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Sample records for anode-cathode microbial fuel

  1. Co-flow anode/cathode supply heat exchanger for a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haltiner, Jr., Karl J.; Kelly, Sean M.

    2005-11-22

    In a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly, a co-flow heat exchanger is provided in the flow paths of the reformate gas and the cathode air ahead of the fuel cell stack, the reformate gas being on one side of the exchanger and the cathode air being on the other. The reformate gas is at a substantially higher temperature than is desired in the stack, and the cathode gas is substantially cooler than desired. In the co-flow heat exchanger, the temperatures of the reformate and cathode streams converge to nearly the same temperature at the outlet of the exchanger. Preferably, the heat exchanger is formed within an integrated component manifold (ICM) for a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly.

  2. Microbial fuel cell as new technol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Rahimnejad

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Recently, great attentions have been paid to microbial fuel cells (MFCs due to their mild operating conditions and using variety of biodegradable substrates as fuel. The traditional MFC consisted of anode and cathode compartments but there are single chamber MFCs. Microorganisms actively catabolize substrate, and bioelectricities are generated. MFCs could be utilized as power generator in small devices such as biosensor. Besides the advantages of this technology, it still faces practical barriers such as low power and current density. In the present article different parts of MFC such as anode, cathode and membrane have been reviewed and to overcome the practical challenges in this field some practical options have been suggested. Also, this research review demonstrates the improvement of MFCs with summarization of their advantageous and possible applications in future application. Also, Different key factors affecting bioelectricity generation on MFCs were investigated and these key parameters are fully discussed.

  3. Microbial Community Analysis of a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell Using Potato Wastewater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhen Li; Rishika Haynes; Eugene Sato; Malcolm Shields; Yoshiko Fujita; Chikashi Sato

    2014-04-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy via bioelectrochemical reactions mediated by microorganisms. We investigated the diversity of the microbial community in an air cathode single chamber MFC that utilized potato-process wastewater as substrate. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) results indicated that the bacterial communities on the anode, cathode, control electrode, and MFC bulk fluid were similar, but differed dramatically from that of the anaerobic domestic sludge and potato wastewater inoculum. The 16S rDNA sequencing results showed that microbial species detected on the anode were predominantly within the phyla of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Fluorescent microscopy results indicated that there was a clear enhancement of biofilm formation on the anode. Results of this study could help improve understanding of the complexity of microbial communities and optimize the microbial composition for generating electricity by MFCs that utilize potato wastewater.

  4. Assessment of the Effects of Flow Rate and Ionic Strength on Microbial Fuel Cell Performance Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aaron, D [Georgia Institute of Technology; Tsouris, Costas [ORNL; Hamilton, Choo Yieng [ORNL; Borole, Abhijeet P [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Impedance changes of the anode, cathode and solution were examined for a microbial fuel cell (MFC) under varying conditions in order to improve its performance. An MFC inoculated with a pre-enriched microbial culture resulted in a startup time of ten days. Over this period, the anode impedance decreased below the cathode impedance, suggesting a cathode limited power output. Decreasing the anode flow rate did not impact the anode impedance significantly, while it increased the cathode impedance by 65% . Reducing the anode-medium ionic strength from 100% to 10% increased the cathode impedance by 48%.

  5. The approach curve method for large anode-cathode distances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mammana, Victor P.; Monteiro, Othon R.; Fonseca, Leo R.C.

    2003-09-20

    An important technique used to characterize field emission is the measurement of the emitted current against electric field (IxE). In this work we discuss a procedure for obtaining IxE data based on multiple approach curves. We show that the simulated features obtained for an idealized uniform surface matches available experimental data for small anode-cathode distances, while for large distances the simulation predicts a departure from the linear regime. We also discuss the shape of the approach curves for large anode-cathode distances for a cathode made of carbon nanotubes.

  6. MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    A novel microbial fuel cell construction for the generation of electrical energy. The microbial fuel cell comprises: (i) an anode electrode, (ii) a cathode chamber, said cathode chamber comprising an in let through which an influent enters the cathode chamber, an outlet through which an effluent...

  7. Assessment of the effects of flow rate and ionic strength on the performance of an air-cathode microbial fuel cell using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aaron, D.; Tsouris, C. [School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States); Tsouris, C. [Nuclear Sciences and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States); Hamilton, Ch. Y. [The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Borole, A. P. [BioSciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Impedance changes of the anode, cathode and solution were examined for an air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) under varying conditions. An MFC inoculated with a pre-enriched microbial culture resulted in a startup time of less than ten days. Over this period, the anode impedance decreased below the cathode impedance, suggesting a cathode-limited power output. Increasing the anode flow rate did not impact the anode impedance significantly, but it decreased the cathode impedance by 65%. Increasing the anode-medium ionic strength also decreased the cathode impedance. These impedance results provide insight into electron and proton transport mechanisms and can be used to improve MFC performance. (author)

  8. Electrical Power Generation with Himalayan Mud Soil using Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debajyoti Bose

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Topsoil microbial community primarily consists of bacteria species that can generate electricity if a microbial fuel cell is incorporated with it. Since such electron producing bacteria are abundant in nature, microbial fuel cells can be considered as clean source of electricity generation and a prospect for renewable energy growth.  Here, the authors have shown experiments with a real microbial fuel cell, investigating electrical power production from it using the Himalayan top soil of Dehradun in Uttarakhand, India. At the smallest level it can help remote rural areas to power lamps or other less energy intensive devices. Using a setup that includes anode, cathode, and related electrical fittings this work has utilized these bacteria over time and observe the power they produce; also the addition of nutrients to the soil which increases the rate of power production has also been experimented. The setup brings together the concept of energy, electronics and microbiology under one framework and is in line with issues relating to climate change, energy security and sustainability. An attempt has been made to explore the spectrum of scenarios and speculating the possibility of generating renewable power using the Himalayan top soil.

  9. The Role of Soil Organic Matter, Nutrients, and Microbial Community Structure on the Performance of Microbial Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney-Varga, J. N.; Dunaj, S. J.; Vallino, J. J.; Hines, M. E.; Gay, M.; Kobyljanec, C.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) offer the potential for generating electricity, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and bioremediating pollutants through utilization of a plentiful, natural, and renewable resource: soil organic carbon. In the current study, we analyzed microbial community structure, MFC performance, and soil characteristics in different microhabitats (bulk soil, anode, and cathode) within MFCs constructed from agricultural or forest soils in order to determine how soil type and microbial dynamics influence MFC performance. MFCs were constructed with soils from agricultural and hardwood forest sites at Harvard Forest (Petersham, MA). The bulk soil characteristics were analyzed, including polyphenols, short chain fatty acids, total organic C and N, abiotic macronutrients, N and P mineralization rates, CO2 respiration rates, and MFC power output. Microbial community structure of the anodes, cathodes, and bulk soils was determined with molecular fingerprinting methods, which included terminal restriction length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. Our results indicated that MFCs constructed from agricultural soil had power output about 17 times that of forest soil-based MFCs and respiration rates about 10 times higher than forest soil MFCs. Agricultural soil MFCs had lower C:N ratios, polyphenol content, and acetate concentrations than forest soil MFCs, suggesting that active agricultural MFC microbial communities were supported by higher quality organic carbon. Microbial community profile data indicate that the microbial communities at the anode of the high power MFCs were less diverse than in low power MFCs and were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Geobacter, and, to a lesser extent, Clostridia, while low-power MFC anode communities were dominated by Clostridia. These data suggest that the presence of organic carbon substrate (acetate) was not the major limiting factor in selecting for highly electrogenic microbial

  10. Assessment of the Effects of Flow Rate and Ionic Strength on the Performance of an Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cell Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doug Aaron

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Impedance changes of the anode, cathode and solution were examined for an air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC under varying conditions. An MFC inoculated with a pre-enriched microbial culture resulted in a startup time of less than ten days. Over this period, the anode impedance decreased below the cathode impedance, suggesting a cathode-limited power output. Increasing the anode flow rate did not impact the anode impedance significantly, but it decreased the cathode impedance by 65%. Increasing the anode-medium ionic strength also decreased the cathode impedance. These impedance results provide insight into electron and proton transport mechanisms and can be used to improve MFC performance.

  11. Microbial fuel cell treatment of fuel process wastewater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borole, Abhijeet P; Tsouris, Constantino

    2013-12-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for cleansing fuel processing effluent containing carbonaceous compounds and inorganic salts, the method comprising contacting the fuel processing effluent with an anode of a microbial fuel ell, the anode containing microbes thereon which oxidatively degrade one or more of the carbonaceous compounds while producing electrical energy from the oxidative degradation, and directing the produced electrical energy to drive an electrosorption mechanism that operates to reduce the concentration of one or more inorganic salts in the fuel processing effluent, wherein the anode is in electrical communication with a cathode of the microbial fuel cell. The invention is also directed to an apparatus for practicing the method.

  12. Development and optimization of microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davila, D.; Vigues, N.; Sanchez, O.; Garrido, L.; Tomas, N.; Mas, J. [Univ. Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain). Dept. de Genetica y Microbiologia; Esquivel, J.P.; Sabate, N.; Del Campo, F.J.; Munoz, F.J. [Inst. de Microelectronica de Barcelona-CNM (CSIC), Barcelona (Spain)

    2008-04-15

    While global energy demand increases daily, fossil fuel sources are being depleted at an unsustainable pace. Fuel cells represent a solution as they are more efficient than other energy sources. A microbial fuel cell is an electrochemical device capable of continuously converting chemical energy into electrical energy for as long as adequate fuel and oxidant are available. A microbial fuel cell (MFC) adds the benefit of converting chemical energy from organic compounds, such as simple carbohydrates or organic waste matter, into electricity by using bacteria as biocatalysts. This article described the effect of several parameters that affect the operation of a microbial fuel cell (MFC). The study is based on a methodology utilized in previous studies which employed escherichia coli as biocatalyst and neutral red as the electron mediator in a mediated electron transfer (MET) microbial fuel cell. The study analysed the influence of the bacterial concentration, the effective area of electrode and the volume of the cell. It was concluded that there is a proportional energy production to the bacterial concentration present in the anode compartment. It was demonstrated that an increase in the volume of the cell negatively affects the power produced by the cells. 8 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  13. New microbial fuels: a biotech perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rude, Mathew A; Schirmer, Andreas

    2009-06-01

    Bioethanol and plant oil-derived biodiesel are generally considered first generation biofuels. Recognizing their apparent disadvantages, scientists and engineers are developing more sustainable and economically feasible second generation biofuels. The new microbial fuels summarized here have great potential to become viable replacements or at least supplements of petroleum-derived liquid transportation fuels. Yields and efficiencies of the four metabolic pathways leading to these microbial fuels-mostly designed and optimized in Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae using modern tools of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology-and the robustness of the biocatalysts that convert the metabolic intermediates to, in some cases, finished and engine-ready fuels, will determine if they can be commercially successful and contribute to alleviating our dependence on fossil fuels.

  14. Microbial Fuel Cells for Sulfide Removal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rabaey, K.; Sompel, van de S.; Maignien, L.; Boon, N.; Aelterman, P.; Clauwaert, P.; Schamphelaire, de L.; The Pham, H.; Vermeulen, J.; Verhaege, M.; Lens, P.N.L.; Verstraete, W.

