide nanoparticle (S-TiO2). Nanocomposite membranes are characterized by Fourier Transform-Infra Red spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, and Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability are determined into order to evaluate their suitability for DMFC application. Pectin-chitosan blends endow with a flexible polymeric network which is appropriate to disperse rigid S-TiO2 nanoparticles. Resulting nanocomposite membranes possess adequate thermo-mechanical stabilities as well as high charge-density per unit volume. Pectin-chitosan natural polymeric nanocomposite comprising optimal S-TiO2 exhibits good electrochemical selectivity and therefore desirable for DMFC application.

Keywords: Biopolymers, fuel cells, nanocomposite, methanol crossover.

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

Authors: Livinus A. Obasi, Augustine N. Ajah

Abstract:

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, chemical oxygen demand, microbial fuel cell, sanitary wastewater, wheat starch.

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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

Abstract:

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: EXAFS, Fourier Transform, Microbial Fuel Cell, Shewanella oneidensis.

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Steady State and Accelerated Decay Rate Evaluations of Membrane Electrode Assembly of PEM Fuel Cells

Authors: Yingjeng James Li, Lung-Yu Sung, Andrew S. Lin, Huan-Jyun Ciou

Abstract:

Durability of Membrane Electrode Assembly for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells was evaluated in both steady state and accelerated decay modes. Steady state mode was carried out at constant current of 800mA/cm2 for 2500 hours using air as cathode feed and pure hydrogen as anode feed. The degradation of the cell voltage was 0.015V after such 2500 hrs operation. The degradation rate was therefore calculated to be 6uV/hr. Continuously Vigorous fluctuation of the cell voltage, which was switched between OCV and 0.2V, was employed for the accelerated decay mode. No obvious change in performance of the MEA was observed after 10000 cycles of such operation.

Keywords: Durability, lifetime, membrane electrode assembly, proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

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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

Abstract:

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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Comparison between Batteries and Fuel Cells for Photovoltaic System Backup

Authors: M. Sedighizadeh, A. Rezazadeh

Abstract:

Batteries and fuel cells contain a great potential to back up severe photovoltaic power fluctuations under inclement weather conditions. In this paper comparison between batteries and fuel cells is carried out in detail only for their PV power backup options, so their common attributes and different attributes is discussed. Then, the common and different attributes are compared; accordingly, the fuel cell is selected as the backup of Photovoltaic system. Finally, environmental evaluation of the selected hybrid plant was made in terms of plant-s land requirement and lifetime CO2 emissions, and then compared with that of the conventional fossilfuel power generating forms.

Keywords: Fuel cell, PV cell, hybrid power plant.

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Experimental Investigation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Operated with Nanofiber and Nanofiber/Nanoparticle

Authors: Kevser Dincer, Basma Waisi, M. Ozan Ozdemir, Ugur Pasaogullari, Jeffrey McCutcheon

Abstract:

Nanofibers are defined as fibers with diameters less than 100 nanometers. In this study, behaviours of activated carbon nanofiber (ACNF), carbon nanofiber (CNF), polyacrylonitrile/ carbon nanotube (PAN/CNT), polyvinyl alcohol/nanosilver (PVA/Ag) in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are investigated experimentally. This material was used as gas diffusion layer (GDL) in PEM fuel cells. In this study, the electrical conductivities of nanofiber and nanofiber/nanoparticles have been studied to understand their effects on PEM fuel cell performance. According to the experimental results, the maximum electrical conductivity performance of the fuel cell with nanofiber was found to be at PVA/Ag (at UConn condition). The electrical conductivities of CNF, ACNF, PAN/CNT are lower for PEM. The resistance of cell with PVA/Ag is lower than the resistance of cell with PAN/CNT, ACNF, CNF.

Keywords: Proton exchange membrane fuel cells, electrospinning, carbon nanofiber, activate carbon nanofiber, PVA fiber, pan fiber, carbon nanotube, nanoparticle, nanocomposites.

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One-Pot Facile Synthesis of N-Doped Graphene Synthesized from Paraphenylenediamine as Metal-Free Catalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Used for Alkaline Fuel Cells

Authors: Leila Samiee, Amir Yadegari, Saeedeh Tasharrofi

Abstract:

In the work presented here, nitrogen-doped graphene materials were synthesized and used as metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) under alkaline conditions. Paraphenylenediamine was used as N precursor. The N-doped graphene was synthesized under hydrothermal treatment at 200°C. All the materials have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS). Moreover, for electrochemical evaluation of samples, Rotating Disk electrode (RDE) and Cyclic Voltammetry techniques (CV) were employed. The resulting material exhibits an outstanding catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) as well as excellent resistance towards methanol crossover effects, indicating their promising potential as ORR electrocatalysts for alkaline fuel cells.

