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Increased power generation in supercapacitive microbial fuel cell stack using Fe-N-C cathode catalyst.

Authors
  • Santoro, Carlo1
  • Kodali, Mounika1
  • Shamoon, Najeeb1
  • Serov, Alexey1
  • Soavi, Francesca2
  • Merino-Jimenez, Irene3
  • Gajda, Iwona3
  • Greenman, John3, 4
  • Ieropoulos, Ioannis3, 4
  • Atanassov, Plamen1
  • 1 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Center for Micro-Engineered Materials (CMEM), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131, USA. , (Mexico)
  • 2 Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician", Alma Mater Studiorum - Università, di Bologna, Via Selmi, 2, 40126, Bologna, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 3 Bristol BioEnergy Centre, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, T-Block, UWE, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
  • 4 Biological, Biomedical and Analytical Sciences, UWE, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Power Sources
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2019
Volume
412
Pages
416–424
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.11.069
PMID: 30774187
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The anode and cathode electrodes of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) stack, composed of 28 single MFCs, were used as the negative and positive electrodes, respectively of an internal self-charged supercapacitor. Particularly, carbon veil was used as the negative electrode and activated carbon with a Fe-based catalyst as the positive electrode. The red-ox reactions on the anode and cathode, self-charged these electrodes creating an internal electrochemical double layer capacitor. Galvanostatic discharges were performed at different current and time pulses. Supercapacitive-MFC (SC-MFC) was also tested at four different solution conductivities. SC-MFC had an equivalent series resistance (ESR) decreasing from 6.00 Ω to 3.42 Ω in four solutions with conductivity between 2.5 mScm-1 and 40 mScm-1. The ohmic resistance of the positive electrode corresponded to 75-80% of the overall ESR. The highest performance was achieved with a solution conductivity of 40 mS cm-1 and this was due to the positive electrode potential enhancement for the utilization of Fe-based catalysts. Maximum power was 36.9 mW (36.9 W m-3) that decreased with increasing pulse time. SC-MFC was subjected to 4520 cycles (8 days) with a pulse time of 5 s (ipulse 55 mA) and a self-recharging time of 150 s showing robust reproducibility.

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