Polymer separators for high-power, high-efficiency microbial fuel cells

Guang Chen, Bin Wei, Yong Luo, Bruce E. Logan, Michael A. Hickner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with hydrophilic poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) separators showed higher Coulombic efficiencies (94%) and power densities (1220 mW m-2) than cells with porous glass fiber separators or reactors without a separator after 32 days of operation. These remarkable increases in both the coublomic efficiency and the power production of the microbial fuel cells were made possible by the separator's unique characteristics of fouling mitigation of the air cathode without a large increase in ionic resistance in the cell. This new type of polymer gel-like separator design will be useful for improving MFC reactor performance by enabling compact cell designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6454-6457
Number of pages4
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 26 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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