Power generation using carbon mesh cathodes with different diffusion layers in microbial fuel cells

Yong Luo, Fang Zhang, Bin Wei, Guangli Liu, Renduo Zhang, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An inexpensive carbon material, carbon mesh, was examined to replace the more expensive carbon cloth usually used to make cathodes in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Three different diffusion layers were tested using carbon mesh: poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and Goretex cloth. Carbon mesh with a mixture of PDMS and carbon black as a diffusion layer produced a maximum power density of 1355 ± 62 mW m -2 (normalized to the projected cathode area), which was similar to that obtained with a carbon cloth cathode (1390 ± 72 mW m-2). Carbon mesh with a PTFE diffusion layer produced only a slightly lower (6.6%) maximum power density (1303 ± 48 mW m-2). The Coulombic efficiencies were a function of current density, with the highest value for the carbon mesh and PDMS (79%) larger than that for carbon cloth (63%). The cost of the carbon mesh cathode with PDMS/Carbon or PTFE (excluding catalyst and binder costs) is only 2.5% of the cost of the carbon cloth cathode. These results show that low cost carbon materials such as carbon mesh can be used as the cathode in an MFC without reducing the performance compared to more expensive carbon cloth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9317-9321
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume196
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2011

Fingerprint

Microbial fuel cells
fuel cells
Power generation
mesh
Cathodes
Carbon
cathodes
carbon
Polytetrafluoroethylene
Polydimethylsiloxane
polytetrafluoroethylene
Polytetrafluoroethylenes
costs
Costs
radiant flux density
Soot
Carbon black

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Luo, Yong ; Zhang, Fang ; Wei, Bin ; Liu, Guangli ; Zhang, Renduo ; Logan, Bruce E. / Power generation using carbon mesh cathodes with different diffusion layers in microbial fuel cells. In: Journal of Power Sources. 2011 ; Vol. 196, No. 22. pp. 9317-9321.
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Power generation using carbon mesh cathodes with different diffusion layers in microbial fuel cells. / Luo, Yong; Zhang, Fang; Wei, Bin; Liu, Guangli; Zhang, Renduo; Logan, Bruce E.

In: Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 196, No. 22, 15.11.2011, p. 9317-9321.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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