Unlaminated carbon as separator in air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cells

Xiaoyuan Zhang, Xin Wang, Shaoan Cheng, Xia Huang, Bruce Logan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have potential for practical applications in bioenergy production. One of the main challenges is that the coulombic efficiency (CE) is relatively low compared with MFCs that contain a membrane. In this study, unlaminated carbon was used as separator in MFCs with three different configurations to enhance the CE and to increase power by shortening the distance between the anode and cathode. A CE of 28% (1000 Ω load) was obtained in the MFC using the unlaminated carbon as a separator on the cathode side with 2 cm distance between the anode and cathode, which was an increase of 50% compared to a control lacking a separator. The CE was further enhanced to 47% (1000 Ω) using a separator electrode assembly (SEA) configuration, where the separator was sandwiched between the anode and cathode. The power density also was increased by the SEA configuration, and the internal resistance decreased from 64 Ω (2 cm electrodes space) to 41 Ω (SEA). A double SEA MFC (with the pairs of electrodes 2 cm apart) produced 41 W/m3, which is an increase of 140% compared to that with single electrodes spaced 2 cm apart. This study showed that a separator could increase the CE, and that the use of separators allows a smaller distance between the electrodes that can increase reactor performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Chemical Society - 238th National Meeting and Exposition, ACS 2009, Abstracts of Scientific Papers
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Event238th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, ACS 2009 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2009Aug 20 2009

Publication series

NameACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
ISSN (Print)0065-7727

Other

Other238th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, ACS 2009
CountryUnited States
CityWashington, DC
Period8/16/098/20/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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