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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal