Increased power generation in a continuous flow MFC with advective flow through the porous anode and reduced electrode spacing

Shaoan Cheng, Hong Liu, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

528 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The maximum power generated in a single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) has previously been shown to increase when the spacing between the electrodes is decreased from 4 to 2 cm. However, the maximum power from a MFC with glucose (500 mg/L) decreased from 811 mW/ m2 (Rex = 200 Ω, Coulombic efficiency of CE = 28%) to 423 mW/m2 (R ex = 500 Ω, CE = 18%) when the electrode spacing was decreased from 2 to 1 cm (batch mode operation, power normalized by cathode projected area). This decrease in power was unexpected as the internal resistance decreased from 35 Ω (2-cm spacing) to 16 Ω (1-cm spacing). However, providing advective flow through the porous anode toward the cathode substantially increased power, resulting in the highest maximum power densities yet achieved in an air-cathode system using glucose or domestic wastewater as substrates. For glucose, with a 1-cm electrode spacing and flow through the anode with continuous flow operation of the MFC, the maximum power increased to 1540 mW/m2 (51 W/m3) and the CE increased to 60%. Using domestic wastewater (255 ± 10 mg of COD/L), the maximum power density was 464 mW/m2 (15.5 W/m3; CE = 27%). Although flow through the anode could lead to plugging, especially for particulate substrates such as domestic wastewater, the system was operated using glucose for over 42 days without clogging. These results show that power output in this air-cathode single-chamber MFC can be increased by reducing the electrode spacing if the reactors are operated in continuous flow mode with advective flow through the anode toward the cathode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2426-2432
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

Fingerprint

Microbial fuel cells
fuel cell
power generation
Power generation
Anodes
electrode
spacing
Cathodes
Electrodes
glucose
Glucose
Wastewater
wastewater
air
Air
substrate
Substrates

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

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title = "Increased power generation in a continuous flow MFC with advective flow through the porous anode and reduced electrode spacing",
abstract = "The maximum power generated in a single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) has previously been shown to increase when the spacing between the electrodes is decreased from 4 to 2 cm. However, the maximum power from a MFC with glucose (500 mg/L) decreased from 811 mW/ m2 (Rex = 200 Ω, Coulombic efficiency of CE = 28{\%}) to 423 mW/m2 (R ex = 500 Ω, CE = 18{\%}) when the electrode spacing was decreased from 2 to 1 cm (batch mode operation, power normalized by cathode projected area). This decrease in power was unexpected as the internal resistance decreased from 35 Ω (2-cm spacing) to 16 Ω (1-cm spacing). However, providing advective flow through the porous anode toward the cathode substantially increased power, resulting in the highest maximum power densities yet achieved in an air-cathode system using glucose or domestic wastewater as substrates. For glucose, with a 1-cm electrode spacing and flow through the anode with continuous flow operation of the MFC, the maximum power increased to 1540 mW/m2 (51 W/m3) and the CE increased to 60{\%}. Using domestic wastewater (255 ± 10 mg of COD/L), the maximum power density was 464 mW/m2 (15.5 W/m3; CE = 27{\%}). Although flow through the anode could lead to plugging, especially for particulate substrates such as domestic wastewater, the system was operated using glucose for over 42 days without clogging. These results show that power output in this air-cathode single-chamber MFC can be increased by reducing the electrode spacing if the reactors are operated in continuous flow mode with advective flow through the anode toward the cathode.",
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Increased power generation in a continuous flow MFC with advective flow through the porous anode and reduced electrode spacing. / Cheng, Shaoan; Liu, Hong; Logan, Bruce Ernest.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 40, No. 7, 01.04.2006, p. 2426-2432.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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