Keywords: Alkaline fuel cell, graphene, metal-free catalyst, paraphenylenediamine.

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An Investigation of a Three-Dimensional Constitutive Model of Gas Diffusion Layers in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Authors: Yanqin Chen, Chao Jiang, Chongdu Cho

Abstract:

This research presents the three-dimensional mechanical characteristics of a commercial gas diffusion layer by experiment and simulation results. Although the mechanical performance of gas diffusion layers has attracted much attention, its reliability and accuracy are still a major challenge. With the help of simulation analysis methods, it is beneficial to the gas diffusion layer’s extensive commercial development and the overall stress analysis of proton electrolyte membrane fuel cells during its pre-production design period. Therefore, in this paper, a three-dimensional constitutive model of a commercial gas diffusion layer, including its material stiffness matrix parameters, is developed and coded, in the user-defined material model of a commercial finite element method software for simulation. Then, the model is validated by comparing experimental results as well as simulation outcomes. As a result, both the experimental data and simulation results show a good agreement with each other, with high accuracy.

Keywords: Gas diffusion layer, proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell, stiffness matrix, three-dimensional mechanical characteristics, user-defined material model.

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Enhanced Differentiation of Stromal Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells with Vitamin D3

Authors: Mayada Alqaisi, Nasser Al-Shanti, Quiyu Wang, William S. Gilmore

Abstract:

In-vitro mouse co-culture of E14 embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and OP9 stromal cells can recapitulate the earliest stages of haematopoietic development, not accessible in human embryos, supporting both haemogenic precursors and their primitive haematopoietic progeny. 1α, 25-Dihydroxy-vitamin D3 (VD3) has been demonstrated to be a powerful differentiation inducer for a wide variety of neoplastic cells, and could enhance early differentiation of ESCs into blood cells in E14/OP9 co-culture. This study aims to ascertain whether VD3 is key in promoting differentiation and suppressing proliferation, by separately investigating the effects of VD3 on the proliferation phase of the E14 cell line and on stromal OP9 cells.The results showed that VD3 inhibited the proliferation of the cells in a dose-dependent manner, quantitatively by decreased cell number, and qualitatively by alkaline-phosphatase staining that revealed significant differences between VD3-treated and untreated cells, characterised by decreased enzyme expression (colourless cells). Propidium-iodide cell-cycle analyses showed no significant percentage change in VD3-treated E14 and OP9 cells within their G and S-phases, compared to the untreated controls, despite the increased percentage of G-phase compared to the S-phase in a dosedependent manner. These results with E14 and OP9 cells indicate that adequate VD3 concentration enhances cellular differentiation and inhibits proliferation. The results also suggest that if E14 and OP9 cells were co-cultured andVD3-treated, there would be furtherenhanced differentiation of ESCs into blood cells.

Keywords: Differentiation, embryonic stem cells, OP9 stromal cells, , 25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3

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An Assessment of the Effects of Microbial Products on the Specific Oxygen Uptake in Submerged Membrane Bioreactor

Authors: M. F. R. Zuthi, H. H. Ngo, W. S. Guo, S. S. Chen, N. C. Nguyen, L. J. Deng, T. D. C. Tran

Abstract:

Sustaining a desired rate of oxygen transfer for microbial activity is a matter of major concern for biological wastewater treatment (MBR). The study reported in the paper was aimed at assessing the effects of microbial products on the specific oxygen uptake rate (SOUR) in a conventional membrane bioreactor (CMBR) and that in a sponge submerged MBR (SSMBR). The production and progressive accumulation of soluble microbial products (SMP) and bound-extracellular polymeric substances (bEPS) were affecting the SOUR of the microorganisms which varied at different stages of operation of the MBR systems depending on the variable concentrations of the SMP/bEPS. The effect of bEPS on the SOUR was stronger in the SSMBR compared to that of the SMP, while relative high concentrations of SMP had adverse effects on the SOUR of the CMBR system. Of the different mathematical correlations analyzed in the study, logarithmic mathematical correlations could be established between SOUR and bEPS in SSMBR, and similar correlations could also be found between SOUR and SMP concentrations in the CMBR.

