Power generation using an activated carbon and metal mesh cathode in a microbial fuel cell

Fang Zhang, Shaoan Cheng, Deepak Pant, Gilbert Van Bogaert, Bruce Ernest Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

261 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An inexpensive activated carbon (AC) air cathode was developed as an alternative to a platinum-catalyzed electrode for oxygen reduction in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). AC was cold-pressed with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) binder to form the cathode around a Ni mesh current collector. This cathode construction avoided the need for carbon cloth or a metal catalyst, and produced a cathode with high activity for oxygen reduction at typical MFC current densities. Tests with the AC cathode produced a maximum power density of 1220 mW/m2 (normalized to cathode projected surface area; 36 W/m3 based on liquid volume) compared to 1060 mW/m2 obtained by Pt catalyzed carbon cloth cathode. The Coulombic efficiency ranged from 15% to 55%. These findings show that AC is a cost-effective material for achieving useful rates of oxygen reduction in air cathode MFCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2177-2179
Number of pages3
JournalElectrochemistry Communications
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Fingerprint

Microbial fuel cells
Activated carbon
Power generation
Cathodes
Metals
Oxygen
Carbon
Polytetrafluoroethylene
Air
Platinum
Polytetrafluoroethylenes
Binders
Current density
Electrodes
Catalysts
Liquids

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrochemistry

Cite this

Zhang, Fang ; Cheng, Shaoan ; Pant, Deepak ; Bogaert, Gilbert Van ; Logan, Bruce Ernest. / Power generation using an activated carbon and metal mesh cathode in a microbial fuel cell. In: Electrochemistry Communications. 2009 ; Vol. 11, No. 11. pp. 2177-2179.
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Power generation using an activated carbon and metal mesh cathode in a microbial fuel cell. / Zhang, Fang; Cheng, Shaoan; Pant, Deepak; Bogaert, Gilbert Van; Logan, Bruce Ernest.

In: Electrochemistry Communications, Vol. 11, No. 11, 01.11.2009, p. 2177-2179.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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