Development of carbon free diffusion layer for activated carbon air cathode of microbial fuel cells

Wulin Yang, Kyoung Yeol Kim, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fabrication of activated carbon air cathodes for larger-scale microbial fuel cells requires a diffusion layer (DL) that is highly resistant to water leakage, oxygen permeable, and made using inexpensive materials. A hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane synthesized using a simple phase inversion process was examined as a low cost ($0.9/m2), carbon-free DL that prevented water leakage at high pressure heads compared to a polytetrafluoroethylene/carbon black DL ($11/m2). The power density produced with a PVDF (20%, w/v) DL membrane of 1400±7mW/m2 was similar to that obtained using a wipe DL [cloth coated with poly(dimethylsiloxane)]. Water head tolerance reached 1.9m (~19kPa) with no mesh supporter, and 2.1m (~21kPa, maximum testing pressure) with a mesh supporter, compared to 0.2±0.05m for the wipe DL. The elimination of carbon black from the DL greatly simplified the fabrication procedure and further reduced overall cathode costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalBioresource technology
Volume197
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Fingerprint

Microbial fuel cells
fuel cell
Activated carbon
activated carbon
Cathodes
Carbon
carbon
air
Air
Soot
black carbon
Carbon black
fluoride
leakage
Water
membrane
Membranes
Fabrication
Polytetrafluoroethylene
Polydimethylsiloxane

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

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Development of carbon free diffusion layer for activated carbon air cathode of microbial fuel cells. / Yang, Wulin; Kim, Kyoung Yeol; Logan, Bruce Ernest.

In: Bioresource technology, Vol. 197, 01.12.2015, p. 318-322.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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