    2006-01-01

    Thus far, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have been used to convert carbon-based substrates to electricity. However, sulfur compounds are ubiquitously present in organic waste and wastewater. In this study, a MFC with a hexacyanoferrate cathodic electrolyte was used to convert dissolved sulfide to eleme

  15. Microbial Fuel Cells: Methodology and Technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Logan, B.E.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Rozendal, R.A.; Schröder, U.; Keller, J.; Freguia, S.; Aelterman, P.; Verstraete, W.; Rabaey, K.

    2006-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) research is a rapidly evolving field that lacks established terminology and methods for the analysis of system performance. This makes it difficult for researchers to compare devices on an equivalent basis. The construction and analysis of MFCs requires knowledge of differe

  16. Plant microbial fuel cell applied in wetlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wetser, Koen; Liu, Jia; Buisman, Cees; Strik, David

    2015-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) has to be applied in wetlands to be able to generate electricity on a large scale. The objective of this PMFC application research is to clarify the differences in electricity generation between a Spartina anglica salt marsh and Phragmites australis peat soil

  17. Anodic-Cathodic Electrocatalytic Degradation of Phenol with Oxygen Sparged in the Presence of Iron(Ⅱ)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Under oxygen sparged, the synergetic effects of both anodic-cathodic electrocatalysis(ACE) and ferrous ion catalyzed anodic-cathodic electrocatalysis(FeACE) on phenol degradation were observed in an undivided cell composed of a β-PbO2 anode modified with fluorine resin and a nickel-chromium-titanium alloy net cathode. Oxygen sparging rate, ferrous concentration, and current significantly affect phenol destruction. The phenol was removed by 10%-13% increasingly under FeACE vs. ACE, and by 12%-15% under ACE vs. anodic electrocatalysis(AE). The phenol destruction was due to the formation of hydroxyl oxidant on the surface of lead oxide at the anode and the reduction of oxygen at the cathode.

  18. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, R.A.; Rothballer, M.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Engel, M.; Schulz, M.; Hartmann, A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into th

  19. Treatment of methyl orange dye wastewater by cooperative electrochemical oxidation in anodic-cathodic compartment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, L; Wang, H; Bian, Z Y

    2013-01-01

    Electrochemical oxidation of methyl orange wastewater was studied using Ti/IrO(2)/RuO(2) anode and a self-made Pd/C O(2)-fed cathode in the divided cell with a terylene diaphragm. The result indicated that the appropriate rate of feeding air improved the methyl orange removal efficiency. The discoloration efficiency of methyl orange in the divided cell increased with increasing current density. The initial pH value had some effect on the discoloration of methyl orange, which became not obvious when the pH ranged from 2 to 10. However, the average removal efficiency of methyl orange wastewater in terms of total organic carbon (TOC) can reach 89.3%. The methyl orange structure had changed in the electrolytic process, and the characteristic absorption peak of methyl orange was about 470 nm. With the extension of electrolysis time, the concentration of methyl orange gradually reduced; wastewater discoloration rate increased gradually. The degradation of methyl orange was assumed to be cooperative oxidation by direct or indirect electrochemical oxidation at the anode and H(2)O(2), ·OH, O(2)(-)· produced by oxygen reduction at the cathode in the divided cell. Therefore, the cooperative electrochemical oxidation of methyl orange wastewater in the anodic-cathodic compartment had better degradation effects.

  20. Microbial fuel cells for biosensor applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huijia; Zhou, Minghua; Liu, Mengmeng; Yang, Weilu; Gu, Tingyue

    2015-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) face major hurdles for real-world applications as power generators with the exception of powering small sensor devices. Despite tremendous improvements made in the last two decades, MFCs are still too expensive to build and operate and their power output is still too small. In view of this, in recently years, intensive researches have been carried out to expand the applications into other areas such as acid and alkali production, bioremediation of aquatic sediments, desalination and biosensors. Unlike power applications, MFC sensors have the immediate prospect to be practical. This review covers the latest developments in various proposed biosensor applications using MFCs including monitoring microbial activity, testing biochemical oxygen demand, detection of toxicants and detection of microbial biofilms that cause biocorrosion.

  1. Solar energy powered microbial fuel cell with a reversible bioelectrode

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2010-01-01

    The solar energy powered microbial fuel cell is an emerging technology for electricity generation via electrochemically active microorganisms fueled by solar energy via in situ photosynthesized metabolites from algae, cyanobacteria, or living higher plants. A general problem with microbial fuel cell

  2. Microbial Fuel Cells, A Current Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly P. Nevin

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are devices that can use bacterial metabolism to produce an electrical current from a wide range organic substrates. Due to the promise of sustainable energy production from organic wastes, research has intensified in this field in the last few years. While holding great promise only a few marine sediment MFCs have been used practically, providing current for low power devices. To further improve MFC technology an understanding of the limitations and microbiology of these systems is required. Some researchers are uncovering that the greatest value of MFC technology may not be the production of electricity but the ability of electrode associated microbes to degrade wastes and toxic chemicals. We conclude that for further development of MFC applications, a greater focus on understanding the microbial processes in MFC systems is required.

  3. Exoelectrogenic bacteria that power microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Logan, Bruce E.

    2009-03-30

    There has been an increase in recent years in the number of reports of microorganisms that can generate electrical current in microbial fuel cells. Although many new strains have been identified, few strains individually produce power densities as high as strains from mixed communities. Enriched anodic biofilms have generated power densities as high as 6.9 W per m2 (projected anode area), and therefore are approaching theoretical limits. To understand bacterial versatility in mechanisms used for current generation, this Progress article explores the underlying reasons for exocellular electron transfer, including cellular respiration and possible cell-cell communication.

  4. Chitin Lengthens Power Production in a Sedimentary Microbial Fuel Cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    fuel cell. Microbial fuel cells are able to oxidize biodegradable fuels, such as organic waste, to generate electrical power. The sediment microbial...are able to directly produce electrical energy by bacteria consuming biodegradable compounds in marine sediments. In sediments with low organic...Graphite fiber brushes (Mill-Rose Company; Mentor, OH, USA) were used as cathodes and also connected to the breadboard. Passive resistors were

  5. Energy from algae using microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Velasquez-Orta, Sharon B.

    2009-08-15

    Bioelectricity production froma phytoplankton, Chlorella vulgaris, and a macrophyte, Ulva lactuca was examined in single chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). MFCs were fed with the two algae (as powders), obtaining differences in energy recovery, degradation efficiency, and power densities. C. vulgaris produced more energy generation per substrate mass (2.5 kWh/kg), but U. lactuca was degraded more completely over a batch cycle (73±1% COD). Maximum power densities obtained using either single cycle or multiple cycle methods were 0.98 W/m2 (277 W/m3) using C. vulgaris, and 0.76 W/m2 (215 W/m3) using U. lactuca. Polarization curves obtained using a common method of linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) overestimated maximum power densities at a scan rate of 1 mV/s. At 0.1 mV/s, however, the LSV polarization data was in better agreement with single- and multiple-cycle polarization curves. The fingerprints of microbial communities developed in reactors had only 11% similarity to inocula and clustered according to the type of bioprocess used. These results demonstrate that algae can in principle, be used as a renewable source of electricity production in MFCs. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Implementation of microbial fuel cell in harvesting energy using wastewater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramli, N. L.; Wahab, M. S. Abdul; Sharif, S. A. Md; Ramly, N. H.

    2016-02-01

    In this century, most of the companies use the electricity from the fossils fuels such as oil, gas and coal. This method will give negative impact to the environment and the fossils fuel will be run out. This project is to develop a microbial fuels cell that can produce electricity. There are several types of the microbial fuel cell, which are a single chamber, double chamber and continuous. In this paper, the double chamber microbial fuel cell was selected to investigate the effect of suspended sludge into the double chamber microbial fuels cell. The salt bridge will construct between both chambers of the double chamber microbial fuels cell. Carbon graphite rod is selected as an electrode at the cathode and anode to transfer the electron from the anode to the cathode. Electricity is generated from the anaerobic oxidation of organic matter by bacteria. At the end of this project, the microbial fuels cell was successful in generating electricity that can be used for a specific application.

  7. Investigation on multi-frequency oscillations in InGaAs planar Gunn diode with multiple anode-cathode spacings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, B.; Alimi, Y.; Ma, G. L.

    2016-12-01

    Current oscillations in an AlGaAs/InGaAs/AlGaAs-based two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG)-based hetero-structure have been investigated by means of semiconductor device simulation software SILVACO, with an interest on the charge domain formation at large biases. Single-frequency oscillations are generated in planar Gunn diodes with uniform anode and cathode contacts. The oscillation frequency reduces as the applied bias voltage increases. We show that it is possible to create multiple, independent charge domains in a novel Gunn diode structure with designed multiple anode-cathode spacings. This enables simultaneous generation of multiple frequency oscillations in a single planar device, in contrast to traditional vertical Gunn diodes where only single-frequency oscillations can be achieved. More interestingly, frequency mixing in multiple-channel configured Gunn diodes appeared. This proof-of-concept opens up the possibility for realizing compact self-oscillating mixer at millimeter-wave applications.

  8. Yeast surface display of dehydrogenases in microbial fuel-cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gal, Idan; Schlesinger, Orr; Amir, Liron; Alfonta, Lital

    2016-12-01

    Two dehydrogenases, cellobiose dehydrogenase from Corynascus thermophilus and pyranose dehydrogenase from Agaricus meleagris, were displayed for the first time on the surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae using the yeast surface display system. Surface displayed dehydrogenases were used in a microbial fuel cell and generated high power outputs. Surface displayed cellobiose dehydrogenase has demonstrated a midpoint potential of -28mV (vs. Ag/AgCl) at pH=6.5 and was used in a mediator-less anode compartment of a microbial fuel cell producing a power output of 3.3μWcm(-2) using lactose as fuel. Surface-displayed pyranose dehydrogenase was used in a microbial fuel cell and generated high power outputs using different substrates, the highest power output that was achieved was 3.9μWcm(-2) using d-xylose. These results demonstrate that surface displayed cellobiose dehydrogenase and pyranose dehydrogenase may successfully be used in microbial bioelectrochemical systems.

  9. ANAEROBIC BIODEGRADATION OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS IN MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samkov A. A.

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available МF-4SК membrane-based microbial fuel cell (MFC was used for an anaerobic utilization of organic com-pounds of various liquid wastes. During incubation in short circuit mode, decreasing of the COD value on range 30-87 % depending on the type of wastes was detected. The dependence of the microbial fuel cell output power on the value of the external load was determined by a number of structural characteristics of MFC

  10. Microalgae-microbial fuel cell: A mini review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Duu-Jong; Chang, Jo-Shu; Lai, Juin-Yih

    2015-12-01

    Microalgae-microbial fuel cells (mMFCs) are a device that can convert solar energy to electrical energy via biological pathways. This mini-review lists new research and development works on microalgae processes, microbial fuel cell (MFC) processes, and their combined version, mMFC. The substantial improvement and technological advancement are highlighted, with a discussion on the challenges and prospects for possible commercialization of mMFC technologies.

