Multi-electrode continuous flow microbial electrolysis cell for biogas production from acetate

Geoffrey K. Rader, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) contain only a single set of electrodes. In order to examine the scalability of a multiple-electrode design, we constructed a 2.5 L MEC containing 8 separate electrode pairs made of graphite fiber brush anodes pre-acclimated for current generation using acetate, and 304 stainless steel mesh cathodes (64 m2/m3). Under continuous flow conditions and a one day hydraulic retention time, the maximum current was 181 mA (1.18 A/m2, cathode surface area; 74 A/m 3) within three days of operation. The maximum hydrogen production (day 3) was 0.53 L/L-d, reaching an energy efficiency relative to electrical energy input of ηE = 144%. Current production remained relatively steady (days 3-18), but the gas composition dramatically shifted over time. By day 16, there was little H2 gas recovered and methane production increased from 0.049 L/L-d (day 3) to 0.118 L/L-d. When considering the energy value of both hydrogen and methane, efficiency relative to electrical input remained above 100% until near the end of the experiment (day 17) when only methane gas was being produced. Our results show that MECs can be scaled up primarily based on cathode surface area, but that hydrogen can be completely consumed in a continuous flow system unless methanogens can be completely eliminated from the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8848-8854
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume35
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Fingerprint

Regenerative fuel cells
Biogas
electrolysis
acetates
Methane
Cathodes
methane
cathodes
Electrodes
electrodes
cells
Gases
Methanogens
Graphite fibers
Hydrogen
gas composition
brushes
hydrogen production
Brushes
hydrogen

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

@article{d2e2bff60eae479a91892c01241e0893,
title = "Multi-electrode continuous flow microbial electrolysis cell for biogas production from acetate",
abstract = "Most microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) contain only a single set of electrodes. In order to examine the scalability of a multiple-electrode design, we constructed a 2.5 L MEC containing 8 separate electrode pairs made of graphite fiber brush anodes pre-acclimated for current generation using acetate, and 304 stainless steel mesh cathodes (64 m2/m3). Under continuous flow conditions and a one day hydraulic retention time, the maximum current was 181 mA (1.18 A/m2, cathode surface area; 74 A/m 3) within three days of operation. The maximum hydrogen production (day 3) was 0.53 L/L-d, reaching an energy efficiency relative to electrical energy input of ηE = 144{\%}. Current production remained relatively steady (days 3-18), but the gas composition dramatically shifted over time. By day 16, there was little H2 gas recovered and methane production increased from 0.049 L/L-d (day 3) to 0.118 L/L-d. When considering the energy value of both hydrogen and methane, efficiency relative to electrical input remained above 100{\%} until near the end of the experiment (day 17) when only methane gas was being produced. Our results show that MECs can be scaled up primarily based on cathode surface area, but that hydrogen can be completely consumed in a continuous flow system unless methanogens can be completely eliminated from the system.",
author = "Rader, {Geoffrey K.} and Logan, {Bruce Ernest}",
year = "2010",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.06.033",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "8848--8854",
journal = "International Journal of Hydrogen Energy",
issn = "0360-3199",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "17",

}

Multi-electrode continuous flow microbial electrolysis cell for biogas production from acetate. / Rader, Geoffrey K.; Logan, Bruce Ernest.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 35, No. 17, 01.09.2010, p. 8848-8854.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multi-electrode continuous flow microbial electrolysis cell for biogas production from acetate

AU - Rader, Geoffrey K.

AU - Logan, Bruce Ernest

PY - 2010/9/1

Y1 - 2010/9/1

N2 - Most microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) contain only a single set of electrodes. In order to examine the scalability of a multiple-electrode design, we constructed a 2.5 L MEC containing 8 separate electrode pairs made of graphite fiber brush anodes pre-acclimated for current generation using acetate, and 304 stainless steel mesh cathodes (64 m2/m3). Under continuous flow conditions and a one day hydraulic retention time, the maximum current was 181 mA (1.18 A/m2, cathode surface area; 74 A/m 3) within three days of operation. The maximum hydrogen production (day 3) was 0.53 L/L-d, reaching an energy efficiency relative to electrical energy input of ηE = 144%. Current production remained relatively steady (days 3-18), but the gas composition dramatically shifted over time. By day 16, there was little H2 gas recovered and methane production increased from 0.049 L/L-d (day 3) to 0.118 L/L-d. When considering the energy value of both hydrogen and methane, efficiency relative to electrical input remained above 100% until near the end of the experiment (day 17) when only methane gas was being produced. Our results show that MECs can be scaled up primarily based on cathode surface area, but that hydrogen can be completely consumed in a continuous flow system unless methanogens can be completely eliminated from the system.

AB - Most microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) contain only a single set of electrodes. In order to examine the scalability of a multiple-electrode design, we constructed a 2.5 L MEC containing 8 separate electrode pairs made of graphite fiber brush anodes pre-acclimated for current generation using acetate, and 304 stainless steel mesh cathodes (64 m2/m3). Under continuous flow conditions and a one day hydraulic retention time, the maximum current was 181 mA (1.18 A/m2, cathode surface area; 74 A/m 3) within three days of operation. The maximum hydrogen production (day 3) was 0.53 L/L-d, reaching an energy efficiency relative to electrical energy input of ηE = 144%. Current production remained relatively steady (days 3-18), but the gas composition dramatically shifted over time. By day 16, there was little H2 gas recovered and methane production increased from 0.049 L/L-d (day 3) to 0.118 L/L-d. When considering the energy value of both hydrogen and methane, efficiency relative to electrical input remained above 100% until near the end of the experiment (day 17) when only methane gas was being produced. Our results show that MECs can be scaled up primarily based on cathode surface area, but that hydrogen can be completely consumed in a continuous flow system unless methanogens can be completely eliminated from the system.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77955918832&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77955918832&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.06.033

DO - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.06.033

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77955918832

VL - 35

SP - 8848

EP - 8854

JO - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

JF - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

SN - 0360-3199

IS - 17

ER -