Keywords: Microbial products, Microbial activity, Specific oxygen uptake rate, Membrane bioreactor.

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Preparation and Conductivity Measurements of LSM/YSZ Composite Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell Anode Materials

Authors: Christian C. Vaso, Rinlee Butch M. Cervera

Abstract:

One of the most promising anode materials for solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) application is the Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) which is known to have a high electronic conductivity but low ionic conductivity. To increase the ionic conductivity or diffusion of ions through the anode, Yttria-stabilized Zirconia (YSZ), which has good ionic conductivity, is proposed to be combined with LSM to create a composite electrode and to obtain a high mixed ionic and electronic conducting anode. In this study, composite of lanthanum strontium manganite and YSZ oxide, La0.8Sr0.2MnO3/Zr0.92Y0.08O2 (LSM/YSZ), with different wt.% compositions of LSM and YSZ were synthesized using solid-state reaction. The obtained prepared composite samples of 60, 50, and 40 wt.% LSM with remaining wt.% of 40, 50, and 60, respectively for YSZ were fully characterized for its microstructure by using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and Scanning electron microscope/Energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) analyses. Surface morphology of the samples via SEM analysis revealed a well-sintered and densified pure LSM, while a more porous composite sample of LSM/YSZ was obtained. Electrochemical impedance measurements at intermediate temperature range (500-700 °C) of the synthesized samples were also performed which revealed that the 50 wt.% LSM with 50 wt.% YSZ (L50Y50) sample showed the highest total conductivity of 8.27x10-1 S/cm at 600 oC with 0.22 eV activation energy.

Keywords: Ceramics, microstructure, fuel cells, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

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Influence of Driving Strategy on Power and Fuel Consumption of Lightweight PEM Fuel Cell Vehicle Powertrain

Authors: Suhadiyana Hanapi, Alhassan Salami Tijani, W. A. N Wan Mohamed

Abstract:

In this paper, a prototype PEM fuel cell vehicle integrated with a 1 kW air-blowing proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack as a main power sources has been developed for a lightweight cruising vehicle. The test vehicle is equipped with a PEM fuel cell system that provides electric power to a brushed DC motor. This vehicle was designed to compete with industrial lightweight vehicle with the target of consuming least amount of energy and high performance. Individual variations in driving style have a significant impact on vehicle energy efficiency and it is well established from the literature. The primary aim of this study was to assesses the power and fuel consumption of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle operating at three difference driving technique (i.e. 25 km/h constant speed, 22-28 km/h speed range, 20-30 km/h speed range). The goal is to develop the best driving strategy to maximize performance and minimize fuel consumption for the vehicle system. The relationship between power demand and hydrogen consumption has also been discussed. All the techniques can be evaluated and compared on broadly similar terms. Automatic intelligent controller for driving prototype fuel cell vehicle on different obstacle while maintaining all systems at maximum efficiency was used. The result showed that 25 km/h constant speed was identified for optimal driving with less fuel consumption.

Keywords: Prototype fuel cell electric vehicles, energy efficient, control/driving technique, fuel economy.

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GRNN Application in Power Systems Simulation for Integrated SOFC Plant Dynamic Model

Authors: N. Nim-on, A. Oonsivilai

Abstract:

In this paper, the application of GRNN in modeling of SOFC fuel cells were studied. The parameters are of interested as voltage and power value and the current changes are investigated. In addition, the comparison between GRNN neural network application and conventional method was made. The error value showed the superlative results.

Keywords: SOFC, GRNN, Fuel cells.

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Application of Robotics to Assemble a Used Fuel Container in the Canadian Used Fuel Packing Plant

Authors: Dimitrie Marinceu

Abstract:

The newest Canadian Used Fuel Container (UFC)- (called also “Mark II”) modifies the design approach for its Assembly Robotic Cell (ARC) in the Canadian Used (Nuclear) Fuel Packing Plant (UFPP). Some of the robotic design solutions are presented in this paper. The design indicates that robots and manipulators are expected to be used in the Canadian UFPP. As normally, the UFPP design will incorporate redundancy of all equipment to allow expedient recovery from any postulated upset conditions. Overall, this paper suggests that robot usage will have a significant positive impact on nuclear safety, quality, productivity, and reliability.

Keywords: Used fuel packing plant, robotic assembly cell, used fuel container, deep geological repository.