  11. Protozoan grazing reduces the current output of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Dawn E; Nevin, Kelly P; Snoeyenbos-West, Oona L; Woodard, Trevor L; Strickland, Justin N; Lovley, Derek R

    2015-10-01

    Several experiments were conducted to determine whether protozoan grazing can reduce current output from sediment microbial fuel cells. When marine sediments were amended with eukaryotic inhibitors, the power output from the fuel cells increased 2-5-fold. Quantitative PCR showed that Geobacteraceae sequences were 120 times more abundant on anodes from treated fuel cells compared to untreated fuel cells, and that Spirotrichea sequences in untreated fuel cells were 200 times more abundant on anode surfaces than in the surrounding sediments. Defined studies with current-producing biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens and pure cultures of protozoa demonstrated that protozoa that were effective in consuming G. sulfurreducens reduced current production up to 91% when added to G. sulfurreducens fuel cells. These results suggest that anode biofilms are an attractive food source for protozoa and that protozoan grazing can be an important factor limiting the current output of sediment microbial fuel cells.

  12. AC power generation from microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobo, Fernanda Leite; Wang, Heming; Forrestal, Casey; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2015-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) directly convert biodegradable substrates to electricity and carry good potential for energy-positive wastewater treatment. However, the low and direct current (DC) output from MFC is not usable for general electronics except small sensors, yet commercial DC-AC converters or inverters used in solar systems cannot be directly applied to MFCs. This study presents a new DC-AC converter system for MFCs that can generate alternating voltage in any desired frequency. Results show that AC power can be easily achieved in three different frequencies tested (1, 10, 60 Hz), and no energy storage layer such as capacitors was needed. The DC-AC converter efficiency was higher than 95% when powered by either individual MFCs or simple MFC stacks. Total harmonic distortion (THD) was used to investigate the quality of the energy, and it showed that the energy could be directly usable for linear electronic loads. This study shows that through electrical conversion MFCs can be potentially used in household electronics for decentralized off-grid communities.

  13. Generation of Electricity and Analysis of Microbial Communities in Wheat Straw Biomass-Powered Microbial Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Min, Booki; Huang, L.;

    2009-01-01

    Electricity generation from wheat straw hydrolysate and the microbial ecology of electricity producing microbial communities developed in two chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were investigated. Power density reached 123 mW/m2 with an initial hydrolysate concentration of 1000 mg-COD/L while...... to improve understanding and optimizing the electricity generation in microbial fuel cells....

  14. Microbial fuel cells using Cellulomonas spp. with cellulose as fuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Yuya; Khawdas, Wichean; Aso, Yuji; Ohara, Hitomi

    2017-03-01

    Cellulomonas fimi, Cellulomonas biazotea, and Cellulomonas flavigena are cellulose-degrading microorganisms chosen to compare the degradation of cellulose. C. fimi degraded 2.5 g/L of cellulose within 4 days, which was the highest quantity among the three microorganisms. The electric current generation by the microbial fuel cell (MFC) using the cellulose-containing medium with C. fimi was measured over 7 days. The medium in the MFC was sampled every 24 h to quantify the degradation of cellulose, and the results showed that the electric current increased with the degradation of cellulose. The maximum electric power generated by the MFC was 38.7 mW/m(2), and this numeric value was 63% of the electric power generated by an MFC with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a well-known current-generating microorganism. Our results showed that C. fimi was an excellent candidate to produce the electric current from cellulose via MFCs.

  15. Electricity production from municipal solid waste using microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, H Y; Pai, T Y; Liu, M H; Chang, C A; Lo, F C; Chang, T C; Lo, H M; Chiang, C F; Chao, K P; Lo, W Y; Lo, S W; Chu, Y L

    2016-07-01

    The organic content of municipal solid waste has long been an attractive source of renewable energy, mainly as a solid fuel in waste-to-energy plants. This study focuses on the potential to use microbial fuel cells to convert municipal solid waste organics into energy using various operational conditions. The results showed that two-chamber microbial fuel cells with carbon felt and carbon felt allocation had a higher maximal power density (20.12 and 30.47 mW m(-2) for 1.5 and 4 L, respectively) than those of other electrode plate allocations. Most two-chamber microbial fuel cells (1.5 and 4 L) had a higher maximal power density than single-chamber ones with corresponding electrode plate allocations. Municipal solid waste with alkali hydrolysis pre-treatment and K3Fe(CN)6 as an electron acceptor improved the maximal power density to 1817.88 mW m(-2) (~0.49% coulomb efficiency, from 0.05-0.49%). The maximal power density from experiments using individual 1.5 and 4 L two-chamber microbial fuel cells, and serial and parallel connections of 1.5 and 4 L two-chamber microbial fuel cells, was found to be in the order of individual 4 L (30.47 mW m(-2)) > serial connection of 1.5 and 4 L (27.75) > individual 1.5 L (20.12) > parallel connection of 1.5 and 4 L (17.04) two-chamber microbial fuel cells . The power density using municipal solid waste microbial fuel cells was compared with information in the literature and discussed.

  16. Microbial Condition of Water Samples from Foreign Fuel Storage Facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berry, C.J. [Westinghouse Savannah River Company, AIKEN, SC (United States); Fliermans, C.B.; Santo Domingo, J.

    1997-10-30

    In order to assess the microbial condition of foreign nuclear fuel storage facilities, fourteen different water samples were received from facilities outside the United States that have sent spent nuclear fuel to SRS for wet storage. Each water sample was analyzed for microbial content and activity as determined by total bacteria, viable aerobic bacteria, viable anaerobic bacteria, viable sulfate- reducing bacteria, viable acid-producing bacteria and enzyme diversity. The results for each water sample were then compared to other foreign samples and to data from the receiving basin for off- site fuel (RBOF) at SRS.

  17. Anode Material Testing for Marine Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-26

    the plumping centered over billet, and the electrical feed through fitting with connecting wire. The solid graphite plate will be tested by...state conditions, using a liquid bath of glucose as the substrate (17). Chaudhuri and Lovley 2005, showed that the graphite foam increased production...Microbial fuel cells: performances and perspectives. Biofuels for fuel cells: biomass fermentation towards usage in fuel cells. IWA Publishing, London

  18. Microbial Communities and Electrochemical Performance of Titanium-Based Anodic Electrodes in a Microbial Fuel Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Michaelidou, U.; Heijne, ter A.; Euverink, G.J.W.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Stams, A.J.M.; Geelhoed, J.S.

    2011-01-01

    Four types of titanium (Ti)-based electrodes were tested in the same microbial fuel cell (MFC) anodic compartment. Their electrochemical performances and the dominant microbial communities of the electrode biofilms were compared. The electrodes were identical in shape, macroscopic surface area, and

  19. Understanding Long-term Changes in Microbial Fuel Cell Performance Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borole, Abhijeet P [ORNL; Aaron, D [Georgia Institute of Technology; Hamilton, Choo Yieng [ORNL; Tsouris, Costas [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Changes in the anode, cathode, and solution/membrane impedances during enrichment of an anode microbial consortium weremeasuredusing electrochemicalimpedancespectroscopy. The consortium was enriched in a compact, flow-through porous electrode chamber coupled to an air-cathode. The anode impedance initially decreased from 296.1 to 36.3 in the first 43 days indicating exoelectrogenic biofilm formation. The external load on the MFC was decreased in a stepwise manner to allow further enrichment. MFC operation at a final load of 50 decreased the anode impedance to 1.4 , with a corresponding cathode and membrane/solution impedance of 12.1 and 3.0 , respectively. An analysis of the capacitive element suggested that most of the three-dimensional anode surface was participating in the bioelectrochemical reaction. The power density of the air-cathode MFC stabilized after 3 months of operation and stayed at 422 ( 42 mW/m2 (33 W/m3) for the next 3 months. The normalized anode impedance for theMFCwas 0.017 k cm2, a 28-fold reduction over that reported previously. This study demonstrates a unique ability of biological systems to reduce the electron transfer resistance in MFCs, and their potential for stable energy production over extended periods of time.

  20. Graphene-Based Flexible Micrometer-Sized Microbial Fuel Cell

    KAUST Repository

    Mink, Justine E.

    2013-10-23

    Microbial fuel cells harvest electrical energy produced by bacteria during the natural decomposition of organic matter. We report a micrometer-sized microbial fuel cell that is able to generate nanowatt-scale power from microliters of liquids. The sustainable design is comprised of a graphene anode, an air cathode, and a polymer-based substrate platform for flexibility. The graphene layer was grown on a nickel thin film by using chemical vapor deposition at atmospheric pressure. Our demonstration provides a low-cost option to generate useful power for lab-on-chip applications and could be promising to rapidly screen and scale up microbial fuel cells for water purification without consuming excessive power (unlike other water treatment technologies).

  1. Electricity generation and microbial community response to substrate changes in microbial fuel cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Min, Booki; Huang, L.;

    2011-01-01

    The effect of substrate changes on the performance and microbial community of two-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was investigated in this study. The MFCs enriched with a single substrate (e.g., acetate, glucose, or butyrate) had different acclimatization capability to substrate changes....... The MFC enriched with glucose showed rapid and higher power generation, when glucose was switched with acetate or butyrate. However, the MFC enriched with acetate needed a longer adaptation time for utilizing glucose. Microbial community was also changed when the substrate was changed. Clostridium...... of substrate fed to MFC is a very important parameter for reactor performance and microbial community, and significantly affects power generation in MFCs....

  2. Bioelectricity production from various wastewaters through microbial fuel cell technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhilasha S Mathuriya

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cell technology is a new type of renewable and sustainable technology for electricity generation since it recovers energy from renewable materials that can be difficult to dispose of, such as organic wastes and wastewaters. In the present contribution we demonstrated electricity production by beer brewery wastewater, sugar industry wastewater, dairy wastewater, municipal wastewater and paper industry wastewater. Up to 14.92 mA current and 90.23% COD removal was achieved in 10 days of operation. Keywords: Bioelectricity, COD, Microbial Fuel Cells, Wastewater Received: 12 November 2009 / Received in revised form: 30 November 2009, Accepted: 30 November 2009, Published online: 10 March 2010

  3. Microbial Biofilm Growth on Irradiated, Spent Nuclear Fuel Cladding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S.M. Frank

    2009-02-01

    A fundamental criticism regarding the potential for microbial influenced corrosion in spent nuclear fuel cladding or storage containers concerns whether the required microorganisms can, in fact, survive radiation fields inherent in these materials. This study was performed to unequivocally answer this critique by addressing the potential for biofilm formation, the precursor to microbial-influenced corrosion, in radiation fields representative of spent nuclear fuel storage environments. This study involved the formation of a microbial biofilm on irradiated spent nuclear fuel cladding within a hot cell environment. This was accomplished by introducing 22 species of bacteria, in nutrient-rich media, to test vessels containing irradiated cladding sections and that was then surrounded by radioactive source material. The overall dose rate exceeded 2 Gy/h gamma/beta radiation with the total dose received by some of the bacteria reaching 5 × 103 Gy. This study provides evidence for the formation of biofilms on spent-fuel materials, and the implication of microbial influenced corrosion in the storage and permanent deposition of spent nuclear fuel in repository environments.

