Electricity production from steam-exploded corn stover biomass

Yi Zuo, Pin Ching Maness, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Electricity generation using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was examined from corn stover waste biomass using samples prepared through either neutral or acid steam-exploded hydrolysis processes that convert the hemicellulose to soluble sugars. Maximum power densities in fed-batch tests using an air-cathode MFC were 371 ± 13 mW/m2 and 367 ± 13 mW/m2 for the neutral and acid hydrolysates (1000 mg-COD/L, 250 Ω). Power output exhibited saturation kinetics with respect to fuel concentration, with predicted maximum power densities of Pmax = 475 mW/m2 and half-saturation constants of Ks = 347 mg/L (neutral) and Pmax = 422 mW/m2 and Ks 170 mg/L (acid). Coulombic efficiencies (CEs) were comparable to that found using carbohydrates in this type of MFC, with values ranging from 20 to 30% for both hydrolysates. All sugars (monomeric or oligomeric) were completely utilized, with overall biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) removal efficiencies of 93 ± 2% (neutral) and 94 ± 1% (acid). Power output could be increased by using a cathode containing a diffusion layer, resulting in maximum power densities of 810 ± 3 mW/m2 (neutral) and 861 ± 37 mW/m2 (acid). Power was further increased by increasing solution conductivity to 20 mS/cm, resulting in 933 mW/m2 (neutral) and 971 mW/m2 (acid) for the two hydrolysates. Additional increases in solution conductivity lowered the anode potential and did not increase power. These results demonstrate the potential for a new method of renewable energy production based on conversion of biomass to electricity using MFCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1716-1721
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

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Steam
Microbial fuel cells
Biomass
Electricity
Acids
Sugars
Cathodes
Biochemical oxygen demand
Carbohydrates
Hydrolysis
Anodes
Kinetics
Air

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology

Cite this

Zuo, Yi ; Maness, Pin Ching ; Logan, Bruce Ernest. / Electricity production from steam-exploded corn stover biomass. In: Energy and Fuels. 2006 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 1716-1721.
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Electricity production from steam-exploded corn stover biomass. / Zuo, Yi; Maness, Pin Ching; Logan, Bruce Ernest.

In: Energy and Fuels, Vol. 20, No. 4, 01.07.2006, p. 1716-1721.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Zuo, Yi

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AU - Logan, Bruce Ernest

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