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Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells

Authors: N. Slepickova Kasalkova, P. Slepicka, L. Bacakova, V. Svorcik

Abstract:

Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable,  semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.

Keywords: Poly(L-lactic acid), plasma treatment, surface characterization, cytocompatibility, human osteoblasts, rat vascular smooth muscle cells, human stem cells.

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Effect of Oxytocin on Cytosolic Calcium Concentration of Alpha and Beta Cells in Pancreas

Authors: Rauza Sukma Rita, Katsuya Dezaki, Yuko Maejima, Toshihiko Yada

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Oxytocin is a nine-amino acid peptide synthesized in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin promotes contraction of the uterus during birth and milk ejection during breast feeding. Although oxytocin receptors are found predominantly in the breasts and uterus of females, many tissues and organs express oxytocin receptors, including the pituitary, heart, kidney, thymus, vascular endothelium, adipocytes, osteoblasts, adrenal gland, pancreatic islets, and many cell lines. On the other hand, in pancreatic islets, oxytocin receptors are expressed in both α-cells and β-cells with stronger expression in α- cells. However, to our knowledge there are no reports yet about the effect of oxytocin on cytosolic calcium reaction on α and β-cell. This study aims to investigate the effect of oxytocin on α-cells and β-cells and its oscillation pattern. Islet of Langerhans from wild type mice were isolated by collagenase digestion. Isolated and dissociated single cells either α-cells or β-cells on coverslips were mounted in an open chamber and superfused in HKRB. Cytosolic concentration ([Ca2+]i) in single cells were measured by fura-2 microfluorimetry. After measurement of [Ca2+]i, α-cells were identified by subsequent immunocytochemical staining using an anti-glucagon antiserum. In β-cells, the [Ca2+]i increase in response to oxytocin was observed only under 8.3 mM glucose condition, whereas in α-cells, [Ca2+]i an increase induced by oxytocin was observed in both 2.8 mM and 8.3 mM glucose. The oscillation incidence was induced more frequently in β-cells compared to α-cells. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that oxytocin directly interacts with both α-cells and β-cells and induces increase of [Ca2+]i and its specific patterns.

Keywords: α-cells, β-cells, cytosolic calcium concentration, oscillation, oxytocin.

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Stroma-Providing Activity of Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Tissue-Related O2 Microenvironment

Authors: P. I. Bobyleva, E. R. Andreeva, I. V. Andrianova, E. V. Maslova, L.B. Buravkova

Abstract:

This work studied the ability of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to form stroma for expansion of cord blood hematopoietic cells. We showed that 72-hour interaction of MSCs with cord blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) in vitro at atmospheric (20%) and low (5%) O2 conditions increased the expression of ICAM-1, HCAM (at the beginning of interaction) on MSCs. Viability of MSCs and MNCs were maintained at high level. Adhesion of MNCs to MSCs was faster at 20% O2. MSCs promoted the proliferation of adhered MNCs to form the suspension containing great number of hematopoietic colony-forming units, and this effect was more pronounced at 5% O2. Thus, adipose-derived MSCs supplied sufficient stromal support to cord blood MNCs both at 20% and 5% О2, providing their adhesion with further expansion of new generation of different hematopoietic lineages.

Keywords: Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, mesenchymal stromal cells, tissue-related oxygen.

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Development and Characterization of a Polymer Composite Electrolyte to Be Used in Proton Exchange Membranes Fuel Cells

Authors: B. A. Berns, V. Romanovicz, M. M. de Camargo Forte, D. E. O. S. Carpenter

Abstract:

The Proton Exchange Membranes (PEM) are largely studied because they operate at low temperatures and they are suitable for mobile applications. However, there are some deficiencies in their operation, mainly those that use ethanol as a hydrogen source, that require a certain attention. Therefore, this research aimed to develop Nafion® composite membranes, mixing clay minerals, kaolin and halloysite to the polymer matrix in order to improve the ethanol molecule retentions and, at the same time, to keep the system’s protonic conductivity. The modified Nafion/Kaolin, Nafion/Halloysite composite membranes were prepared in weight proportion of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5. The membranes obtained were characterized as to their ethanol permeability, protonic conductivity and water absorption. The composite morphology and structure are characterized by SEM and EDX and the thermal behavior is determined by TGA and DSC. The analysis of the results shows ethanol permeability reduction from 48% to 63%. However, the protonic conductivity results are lower in relation to pure Nafion®. As to the thermal behavior, the Nafion® composite membranes were stable up to a temperature of 325ºC.