  4. Microbial contamination of stored hydrocarbon fuels and its control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaylarde Christine C.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The major microbial problem in the petroleum refining industry is contamination of stored products, which can lead to loss of product quality, formation of sludge and deterioration of pipework and storage tanks, both in the refinery and at the end-user. Three major classes of fuel are discussed in this article - gasoline, aviation kerosene and diesel, corresponding to increasingly heavy petroleum fractions. The fuel that presents the most serious microbiological problems is diesel. The many microorganisms that have been isolated from hydrocarbon fuel systems are listed. The conditions required for microbial growth and the methods used to monitor and to control this activity are discussed. The effects of various fuel additives, including biocides, are considered.

  5. [Biomass energy utilization in microbial fuel cells: potentials and challenges].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liping; Cheng, Shaoan

    2010-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that can harvest biomass energy from organic wastes through microbial catalysis have garnered more and more attention within the past decade due to its potential benefits to ecological environment. In this article, the updated progress in MFCs is reviewed, with a focus on frontier technologies such as chamber configurations, feedstock varieties and the integration of MFCs with microbial electrolysis cells for hydrogen production. And on the other hand, the challenges like development of cost-effective electrode materials, improvement of biomass energy recovery and power output, design and optimization of commercial MFC devices are presented.

  6. An Analysis of Microbial Contamination in Military Aviation Fuel Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-03-01

    aircraft. Multiple samples were taken of the various tanks due to the recent drop in average ambient temperatures (normal winter season), which led...Relationship With Fuel Fouling,” Revista Argentina de Microbiologia 30:105-114. 1998. Finefrock, V. H. and London, S. A. Microbial...Hydrocarbon Fuels and Its Control,” Revista de Microbiologia 30:01-10. 1999. Geiss, K. T. and Frazier, J. M. “In Vitro Toxicities of Experimental

  7. Microbial Fuel Cell Transformation of Recalcitrant Organic Compounds in Support of Biosensor Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-27

    Microbial Fuel Cell Transformation of Recalcitrant Organic Compounds in Support of Biosensor ...in the United States. AFIT-ENV-14-M-62 Microbial Fuel Cell Transformation of Recalcitrant Organic Compounds in Support of Biosensor Research...DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED AFIT-ENV-14-M-62 Microbial Fuel Cell Transformation of Recalcitrant Organic Compounds in Support of Biosensor Research Marc

  8. Anodic and cathodic microbial communities in single chamber microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daghio, Matteo; Gandolfi, Isabella; Bestetti, Giuseppina; Franzetti, Andrea; Guerrini, Edoardo; Cristiani, Pierangela

    2015-01-25

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a rapidly growing technology for energy production from wastewater and biomasses. In a MFC, a microbial biofilm oxidizes organic matter and transfers electrons from reduced compounds to an anode as the electron acceptor by extracellular electron transfer (EET). The aim of this work was to characterize the microbial communities operating in a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell (SCMFC) fed with acetate and inoculated with a biogas digestate in order to gain more insight into anodic and cathodic EET. Taxonomic characterization of the communities was carried out by Illumina sequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Microorganisms belonging to Geovibrio genus and purple non-sulfur (PNS) bacteria were found to be dominant in the anodic biofilm. The alkaliphilic genus Nitrincola and anaerobic microorganisms belonging to Porphyromonadaceae family were the most abundant bacteria in the cathodic biofilm.

  9. The first self-sustainable microbial fuel cell stack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledezma, Pablo; Stinchcombe, Andrew; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2013-02-21

    This study reports for the first time on the development of a self-sustainable microbial fuel cell stack capable of self-maintenance (feeding, hydration, sensing & reporting). Furthermore, the stack system is producing excess energy, which can be used for improved functionality. The self-maintenance is performed by the stack powering single and multi-channel peristaltic pumps.

  10. Submersible microbial fuel cell for electricity production from sewage sludge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Olias, Lola Gonzalez; Kongjan, Prawit;

    2011-01-01

    A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was utilized to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously generate electricity. Stable power generation (145± 5 mW/m2, 470 Ω) was produced continuously from raw sewage sludge for 5.5 days. The maximum power density reached 190±5 mW/m2. The corresponding total...

  11. Microbial Fuel Cell Performance with a Pressurized Cathode Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) power densities are often constrained by the oxygen reduction reaction rate on the cathode electrode. One important factor for this is the normally low solubility of oxygen in the aqueous cathode solution creating mass transport limitations, which hinder oxygen reduction a...

  12. The Microbial Fuel Cell as an Education Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewan, Alim; Van Wie, Bernard; Beyenal, Haluk; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2010-01-01

    Many chemical engineering programs offer courses from a variety of disciplines to teach their students multidisciplinary concepts, but often these courses lack appropriate tools for linking newly learned concepts to principles learned in the core courses. This paper describes our experience of incorporating a microbial fuel cell education module…

  13. Innovative microbial fuel cell for electricity production from anaerobic reactors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Min, Booki; Angelidaki, Irini

    2008-01-01

    A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was developed by immersing an anode electrode and a cathode chamber in an anaerobic reactor. Domestic wastewater was used as the medium and the inoculum in the experiments. The SMFC could successfully generate a stable voltage of 0.428 ± 0.003 V with a fixed...

  14. Submersible microbial fuel cell for electricity production from sewage sludge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Olias, Lola Gonzalez; Kongjan, Prawit

    2010-01-01

    A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was utilized to treatment of sewage sludge and simultaneous generate electricity. Stable power generation (145±5 mW/m2) was produced continuously from raw sewage sludge for 5.5 days. The corresponding total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal efficiency...

  15. Continuous microbial fuel cells convert carbohydrates to electricity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rabaey, K.; Ossieur, W.; Verstraete, W. [Ghent Univ., Ghent (Belgium). Laboratory for Microbial Ecology and Technology; Verhaege, M. [Ghent Univ., Ghent (Belgium). Laboratory for Non-ferrous Metallurgy

    2004-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are considered to be a potential new source of renewable energy for power applications. This study examined the electrochemistry of MFCs with particular reference to the problem of overpotential at the electrodes and the high internal resistance. The objective was to optimize the anodes of the biofuel cell using biological and chemical approaches. The fundamentals of electron transfer were studied along with the microbial ecology of the MFC. The problem of inserting redox mediators in the electrode mix was examined. A continuous microbial fuel cell was developed that is capable of efficiently biodegrading carbohydrates (glucose), and thereby produce electricity continuously. This study is a first step towards treating liquid waste streams in the future. 16 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs.

  16. Batteryless, wireless sensor powered by a sediment microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Conrad; Dewan, Alim; Heo, Deukhyoun; Beyenal, Haluk

    2008-11-15

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are considered to be an alternative renewable power source for remote monitoring. There are two main challenges to using SMFCs as power sources: 1) a SMFC produces a low potential at which most sensor electronics do not operate, and 2) a SMFC cannot provide continuous power, so energy from the SMFC must be stored and then used to repower sensor electronics intermittently. In this study, we developed a SMFC and a power management system (PMS) to power a batteryless, wireless sensor. A SMFC operating with a microbial anode and cathode, located in the Palouse River, Pullman, Washington, U.S.A., was used to demonstrate the utility of the developed system. The designed PMS stored microbial energy and then started powering the wireless sensor when the SMFC potential reached 320 mV. It continued powering until the SMFC potential dropped below 52 mV. The system was repowered when the SMFC potential increased to 320 mV, and this repowering continued as long as microbial reactions continued. We demonstrated that a microbial fuel cell with a microbial anode and cathode can be used as an effective renewable power source for remote monitoring using custom-designed electronics.

  17. Microbial biocatalyst developments to upgrade fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbane, John J

    2006-06-01

    Steady increases in the average sulfur content of petroleum and stricter environmental regulations concerning the sulfur content have promoted studies of bioprocessing to upgrade fossil fuels. Bioprocesses can potentially provide a solution to the need for improved and expanded fuel upgrading worldwide, because bioprocesses for fuel upgrading do not require hydrogen and produce far less carbon dioxide than thermochemical processes. Recent advances have demonstrated that biodesulfurization is capable of removing sulfur from hydrotreated diesel to yield a product with an ultra-low sulfur concentration that meets current environmental regulations. However, the technology has not yet progressed beyond laboratory-scale testing, as more efficient biocatalysts are needed. Genetic studies to obtain improved biocatalysts for the selective removal of sulfur and nitrogen from petroleum provide the focus of current research efforts.

  18. Performance optimization and microbiological analysis of microbial fuel cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yajun WANG

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to improve the operation performance of microbial fuel cells, improved the degradation rate of nitrate and the power output of microbial fuel cell, a typical single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (AC-MFC is inoculated and operated with urban sewage treatment plant clarifier sludge as inoculum source and sodium nitrate as electron acceptor. It is successfully started by synthetic wastewater containing a phosphate buffered nutrient solution (PBS, 50 mmol/L and sodium acetate (1 g/L. After successful starting, the four factors of carbon source, C/N, nitrate concentration and temperature are considered to optimize the operation performance of MFC. The test result shows that the operation performance of MFC is best under the conditions of anhydrous sodium acetate as carbon source, C/N of 5∶1, 200 mg/L nitrate concentration and at 30 ℃, and the degradation rate of nitrate reaches more than 90% and the voltage of MFC is 0.462 V. After 6 cycles of operation, the voltage and power density of MFC reaches 0.62 V and 4.53 W /m2. AC impedance analysis indicates that the MFC resistance is 130 Ω. Scanning electron microscopy of electrode surface illustrates that the number of microbial species are significantly increased. The results indicate that MFC can be an effective technology for nitrate contained wastewater treatment and energy production.

  19. Microbial Fuel Cells for Powering Navy Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-20

    length × width for a planar electrode of negligible thickness) to capture a larger flux of reactant. Very large anodes, however, are difficult to...Monterey BMFC was constructed from a piece of plastic sewer pipe and included a 3-m-long carbon brush anode (6); a 4-m-long carbon brush cathode (7); two...features on the seafloor that exhibit high rates of fuel mass transport (e.g., at methane hydrate outcrops), which may constitute BMFC hotspots where

  20. Assessment of Microbial Fuel Cell Configurations and Power Densities

    KAUST Repository

    Logan, Bruce E.

    2015-07-30

    Different microbial electrochemical technologies are being developed for a many diverse applications, including wastewater treatment, biofuel production, water desalination, remote power sources, and as biosensors. Current and energy densities will always be limited relative to batteries and chemical fuel cells, but these technologies have other advantages based on the self-sustaining nature of the microorganisms that can donate or accept electrons from an electrode, the range of fuels that can be used, and versatility in the chemicals that can be produced. The high cost of membranes will likely limit applications of microbial electrochemical technologies that might require a membrane. For microbial fuel cells, which do not need a membrane, questions remain on whether larger-scale systems can produce power densities similar to those obtained in laboratory-scale systems. It is shown here that configuration and fuel (pure chemicals in laboratory media versus actual wastewaters) remain the key factors in power production, rather than the scale of the application. Systems must be scaled up through careful consideration of electrode spacing and packing per unit volume of reactor.

