Anolyte recirculation effects in buffered and unbuffered single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells

Liang Zhang, Xun Zhu, Hiroyuki Kashima, Jun Li, Ding ding Ye, Qiang Liao, John M. Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two identical microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with a floating air-cathode were operated under either buffered (MFC-B) or bufferless (MFC-BL) conditions to investigate anolyte recirculation effects on enhancing proton transfer. With an external resistance of 50. Ω and recirculation rate of 1.0. ml/min, MFC-BL had a 27% lower voltage (9.7% lower maximal power density) but a 64% higher Coulombic efficiency (CE) than MFC-B. MFC-B had a decreased voltage output, batch time, and CE with increasing recirculation rate resulting from more oxygen transfer into the anode. However, increasing the recirculation rate within a low range significantly enhanced proton transfer in MFC-BL, resulting in a higher voltage output, a longer batch time, and a higher CE. A further increase in recirculation rate decreased the batch time and CE of MFC-BL due to excess oxygen transfer into anode outweighing the proton-transfer benefits. The unbuffered MFC had an optimal recirculation rate of 0.35. ml/min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource technology
Volume179
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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