Keywords: Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs), Thermal properties, Nanoclay, Differential scanning calorimetry.

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An Unified Approach to Thermodynamics of Power Yield in Thermal, Chemical and Electrochemical Systems

Authors: S. Sieniutycz

Abstract:

This paper unifies power optimization approaches in various energy converters, such as: thermal, solar, chemical, and electrochemical engines, in particular fuel cells. Thermodynamics leads to converter-s efficiency and limiting power. Efficiency equations serve to solve problems of upgrading and downgrading of resources. While optimization of steady systems applies the differential calculus and Lagrange multipliers, dynamic optimization involves variational calculus and dynamic programming. In reacting systems chemical affinity constitutes a prevailing component of an overall efficiency, thus the power is analyzed in terms of an active part of chemical affinity. The main novelty of the present paper in the energy yield context consists in showing that the generalized heat flux Q (involving the traditional heat flux q plus the product of temperature and the sum products of partial entropies and fluxes of species) plays in complex cases (solar, chemical and electrochemical) the same role as the traditional heat q in pure heat engines. The presented methodology is also applied to power limits in fuel cells as to systems which are electrochemical flow engines propelled by chemical reactions. The performance of fuel cells is determined by magnitudes and directions of participating streams and mechanism of electric current generation. Voltage lowering below the reversible voltage is a proper measure of cells imperfection. The voltage losses, called polarization, include the contributions of three main sources: activation, ohmic and concentration. Examples show power maxima in fuel cells and prove the relevance of the extension of the thermal machine theory to chemical and electrochemical systems. The main novelty of the present paper in the FC context consists in introducing an effective or reduced Gibbs free energy change between products p and reactants s which take into account the decrease of voltage and power caused by the incomplete conversion of the overall reaction.

Keywords: Power yield, entropy production, chemical engines, fuel cells, exergy.

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High Temperature Oxidation of Cr-Steel Interconnects in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Authors: Saeed Ghali, Azza Ahmed, Taha Mattar

Abstract:

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a promising solution for the energy resources leakage. Ferritic stainless steel becomes a suitable candidate for the SOFCs interconnects due to the recent advancements. Different steel alloys were designed to satisfy the needed characteristics in SOFCs interconnect as conductivity, thermal expansion and corrosion resistance. Refractory elements were used as alloying elements to satisfy the needed properties. The oxidation behaviour of the developed alloys was studied where the samples were heated for long time period at the maximum operating temperature to simulate the real working conditions. The formed scale and oxidized surface were investigated by SEM. Microstructure examination was carried out for some selected steel grades. The effect of alloying elements on the behaviour of the proposed interconnects material and the performance during the working conditions of the cells are explored and discussed. Refractory metals alloying of chromium steel seems to satisfy the needed characteristics in metallic interconnects.

Keywords: SOFCs, Cr-steel, interconnects, oxidation.

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Analysis of a Lignocellulose Degrading Microbial Consortium to Enhance the Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straws

Authors: Supanun Kangrang, Kraipat Cheenkachorn, Kittiphong Rattanaporn, Malinee Sriariyanun

Abstract:

Rice straw is lignocellulosic biomass which can be utilized as substrate for the biogas production. However, due to the property and composition of rice straw, it is difficult to be degraded by hydrolysis enzymes. One of the pretreatment methods that modify such properties of lignocellulosic biomass is the application of lignocellulose-degrading microbial consortia. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of microbial consortia to enhance biogas production. To select the high efficient consortium, cellulase enzymes were extracted and their activities were analyzed. The results suggested that microbial consortium culture obtained from cattle manure is the best candidate compared to decomposed wood and horse manure. A microbial consortium isolated from cattle manure was then mixed with anaerobic sludge and used as inoculum for biogas production. The optimal conditions for biogas production were investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The tested parameters were the ratio of amount of microbial consortium isolated and amount of anaerobic sludge (MI:AS), substrate to inoculum ratio (S:I) and temperature. Here, the value of the regression coefficient R2 = 0.7661 could be explained by the model which is high to advocate the significance of the model. The highest cumulative biogas yield was 104.6 ml/g-rice straw at optimum ratio of MI:AS, ratio of S:I, and temperature of 2.5:1, 15:1 and 44°C respectively.