  1. Engineering microbial electrocatalysis for chemical and fuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Miriam A; Henrich, Alexander W

    2014-10-01

    In many biotechnological areas, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have become core technologies for biocatalyst development. Microbial electrocatalysis for biochemical and fuel production is still in its infancy and reactions rates and the product spectrum are currently very low. Therefore, molecular engineering strategies will be crucial for the advancement and realization of many new bioproduction routes using electroactive microorganisms. The complex and unresolved biochemistry and physiology of extracellular electron transfer and the lack of molecular tools for these new non-model hosts for genetic engineering constitute the major challenges for this effort. This review is providing an insight into the current status, challenges and promising approaches of pathway engineering for microbial electrocatalysis.

  2. Electricity generation from the mud by using microbial fuel cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idris Sitinoor Adeib

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs is a bio-electrochemical device that harnesses the power of respiring microbes to convert organic substrates directly into electrical energy. This is achieved when bacteria transfer electrons to an electrode rather than directly to an electron acceptor. Their technical feasibility has recently been proven and there is great enthusiasm in the scientific community that MFCs could provide a source of “green electricity”. Microbial fuel cells work by allowing bacteria to do what they do best, oxidize and reduce organic molecules. Bacterial respiration is basically one big redox reaction in which electrons are being moved around. The objective is to generate electricity throughout the biochemical process using chemical waste basically sludge, via microbial fuel cells. The methodology includes collecting sludge from different locations, set up microbial fuel cells with the aid of salt bridge and observing the results in voltage measurement. The microbial fuel cells consist of two chambers, iron electrodes, copper wire, air pump (to increase the efficiency of electron transfer, water, sludge and salt bridge. After several observations, it is seen that this MFC can achieve up until 202 milivolts (0.202volts with the presence of air pump. It is proven through the experiments that sludge from different locations gives different results in term of the voltage measurement. This is basically because in different locations of sludge contain different type and amount of nutrients to provide the growth of bacteria. Apart from that, salt bridge also play an important role in order to transport the proton from cathode to anode. A longer salt bridge will give a higher voltage compared to a short salt bridge. On the other hand, the limitations that this experiment facing is the voltage that being produced did not last long as the bacteria activity slows down gradually and the voltage produced are not really great in amount. Lastly to

  3. Evaluating the performance of microbial fuel cells powering electronic devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dewan, Alim; Beyenal, Haluk [Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Center for Environmental, Sediment and Aquatic Research, Pullman, WA (United States); Donovan, Conrad; Heo, Deukhyoun [School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163-2710 (United States)

    2010-01-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is capable of powering an electronic device if we store the energy in an external storage device, such as a capacitor, and dispense that energy intermittently in bursts of high-power when needed. Therefore its performance needs to be evaluated using an energy-storing device such as a capacitor which can be charged and discharged rather than other evaluation techniques, such as continuous energy dissipation through a resistor. In this study, we develop a method of testing microbial fuel cell performance based on storing energy in a capacitor. When a capacitor is connected to a MFC it acts like a variable resistor and stores energy from the MFC at a variable rate. In practice the application of this method to testing microbial fuel cells is very challenging and time consuming; therefore we have custom-designed a microbial fuel cell tester (MFCT). The MFCT evaluates the performance of a MFC as a power source. It uses a capacitor as an energy storing device and waits until a desired amount of energy is stored then discharges the capacitor. The entire process is controlled using an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) board controlled by a custom-written computer program. The utility of our method and the MFCT is demonstrated using a laboratory microbial fuel cell (LMFC) and a sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC). We determine (1) how frequently a MFC can charge a capacitor, (2) which electrode is current-limiting, (3) what capacitor value will allow the maximum harvested energy from a MFC, which is called the ''optimum charging capacitor value,'' and (4) what capacitor charging potential will harvest the maximum energy from a MFC, which is called the ''optimum charging potential.'' Using a LMFC we find that (1) the time needed to charge a 3-F capacitor from 0 to 500 mV is 108 min, (2) the optimum charging capacitor value is 3 F, and (3) the optimum charging potential is 300 mV. Using a SMFC we find that (1

  4. Anodic microbial community diversity as a predictor of the power output of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stratford, James P; Beecroft, Nelli J; Slade, Robert C T; Grüning, André; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2014-03-01

    The relationship between the diversity of mixed-species microbial consortia and their electrogenic potential in the anodes of microbial fuel cells was examined using different diversity measures as predictors. Identical microbial fuel cells were sampled at multiple time-points. Biofilm and suspension communities were analysed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to calculate the number and relative abundance of species. Shannon and Simpson indices and richness were examined for association with power using bivariate and multiple linear regression, with biofilm DNA as an additional variable. In simple bivariate regressions, the correlation of Shannon diversity of the biofilm and power is stronger (r=0.65, p=0.001) than between power and richness (r=0.39, p=0.076), or between power and the Simpson index (r=0.5, p=0.018). Using Shannon diversity and biofilm DNA as predictors of power, a regression model can be constructed (r=0.73, pmicrobial communities.

  5. Engineering microbial fuels cells: recent patents and new directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biffinger, Justin C; Ringeisen, Bradley R

    2008-01-01

    Fundamental research into how microbes generate electricity within microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has far outweighed the practical application and large scale development of microbial energy harvesting devices. MFCs are considered alternatives to standard commercial polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology because the fuel supply does not need to be purified, ambient operating temperatures are maintained with biologically compatible materials, and the biological catalyst is self-regenerating. The generation of electricity during wastewater treatment using MFCs may profoundly affect the approach to anaerobic treatment technologies used in wastewater treatment as a result of developing this energy harvesting technology. However, the materials and engineering designs for MFCs were identical to commercial fuel cells until 2003. Compared to commercial fuel cells, MFCs will remain underdeveloped as long as low power densities are generated from the best systems. The variety of designs for MFCs has expanded rapidly in the last five years in the literature, but the patent protection has lagged behind. This review will cover recent and important patents relating to MFC designs and progress.

  6. Microbial fuel cell based on Klebsiella pneumoniae biofilm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Lixia [School of Chemistry and Environment, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006 (China); Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650 (China); Zhou, Shungui; Zhuang, Li; Zhang, Jintao; Lu, Na; Deng, Lifang [Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650 (China); Li, Weishan [School of Chemistry and Environment, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006 (China); Key Laboratory of Electrochemical Technology on Energy Storage and Power Generation in Guangdong Universities, Guangzhou 510006 (China)

    2008-10-15

    In this paper we reported a novel microbial fuel cell (MFC) based on Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) strain L17 biofilm, which can utilize directly starch and glucose to generate electricity. The electrochemical activity of K. pneumoniae and the performance of the MFC were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and polarization curve measurement. The results indicated that an established K. pneumoniae biofilm cells were responsible for the direct electron transfer from fuels to electrode during electricity production. The SEM observation proved the ability of K. pneumoniae to colonize on the electrode surface. This MFC generated power from the direct electrocatalysis by the K. pneumoniae strain L17 biofilm. (author)

  7. Produced Water Treatment Using Microbial Fuel Cell Technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borole, A. P.; Campbell, R. [Campbell Applied Physics

    2011-05-20

    ORNL has developed a treatment for produced water using a combination of microbial fuel cells and electrosorption. A collaboration between Campbell Applied Physics and ORNL was initiated to further investigate development of the technology and apply it to treatment of field produced water. The project successfully demonstrated the potential of microbial fuel cells to generate electricity from organics in produced water. A steady voltage was continuously generated for several days using the system developed in this study. In addition to the extraction of electrical energy from the organic contaminants, use of the energy at the representative voltage was demonstrated for salts removal or desalination of the produced water. Thus, the technology has potential to remove organic as well as ionic contaminants with minimal energy input using this technology. This is a novel energy-efficient method to treat produced water. Funding to test the technology at larger scale is being pursued to enable application development.

  8. Composite materials for polymer electrolyte membrane microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antolini, Ermete

    2015-07-15

    Recently, the feasibility of using composite metal-carbon, metal-polymer, polymer-carbon, polymer-polymer and carbon-carbon materials in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been investigated. These materials have been tested as MFC anode catalyst (microorganism) supports, cathode catalysts and membranes. These hybrid materials, possessing the properties of each component, or even with a synergistic effect, would present improved characteristics with respect to the bare components. In this paper we present an overview of the use of these composite materials in microbial fuel cells. The characteristics of the composite materials as well as their effect on MFC performance were compared with those of the individual component and/or the conventionally used materials.

  9. Analysis of oxygen reduction and microbial community of air-diffusion biocathode in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zejie; Zheng, Yue; Xiao, Yong; Wu, Song; Wu, Yicheng; Yang, Zhaohui; Zhao, Feng

    2013-09-01

    Microbes play irreplaceable role in oxygen reduction reaction of biocathode in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, air-diffusion biocathode MFCs were set up for accelerating oxygen reduction and microbial community analysis. Linear sweep voltammetry and Tafel curve confirmed the function of cathode biofilm to catalyze oxygen reduction. Microbial community analysis revealed higher diversity and richness of community in plankton than in biofilm. Proteobacteria was the shared predominant phylum in both biofilm and plankton (39.9% and 49.8%) followed by Planctomycetes (29.9%) and Bacteroidetes (13.3%) in biofilm, while Bacteroidetes (28.2%) in plankton. Minor fraction (534, 16.4%) of the total operational taxonomic units (3252) was overlapped demonstrating the disproportionation of bacterial distribution in biofilm and plankton. Pseudomonadales, Rhizobiales and Sphingobacteriales were exoelectrogenic orders in the present study. The research obtained deep insight of microbial community and provided more comprehensive information on uncultured rare bacteria.

  10. Microbial contamination control in fuels and fuel systems since 1980 - a review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Passman, Frederick J. [Biodeterioration Control Associates, Inc (United States)], email: fredp@biodeterioration-control.com

    2011-07-01

    This paper presents a review of microbial contamination control in fuel and fuel systems. Some examples of the biodeterioration of components of fuel systems are given. Root cause analysis (RCA) and modeling can help in condition monitoring of fuel systems. RCA is a systematic process that starts after symptoms become apparent and facilitates improvement. Modeling, by contrast, starts before the problem occurs and the objective is to improve understanding of the process. Some of the different areas creating risk due to the process are climate, microbiology, chemistry, maintenance, and engineering. Condition monitoring is explained in detail, using representative samples. Contamination control plays a very important role. Various aspects of microbial contamination control are design, inventory control, house keeping and remediation. These aspects are explained in detail, using various examples. Since the deterioration cost involved is very high, its is important to avoid this problem by reducing the quantity of water used and using better risk assessment models.

  11. New insights in Microbial Fuel Cells: novel solid phase anolyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tommasi, Tonia; Salvador, Gian Paolo; Quaglio, Marzia

    2016-07-01

    For the development of long lasting portable microbial fuel cells (MFCs) new strategies are necessary to overcome critical issues such as hydraulic pump system and the biochemical substrate retrieval overtime to sustain bacteria metabolism. The present work proposes the use of a synthetic solid anolyte (SSA), constituted by agar, carbonaceous and nitrogen sources dissolved into diluted seawater. Results of a month-test showed the potential of the new SSA-MFC as a long lasting low energy consuming system.

