Mitigating external and internal cathode fouling using a polymer bonded separator in microbial fuel cells

Wulin Yang, Ruggero Rossi, Yushi Tian, Kyoung Yeol Kim, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes rapidly foul when treating domestic wastewater, substantially reducing power production over time. Here a wipe separator was chemically bonded to an activated carbon air cathode using polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to mitigate cathode fouling and extend cathode performance over time. MFCs with separator-bonded cathodes produced a maximum power density of 190 ± 30 mW m−2 after 2 months of operation using domestic wastewater, which was ∼220% higher than controls (60 ± 50 mW m−2) with separators that were not chemically bonded to the cathode. Less biomass (protein) was measured on the bonded separator surface than the non-bonded separator, indicating chemical bonding reduced external bio-fouling. Salt precipitation that contributed to internal fouling was also reduced using separator-bonded cathodes. Overall, the separator-bonded cathodes showed better performance over time by mitigating both external bio-fouling and internal salt fouling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1084
Number of pages5
JournalBioresource technology
Volume249
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mitigating external and internal cathode fouling using a polymer bonded separator in microbial fuel cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this