Keywords: Lignocellulolytic biomass, microbial consortium, cellulase, biogas, Response Surface Methodology.

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Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis Method to Assess Rumen Microbial Diversity of Ruminant

Authors: A. Natsir, M. Nadir, S. Syahrir, A. Mujnisa, N. Purnomo, A. R. Egan, B. J. Leury

Abstract:

Rumen degradation characteristic of feedstuff is one of the prominent factors affecting microbial population in rumen of animal. High rumen degradation rate of faba bean protein may lead to inconstant rumen conditions that could have a prominent impact on rumen microbial diversity. Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA) is utilized to monitor diversity of rumen microbes on sheep fed low quality forage supplemented by faba beans. Four mature merino sheep with existing rumen cannula were used in this study according to 4 x 4 Latin square design. The results of study indicated that there were 37 different ARDRA types identified out of 136 clones examined. Among those clones, five main clone types existed across the treatments with different percentages. In conclusion, the ARDRA method is potential to be used as a routine tool to assess the temporary changes in the rumen community as a result of different feeding strategies.

Keywords: ARDRA method, clones, microbial diversity, ribotypes, ruminants.

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Microbial Oil Production by Monoculture and Mixed Cultures of Microalgae and Oleaginous Yeasts using Sugarcane Juice as Substrate

Authors: Thidarat Papone, Supaporn Kookkhunthod, Ratanaporn Leesing

Abstract:

Monoculture and mixed cultures of microalgae and the oleaginous yeast for microbial oil productions were investigated using sugarcane juice as carbon substrate. The monoculture of yeast Torulaspora maleeae Y30, Torulaspora globosa YU5/2 grew faster than that of microalgae Chlorella sp. KKU-S2. In monoculture of T. maleeae Y30, a biomass of 8.267g/L with lipid yield of 0.920g/L were obtained, while 8.333g/L of biomass with lipid yield of 1.141g/L were obtained for monoculture of T. globosa YU5/2. A biomass of 1.933g/L with lipid yield of 0.052g/L was found for monoculture of Chlorella sp. KKU-S2. The biomass concentration in the mixed culture of the oleaginous yeast with microalgae increased faster and was higher compared with that in the monocultures. A biomass of 8.733g/L with lipid yield of 1.564g/L was obtained for a mixed culture of T. maleeae Y30 with Chlorella sp. KKU-S2, while 8.010g/L of biomass with lipid yield of 2.424g/L was found for mixed culture of T. globosa YU5/2 with Chlorella sp. KKU-S2. Maximum cell yield coefficient (YX/S, g/L) was found of 0.323 in monoculture of Chlorella sp. KKU-S2 but low level of both specific yield of lipid (YP/X, g lipid/g cells) of 0.027 and volumetric lipid production rate (QP, g/L/d) of 0.003 were observed. While, maximum YP/X (0.303), QP (0.105) and maximum process product yield (YP/S, 0.061) were obtained in mixed culture of T. globosa YU5/2 with Chlorella sp. KKU-S2. The results obtained from the study shows that mixed culture of yeast with microalgae is a desirable cultivation process for microbial oil production.

Keywords: Microbial oil, Chlorella sp. KKU-S2, Torulaspora maleeae Y30, Torulaspora globosa YU5/2, mixed culture, biodiesel.

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Design of Controllers to Control Frequency for Distributed Generation

Authors: R. Satish, G. Raja Rao

Abstract:

In this paper a hybrid distributed generation (DG) system connected to isolated load is studied. The DG system consisting of photo voltaic (PV) system, fuel cells, aqua electrolyzer, diesel engine generator and a battery energy storage system. The ambient temperature value of PV is taken as constant to make the output power of PV is directly proportional to the radiation and output power of other DG sources and frequency of the system is controlled by simple integral (I), proportional plus integral (PI), and proportional plus integral and derivative(PID) controllers. A maiden attempt is made to apply a more recent and powerful optimization technique named as bacterial foraging technique for optimization of controllers gains of the proposed hybrid DG system. The system responses with bacterial foraging based controllers are compared with that of classical method. Investigations reveal that bacterial foraging based controllers gives better responses than the classical method and also PID controller is best. Sensitivity analysis is carried out which demonstrates the robustness of the optimized gain values for system loading condition.

Keywords: Aqua electrolyzer, bacterial foraging, battery energy storage system, diesel engine generator, distributed generation, fuel cells, photo voltaic system.

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