  12. Microbial Biotechnology 2020; microbiology of fossil fuel resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Ian M; Gray, Neil D

    2016-09-01

    This roadmap examines the future of microbiology research and technology in fossil fuel energy recovery. Globally, the human population will be reliant on fossil fuels for energy and chemical feedstocks for at least the medium term. Microbiology is already important in many areas relevant to both upstream and downstream activities in the oil industry. However, the discipline has struggled for recognition in a world dominated by geophysicists and engineers despite widely known but still poorly understood microbially mediated processes e.g. reservoir biodegradation, reservoir souring and control, microbial enhanced oil recovery. The role of microbiology is even less understood in developing industries such as shale gas recovery by fracking or carbon capture by geological storage. In the future, innovative biotechnologies may offer new routes to reduced emissions pathways especially when applied to the vast unconventional heavy oil resources formed, paradoxically, from microbial activities in the geological past. However, despite this potential, recent low oil prices may make industry funding hard to come by and recruitment of microbiologists by the oil and gas industry may not be a high priority. With regards to public funded research and the imperative for cheap secure energy for economic growth in a growing world population, there are signs of inherent conflicts between policies aimed at a low carbon future using renewable technologies and policies which encourage technologies which maximize recovery from our conventional and unconventional fossil fuel assets.

  13. Segregation of the anodic microbial communities in a microbial fuel cell cascade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas eHodgson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic interactions within microbial communities are essential for the efficient degradation of complex organic compounds, and underpin natural phenomena driven by microorganisms, such as the recycling of carbon-, nitrogen-, and sulphur-containing molecules. These metabolic interactions ultimately determine the function, activity and stability of the community, and therefore their understanding would be essential to steer processes where microbial communities are involved. This is exploited in the design of microbial fuel cells (MFCs, bioelectrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy present in substrates into electrical energy through the metabolic activity of microorganisms, either single species or communities. In this work, we analysed the evolution of the microbial community structure in a cascade of microbial fuel cells (MFCs inoculated with an anaerobic microbial community and continuously fed with a complex medium. The analysis of the composition of the anodic communities revealed the establishment of different communities in the anodes of the hydraulically connected MFCs, with a decrease in the abundance of fermentative taxa and a concurrent increase in respiratory taxa along the cascade. The analysis of the metabolites in the anodic suspension showed a metabolic shift between the first and last MFC, confirming the segregation of the anodic communities. Those results suggest a metabolic interaction mechanism between the predominant fermentative bacteria at the first stages of the cascade and the anaerobic respiratory electrogenic population in the latter stages, which is reflected in the observed increase in power output. We show that our experimental system represents an ideal platform for optimization of processes where the degradation of complex substrates is involved, as well as a potential tool for the study of metabolic interactions in complex microbial communities.

  14. Microbial communities involved in electricity generation from sulfide oxidation in a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Min; Tong, Zhong-Hua; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Chen, Yong-Zhen; Zhang, Feng; Mu, Zhe-Xuan; Wang, Hua-Lin; Zeng, Raymond J; Liu, Xian-Wei; Yu, Han-Qing; Wei, Li; Ma, Fang

    2010-10-15

    Simultaneous electricity generation and sulfide removal can be achieved in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). In electricity harvesting from sulfide oxidation in such an MFC, various microbial communities are involved. It is essential to elucidate the microbial communities and their roles in the sulfide conversion and electricity generation. In this work, an MFC was constructed to enrich a microbial consortium, which could harvest electricity from sulfide oxidation. Electrochemical analysis demonstrated that microbial catalysis was involved in electricity output in the sulfide-fed MFC. The anode-attached and planktonic communities could perform catalysis independently, and synergistic interactions occurred when the two communities worked together. A 16S rRNA clone library analysis was employed to characterize the microbial communities in the MFC. The anode-attached and planktonic communities shared similar richness and diversity, while the LIBSHUFF analysis revealed that the two community structures were significantly different. The exoelectrogenic, sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria were found in the MFC anodic chamber. The discovery of these bacteria was consistent with the community characteristics for electricity generation from sulfide oxidation. The exoelectrogenic bacteria were found both on the anode and in the solution. The sulfur-oxidizing bacteria were present in greater abundance on the anode than in the solution, while the sulfate-reducing bacteria preferably lived in the solution.

  15. Diversity and function of the microbial community on anodes of sediment microbial fuel cells fueled by root exudates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cabezas da Rosa, Angela

    2010-11-26

    Anode microbial communities are essential for current production in microbial fuel cells. Anode reducing bacteria are capable of using the anode as final electron acceptor in their respiratory chain. The electrons delivered to the anode travel through a circuit to the cathode where they reduce oxygen to water generating an electric current. A novel type of sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) harvest energy from photosynthetically derived compounds released through the roots. Nothing is known about anode microbial communities of this type of microbial fuel cell. This work consists of three parts. The first part focuses on the study of bacterial and archaeal community compositions on anodes of SMFCs fueled by rice root exudates. By using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), a profiling technique, and cloning / sequencing of 16S rRNA, we determined that the support type used for the plant (vermiculite, potting soil or rice field soil) is an important factor determining the composition of the microbial community. Finally, by comparing microbial communities of current producing anodes and non-current producing controls we determined that Desulfobulbus- and Geobacter-related populations were probably most important for current production in potting soil and rice field soil SMFCs, respectively. However, {delta}-proteobacterial Anaeromyxobacter spp., unclassified {delta}-proteobacteria and Anaerolineae were also part of the anode biofilm in rice field soil SMFCs and these populations might also play a role in current production. Moreover, distinct clusters of Geobacter and Anaeromyxobacter populations were stimulated by rice root exudates. Regarding Archaea, uncultured Euryarchaea were abundant on anodes of potting soil SMFCs indicating a potential role in current production. In both, rice field soil and potting soil SMFCs, a decrease of Methanosaeta, an acetotrophic methanogen, was detected on current producing anodes. In the second part we focused

  16. Microbial community structure of different electrode materials in constructed wetland incorporating microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Junfeng; Song, Xinshan; Wang, Yuhui; Abayneh, Befkadu; Ding, Yi; Yan, Denghua; Bai, Junhong

    2016-12-01

    The microbial fuel cell coupled with constructed wetland (CW-MFC) microcosms were operated under fed-batch mode for evaluating the effect of electrode materials on bioelectricity generation and microbial community composition. Experimental results indicated that the bioenergy output in CW-MFC increased with the substrate concentration; maximum average voltage (177mV) was observed in CW-MFC with carbon fiber felt (CFF). In addition, the four different materials resulted in the formation of significantly different microbial community distribution around the anode electrode. The relative abundance of Proteobacteria in CFF and foamed nickel (FN) was significantly higher than that in stainless steel mesh (SSM) and graphite rod (GR) samples. Notably, the findings indicate that CW-MFC utilizing FN anode electrode could apparently improve relative abundance of Dechloromonas, which has been regarded as a denitrifying and phosphate accumulating microorganism.

  17. Simultaneous microbial and electrochemical reductions of vanadium (V) with bioelectricity generation in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Baogang; Tian, Caixing; Liu, Ying; Hao, Liting; Liu, Ye; Feng, Chuanping; Liu, Yuqian; Wang, Zhongli

    2015-03-01

    Simultaneous microbial and electrochemical reductions of vanadium (V) with bioelectricity generation were realized in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). With initial V(V) concentrations of 75 mg/l and 150 mg/l in anolyte and catholyte, respectively, stable power output of 419±11 mW/m(2) was achieved. After 12h operation, V(V) concentration in the catholyte decreased to the value similar to that of the initial one in the anolyte, meanwhile it was nearly reduced completely in the anolyte. V(IV) was the main reduction product, which subsequently precipitated, acquiring total vanadium removal efficiencies of 76.8±2.9%. Microbial community analysis revealed the emergence of the new species of Deltaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes as well as the enhanced Spirochaetes mainly functioned in the anode. This study opens new pathways to successful remediation of vanadium contamination.

  18. Methods for understanding microbial community structures and functions in microbial fuel cells: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhi, Wei; Ge, Zheng; He, Zhen; Zhang, Husen

    2014-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) employ microorganisms to recover electric energy from organic matter. However, fundamental knowledge of electrochemically active bacteria is still required to maximize MFCs power output for practical applications. This review presents microbiological and electrochemical techniques to help researchers choose the appropriate methods for the MFCs study. Pre-genomic and genomic techniques such as 16S rRNA based phylogeny and metagenomics have provided important information in the structure and genetic potential of electrode-colonizing microbial communities. Post-genomic techniques such as metatranscriptomics allow functional characterizations of electrode biofilm communities by quantifying gene expression levels. Isotope-assisted phylogenetic analysis can further link taxonomic information to microbial metabolisms. A combination of electrochemical, phylogenetic, metagenomic, and post-metagenomic techniques offers opportunities to a better understanding of the extracellular electron transfer process, which in turn can lead to process optimization for power output.

  19. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Strik, David P.B.T.B.; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees [Wageningen Univ. (Netherlands). Sub-dept. of Environmental Technology; Rothballer, Michael; Hartmann, Anton [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg (Germany). Dept. Microbe-Plant Interactions; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg (Germany). Dept. Terrestrial Ecogenetics

    2012-04-15

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors. (orig.)

  20. Anode microbial communities produced by changing from microbial fuel cell to microbial electrolysis cell operation using two different wastewaters

    KAUST Repository

    Kiely, Patrick D.

    2011-01-01

    Conditions in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) differ from those in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) due to the intrusion of oxygen through the cathode and the release of H2 gas into solution. Based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries, anode communities in reactors fed acetic acid decreased in species richness and diversity, and increased in numbers of Geobacter sulfurreducens, when reactors were shifted from MFCs to MECs. With a complex source of organic matter (potato wastewater), the proportion of Geobacteraceae remained constant when MFCs were converted into MECs, but the percentage of clones belonging to G. sulfurreducens decreased and the percentage of G. metallireducens clones increased. A dairy manure wastewater-fed MFC produced little power, and had more diverse microbial communities, but did not generate current in an MEC. These results show changes in Geobacter species in response to the MEC environment and that higher species diversity is not correlated with current. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  1. MICROBIAL TRANSFORMATIONS OF RADIONUCLIDES RELEASED FROM NUCLEAR FUEL REPROCESSING PLANTS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    FRANCIS,A.J.

    2006-10-18

    Microorganisms can affect the stability and mobility of the actinides U, Pu, Cm, Am, Np, and the fission products Tc, I, Cs, Sr, released from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants. Under appropriate conditions, microorganisms can alter the chemical speciation, solubility and sorption properties and thus could increase or decrease the concentrations of radionuclides in solution and the bioavailability. Dissolution or immobilization of radionuclides is brought about by direct enzymatic action or indirect non-enzymatic action of microorganisms. Although the physical, chemical, and geochemical processes affecting dissolution, precipitation, and mobilization of radionuclides have been investigated, we have only limited information on the effects of microbial processes. The mechanisms of microbial transformations of the major and minor actinides and the fission products under aerobic and anaerobic conditions in the presence of electron donors and acceptors are reviewed.

