Enhanced electricity generation and effective water filtration using graphene-based membrane air-cathodes in microbial fuel cells

Xiangru Song, Jia Liu, Qing Jiang, Youpeng Qu, Weihua He, Bruce E. Logan, Yujie Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Air-cathodes in microbial fuel cells that can also filter wastewater provide the dual benefits of electricity production and reduction of the effluent chemical oxygen demand. Air-cathodes prepared using a novel activated carbon/graphene membrane (2, 5 or 10% graphene by weight) prepared by phase inversion have good conductivities (5.6 ± 0.5 to 7.3 ± 0.6 mS cm−1) compared to control (3.0 ± 0.4 mS cm−1, activated carbon, no graphene). The cathode with 5 wt% graphene produces the highest maximum power density of 1460 ± 10 mW m−2, which is 58% higher than that the control (928 ± 8 mW m−2). The increased power is due to an 88% reduction in charge transfer resistance of 6.0 ± 0.3 Ω (cathode with 5 wt% graphene) compared to the control. Following a cycle of treatment and current generation, 60 ± 1% of the chemical oxygen demand is removed from the remaining chemical oxygen demand, producing an effluent chemical oxygen demand concentration of 20 ± 1 mg L−1. Biomass (4.99 ± 0.02 mg-protein cm−2) is decreased by 33% compared to the control. These results demonstrate that cathodes made with graphene can produce electricity and a high quality effluent with low cathode biofouling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume395
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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