  2. Enhancement of electricity production by graphene oxide in soil microbial fuel cells and plant microbial fuel cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuko eGoto

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The effects of graphene oxide (GO on electricity generation in soil microbial fuel cells (SMFCs and plant microbial fuel cell (PMFCs were investigated. GO at concentrations ranging from 0 to 1.9 g•kg-1 was added to soil and reduced for 10 days under anaerobic incubation. All SMFCs (GO-SMFCs utilizing the soils incubated with GO produced electricity at a greater rate and in higher quantities than the SMFCs which did not contain GO. In fed-batch operations, the overall average electricity generation in GO-SMFCs containing 1.0 g•kg-1 of GO was 40 ± 19 mW•m-2, which was significantly higher than the value of 6.6 ± 8.9 mW•m-2 generated from GO-free SMFCs (p -2 of electricity after 27 days of operation. Collectively, this study demonstrates that GO added to soil can be microbially reduced in soil, and facilitates electron transfer to the anode in both SMFCs and PMFCs.

  3. Microbial fuel cells as pollutant treatment units: Research updates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Quanguo; Hu, Jianjun; Lee, Duu-Jong

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are a device that can convert chemical energy in influent substances to electricity via biological pathways. Based on the consent that MFC technology should be applied as a waste/wastewater treatment unit rather than a renewable energy source, this mini-review discussed recent R&D efforts on MFC technologies for pollutant treatments and highlighted the challenges and research and development needs. Owing to the low power density levels achievable by larger-scale MFC, the MFC should be used as a device other than energy source such as being a pollutant treatment unit.

  4. Functionally stable and phylogenetically diverse microbial enrichments from microbial fuel cells during wastewater treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun'ichi Ishii

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are devices that exploit microorganisms as biocatalysts to recover energy from organic matter in the form of electricity. One of the goals of MFC research is to develop the technology for cost-effective wastewater treatment. However, before practical MFC applications are implemented it is important to gain fundamental knowledge about long-term system performance, reproducibility, and the formation and maintenance of functionally-stable microbial communities. Here we report findings from a MFC operated for over 300 days using only primary clarifier effluent collected from a municipal wastewater treatment plant as the microbial resource and substrate. The system was operated in a repeat-batch mode, where the reactor solution was replaced once every two weeks with new primary effluent that consisted of different microbial and chemical compositions with every batch exchange. The turbidity of the primary clarifier effluent solution notably decreased, and 97% of biological oxygen demand (BOD was removed after an 8-13 day residence time for each batch cycle. On average, the limiting current density was 1000 mA/m(2, the maximum power density was 13 mW/m(2, and coulombic efficiency was 25%. Interestingly, the electrochemical performance and BOD removal rates were very reproducible throughout MFC operation regardless of the sample variability associated with each wastewater exchange. While MFC performance was very reproducible, the phylogenetic analyses of anode-associated electricity-generating biofilms showed that the microbial populations temporally fluctuated and maintained a high biodiversity throughout the year-long experiment. These results suggest that MFC communities are both self-selecting and self-optimizing, thereby able to develop and maintain functional stability regardless of fluctuations in carbon source(s and regular introduction of microbial competitors. These results contribute significantly toward the

  5. Electrode materials for microbial fuel cells: nanomaterial approach

    KAUST Repository

    Mustakeem, Mustakeem

    2015-11-05

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has the potential to become a major renewable energy resource by degrading organic pollutants in wastewater. The performance of MFC directly depends on the kinetics of the electrode reactions within the fuel cell, with the performance of the electrodes heavily influenced by the materials they are made from. A wide range of materials have been tested to improve the performance of MFCs. In the past decade, carbon-based nanomaterials have emerged as promising materials for both anode and cathode construction. Composite materials have also shown to have the potential to become materials of choice for electrode manufacture. Various transition metal oxides have been investigated as alternatives to conventional expensive metals like platinum for oxygen reduction reaction. In this review, different carbon-based nanomaterials and composite materials are discussed for their potential use as MFC electrodes.

  6. High power density yeast catalyzed microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganguli, Rahul

    Microbial fuel cells leverage whole cell biocatalysis to convert the energy stored in energy-rich renewable biomolecules such as sugar, directly to electrical energy at high efficiencies. Advantages of the process include ambient temperature operation, operation in natural streams such as wastewater without the need to clean electrodes, minimal balance-of-plant requirements compared to conventional fuel cells, and environmentally friendly operation. These make the technology very attractive as portable power sources and waste-to-energy converters. The principal problem facing the technology is the low power densities compared to other conventional portable power sources such as batteries and traditional fuel cells. In this work we examined the yeast catalyzed microbial fuel cell and developed methods to increase the power density from such fuel cells. A combination of cyclic voltammetry and optical absorption measurements were used to establish significant adsorption of electron mediators by the microbes. Mediator adsorption was demonstrated to be an important limitation in achieving high power densities in yeast-catalyzed microbial fuel cells. Specifically, the power densities are low for the length of time mediator adsorption continues to occur. Once the mediator adsorption stops, the power densities increase. Rotating disk chronoamperometry was used to extract reaction rate information, and a simple kinetic expression was developed for the current observed in the anodic half-cell. Since the rate expression showed that the current was directly related to microbe concentration close to the electrode, methods to increase cell mass attached to the anode was investigated. Electrically biased electrodes were demonstrated to develop biofilm-like layers of the Baker's yeast with a high concentration of cells directly connected to the electrode. The increased cell mass did increase the power density 2 times compared to a non biofilm fuel cell, but the power density

  7. Influence of the fuel and dosage on the performance of double-compartment microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asensio, Y; Fernandez-Marchante, C M; Lobato, J; Cañizares, P; Rodrigo, M A

    2016-08-01

    This manuscript focuses on the evaluation of the use of different types and dosages of fuels in the performance of double-compartment microbial fuel cell equipped with carbon felt electrodes and cationic membrane. Five types of fuels (ethanol, glycerol, acetate, propionate and fructose) have been tested for the same organic load (5,000 mg L(-1) measured as COD) and for one of them (acetate), the range of dosages between 500 and 20,000 mg L(-1) of COD was also studied. Results demonstrate that production of electricity depends strongly on the fuel used. Carboxylic acids are much more efficient than alcohols or fructose for the same organic load and within the range 500-5,000 mg L(-1) of acetate the production of electricity increases linearly with the amount of acetate fed but over these concentrations a change in the population composition may explain a worse performance.

  8. Power generation from furfural using the microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yong; Liu, Guangli; Zhang, Renduo; Zhang, Cuiping

    Furfural is a typical inhibitor in the ethanol fermentation process using lignocellulosic hydrolysates as raw materials. In the literature, no report has shown that furfural can be utilized as the fuel to produce electricity in the microbial fuel cell (MFC), a device that uses microbes to convert organic compounds to generate electricity. In this study, we demonstrated that electricity was successfully generated using furfural as the sole fuel in both the ferricyanide-cathode MFC and the air-cathode MFC. In the ferricyanide-cathode MFC, the maximum power densities reached 45.4, 81.4, and 103 W m -3, respectively, when 1000 mg L -1 glucose, a mixture of 200 mg L -1 glucose and 5 mM furfural, and 6.68 mM furfural were used as the fuels in the anode solution. The corresponding Coulombic efficiencies (CE) were 4.0, 7.1, and 10.2% for the three treatments, respectively. For pure furfural as the fuel, the removal efficiency of furfural reached up to 95% within 12 h. In the air-cathode MFC using 6.68 mM furfural as the fuel, the maximum values of power density and CE were 361 mW m -2 (18 W m -3) and 30.3%, respectively, and the COD removal was about 68% at the end of the experiment (about 30 h). Increase in furfural concentrations from 6.68 to 20 mM resulted in increase in the maximum power densities from 361 to 368 mW m -2, and decrease in CEs from 30.3 to 20.6%. These results indicated that some toxic and biorefractory organics such as furfural might still be suitable resources for electricity generation using the MFC technology.

  9. Nano-watt fueling from a micro-scale microbial fuel cell using black tea waste

    KAUST Repository

    Rojas, Jhonathan Prieto

    2016-02-03

    In this report, we show the rapid assessment of black tea as potential fuel to power up nanopower systems using a microsized, simplistic and sustainable air-cathode microbial fuel cell. It was found that tea produced more power compared with traditional sodium acetate media due in part to its acidophilic pH and its higher organics content. Although high internal resistance remains a big concern, this simple, curiosity-driven experiment gave us the preliminary results to say that energy could be extracted from the reuse of waste resources such the collection of our afternoon-tea\\'s leftovers.

  10. Microbial community dynamics in continuous microbial fuel cells fed with synthetic wastewater and pig slurry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotres, Ana; Tey, Laura; Bonmatí, August; Viñas, Marc

    2016-10-01

    Two-chambered microbial fuel cells (MFCs) operating with synthetic wastewater and pig slurry were assessed. Additionally, the use of 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES-Inh) was studied. The synthetic wastewater-fed MFC (MFCSW) showed a maximum power density (PDmax) of 2138mWm(-3), and the addition of BES-Inh (10mM) did not show any improvement in its performance (PDmax=2078mWm(-3)). When pig slurry was used as feed (MFCPS), PDmax increased up to 5623mWm(-3). The microbial community composition was affected by the type of substrate used. While, Pseudomonadaceae and Clostridiaceae were the most representative families within the acetate-based medium, Flavobacteriaceae, Chitinophagaceae, Comamonadaceae and Nitrosomonadaceae were predominant when pig slurry was used as feed. Otherwise, only the Eubacterial microbial community composition was strongly modified when adding BES-Inh, thus leading to an enrichment of the Bacteroidetes phylum. Oppositely, the Archaeal community was less affected by the addition of BES-Inh, and Methanosarcina sp., arose as the predominant family in both situations. Despite all the differences in microbial communities, 6 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to Bacteroidetes (Porphyromonadaceae and Marinilabiaceae) and Firmicutes (Clostridiales) were found to be common to both MFCs, also for different contents of COD and N-NH4(+), and therefore could be considered as the bioanode core microbiome.

  11. Two stage bioethanol refining with multi litre stacked microbial fuel cell and microbial electrolysis cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugnaux, Marc; Happe, Manuel; Cachelin, Christian Pierre; Gloriod, Olivier; Huguenin, Gérald; Blatter, Maxime; Fischer, Fabian

    2016-12-01

    Ethanol, electricity, hydrogen and methane were produced in a two stage bioethanol refinery setup based on a 10L microbial fuel cell (MFC) and a 33L microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). The MFC was a triple stack for ethanol and electricity co-generation. The stack configuration produced more ethanol with faster glucose consumption the higher the stack potential. Under electrolytic conditions ethanol productivity outperformed standard conditions and reached 96.3% of the theoretically best case. At lower external loads currents and working potentials oscillated in a self-synchronized manner over all three MFC units in the stack. In the second refining stage, fermentation waste was converted into methane, using the scale up MEC stack. The bioelectric methanisation reached 91% efficiency at room temperature with an applied voltage of 1.5V using nickel cathodes. The two stage bioethanol refining process employing bioelectrochemical reactors produces more energy vectors than is possible with today's ethanol distilleries.

  12. Microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells for the production of bioelectricity and biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Minghua; Yang, Jie; Wang, Hongyu; Jin, Tao; Xu, Dake; Gu, Tingyue

    2013-01-01

    Today's global energy crisis requires a multifaceted solution. Bioenergy is an important part of the solution. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology stands out as an attractive potential technology in bioenergy. MFCs can convert energy stored in organic matter directly into bioelectricity. MFCs can also be operated in the electrolysis mode as microbial electrolysis cells to produce bioproducts such as hydrogen and ethanol. Various wastewaters containing low-grade organic carbons that are otherwise unutilized can be used as feed streams for MFCs. Despite major advances in the past decade, further improvements in MFC power output and cost reduction are needed for MFCs to be practical. This paper analysed MFC operating principles using bioenergetics and bioelectrochemistry. Several major issues were explored to improve the MFC performance. An emphasis was placed on the use of catalytic materials for MFC electrodes. Recent advances in the production of various biomaterials using MFCs were also investigated.

  13. Electricity generation from food wastes and microbial community structure in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Jianna; Tang, Yu; Liu, Bingfeng; Wu, Di; Ren, Nanqi; Xing, Defeng

    2013-09-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) was studied as an alternate and a novel way to dispose food wastes (FWs) in a waste-to-energy form. Different organic loading rate obviously affected the performance of MFCs fed with FWs. The maximum power density of ~18 W/m(3) (~556 mW/m(2)) was obtained at COD of 3200±400 mg/L and the maximum coulombic efficiency (CE) was ~27.0% at COD of 4900±350 mg/L. The maximum removals of COD, total carbohydrate (TC) and total nitrogen (TN) were ~86.4%, ~95.9% and ~16.1%, respectively. Microbial community analysis using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene demonstrated the combination of the dominant genera of the exoelectrogenic Geobacter and fermentative Bacteroides effectively drove highly efficient and reliable MFC systems with functions of organic matters degradation and electricity generation.

  14. Electricity generation from rapeseed straw hydrolysates using microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonska, Milena A; Rybarczyk, Maria K; Lieder, Marek

    2016-05-01

    Rapeseed straw is an attractive fuel material for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) due to its high content of carbohydrates (more than 60% carbohydrates). This study has demonstrated that reducing sugars can be efficiently extracted from raw rapeseed straw by combination of hydrothermal pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis followed by utilization as a fuel in two-chamber MFCs for electrical power generation. The most efficient method of saccharification of this lignocellulosic biomass (17%) turned out hydrothermal pretreatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis. Electricity was produced using hydrolysate concentrations up to 150 mg/dm(3). The power density reached 54 mW/m(2), while CEs ranged from 60% to 10%, corresponding to the initial reducing sugar concentrations of 10-150 mg/dm(3). The COD degradation rates based on charge calculation increased from 0.445 g COD/m(2)/d for the hydrolysate obtained with the microwave treatment to 0.602 g COD/m(2)/d for the most efficient combination of hydrothermal treatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis.

  15. Enhancement of electricity production by graphene oxide in soil microbial fuel cells and plant microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Yuko; Yoshida, Naoko; Umeyama, Yuto; Yamada, Takeshi; Tero, Ryugo; Hiraishi, Akira

    2015-01-01

    The effects of graphene oxide (GO) on electricity generation in soil microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) and plant microbial fuel cell (PMFCs) were investigated. GO at concentrations ranging from 0 to 1.9 g⋅kg(-1) was added to soil and reduced for 10 days under anaerobic incubation. All SMFCs (GO-SMFCs) utilizing the soils incubated with GO produced electricity at a greater rate and in higher quantities than the SMFCs which did not contain GO. In fed-batch operations, the overall average electricity generation in GO-SMFCs containing 1.0 g⋅kg(-1) of GO was 40 ± 19 mW⋅m(-2), which was significantly higher than the value of 6.6 ± 8.9 mW⋅m(-2) generated from GO-free SMFCs (p < 0.05). The increase in catalytic current at the oxidative potential was observed by cyclic voltammetry (CV) for GO-SMFC, with the CV curve suggesting the enhancement of electron transfer from oxidation of organic substances in the soil by the reduced form of GO. The GO-containing PMFC also displayed a greater generation of electricity compared to the PMFC with no added GO, with GO-PMFC producing 49 mW⋅m(-2) of electricity after 27 days of operation. Collectively, this study demonstrates that GO added to soil can be microbially reduced in soil, and facilitates electron transfer to the anode in both SMFCs and PMFCs.

  16. Identifying the microbial communities and operational conditions for optimized wastewater treatment in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Shun'ichi; Suzuki, Shino; Norden-Krichmar, Trina M; Wu, Angela; Yamanaka, Yuko; Nealson, Kenneth H; Bretschger, Orianna

    2013-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that exploit microorganisms as "biocatalysts" to recover energy from organic matter in the form of electricity. MFCs have been explored as possible energy neutral wastewater treatment systems; however, fundamental knowledge is still required about how MFC-associated microbial communities are affected by different operational conditions and can be optimized for accelerated wastewater treatment rates. In this study, we explored how electricity-generating microbial biofilms were established at MFC anodes and responded to three different operational conditions during wastewater treatment: 1) MFC operation using a 750 Ω external resistor (0.3 mA current production); 2) set-potential (SP) operation with the anode electrode potentiostatically controlled to +100 mV vs SHE (4.0 mA current production); and 3) open circuit (OC) operation (zero current generation). For all reactors, primary clarifier effluent collected from a municipal wastewater plant was used as the sole carbon and microbial source. Batch operation demonstrated nearly complete organic matter consumption after a residence time of 8-12 days for the MFC condition, 4-6 days for the SP condition, and 15-20 days for the OC condition. These results indicate that higher current generation accelerates organic matter degradation during MFC wastewater treatment. The microbial community analysis was conducted for the three reactors using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Although the inoculated wastewater was dominated by members of Epsilonproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes species, the electricity-generating biofilms in MFC and SP reactors were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Within Deltaproteobacteria, phylotypes classified to family Desulfobulbaceae and Geobacteraceae increased significantly under the SP condition with higher current generation; however those phylotypes were not found in the OC reactor. These analyses suggest that species

  17. Waste to Watts and Water: Enabling Self-Contained Facilities Using Microbial Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

    Logan et al., "Microbial Fuel Cells: Methodology and Technology," Environmental Science & Technology 40, no. 17 (2006): 5189. 60 M. A. Rodrigo et al...348. 67 Bruce Logan et al., "Graphite Fiber Brush Anodes for Increased Power Production in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells," Environmental Science & Technology 41...34Diversifying Biological Fuel Cell Designs by Use of Nanoporous Filters," Environmental Science & Technology 41, no. 4 (2007). 76 Eliza M. Tsui and

  18. Bi-directional electrical characterisation of microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrenne, N; Ledezma, P; Bevilacqua, P; Buret, F; Allard, B; Greenman, J; Ieropoulos, I A

    2013-01-01

    The electrical performance of microbial fuel cells in steady-state is usually investigated by standard characterisation methods that reveal many important parameters e.g. maximum power. This paper introduces a novel "bi-directional" method to study how the acquisition parameters (i.e. sweep rate and sweep regime) can influence measurements and consequently performance estimations. The investigation exhibited considerable differences (hysteresis) between the forward and backward characterisation regimes, indicating a difficulty to reach steady-state under certain conditions. Moreover, it is found that fast sweep rates (time-step of 2 min) can lead to an overestimation of the short-circuit currents, while prolonged operation with high external loads leads to maximum power overestimation and extended conditioning at high currents can result in its underestimation.

  19. Carbon nanotube modification of microbial fuel cell electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazdi, Alireza Ahmadian; D'Angelo, Lorenzo; Omer, Nada; Windiasti, Gracia; Lu, Xiaonan; Xu, Jie

    2016-11-15

    The use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for energy harvesting devices is preferable due to their unique mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. On the other hand, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are promising devices to recover carbon-neutral energy from the organic matters, and have been hindered with major setbacks towards commercialization. Nanoengineered CNT-based materials show remarkable electrochemical properties, and therefore have provided routes towards highly effective modification of MFC compartments to ultimately reach the theoretical limits of biomass energy recovery, low-cost power production, and thus the commercialization of MFCs. Moreover, these CNT-based composites offer significant flexibility in the design of MFCs that enable their use for a broad spectrum of applications ranging from scaled-up power generation to medically related devices. This article reviews the recent advances in the modification of MFCs using CNTs and CNT-based composites, and the extent to which each modification route impacts MFC power and current generation.

  20. COD removal characteristics in air-cathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2015-01-01

    © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Exoelectrogenic microorganisms in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) compete with other microorganisms for substrate. In order to understand how this affects removal rates, current generation, and coulombic efficiencies (CEs), substrate removal rates were compared in MFCs fed a single, readily biodegradable compound (acetate) or domestic wastewater (WW). Removal rates based on initial test conditions fit first-order kinetics, but rate constants varied with circuit resistance. With filtered WW (100Ω), the rate constant was 0.18h- 1, which was higher than acetate or filtered WW with an open circuit (0.10h- 1), but CEs were much lower (15-24%) than acetate. With raw WW (100Ω), COD removal proceeded in two stages: a fast removal stage with high current production, followed by a slower removal with little current. While using MFCs increased COD removal rate due to current generation, secondary processes will be needed to reduce COD to levels suitable for discharge.

  1. Microfluidic microbial fuel cells: from membrane to membrane free

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Ye, Dingding; Li, Jun; Zhu, Xun; Liao, Qiang; Zhang, Biao

    2016-08-01

    Microfluidic microbial fuel cells (MMFCs) are small carbon-neutral devices that use self-organized bacteria to degrade organic substrates and harness energy from the waste water. Conventional MMFCs have made great strides in the past decade and have overcome some limitations, such as high capital costs and low energy output. A co-laminar flow MFC has been first proposed in 2011 with the potential to be an attractively power source to niche applications. Co-laminar MFCs typically operate without any physical membranes separating the reactants, and bacterial ecosystems can be easily manipulated by regulating the inlet conditions. This paper highlights recent accomplishments in the development of co-laminar MFCs, emphasizing basic principles, mass transport and fluid dynamics including boundary layer theory, entrance conditions and mixing zone issues. Furthermore, the development of current techniques, major challenges and the potential research directions are discussed.

  2. Applications of Graphene-Modified Electrodes in Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Yu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Graphene-modified materials have captured increasing attention for energy applications due to their superior physical and chemical properties, which can significantly enhance the electricity generation performance of microbial fuel cells (MFC. In this review, several typical synthesis methods of graphene-modified electrodes, such as graphite oxide reduction methods, self-assembly methods, and chemical vapor deposition, are summarized. According to the different functions of the graphene-modified materials in the MFC anode and cathode chambers, a series of design concepts for MFC electrodes are assembled, e.g., enhancing the biocompatibility and improving the extracellular electron transfer efficiency for anode electrodes and increasing the active sites and strengthening the reduction pathway for cathode electrodes. In spite of the challenges of MFC electrodes, graphene-modified electrodes are promising for MFC development to address the reduction in efficiency brought about by organic waste by converting it into electrical energy.

  3. Fade to Green: A Biodegradable Stack of Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfield, Jonathan; Chambers, Lily D; Rossiter, Jonathan; Stinchcombe, Andrew; Walter, X Alexis; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2015-08-24

    The focus of this study is the development of biodegradable microbial fuel cells (MFCs) able to produce useful power. Reactors with an 8 mL chamber volume were designed using all biodegradable products: polylactic acid for the frames, natural rubber as the cation-exchange membrane and egg-based, open-to-air cathodes coated with a lanolin gas diffusion layer. Forty MFCs were operated in various configurations. When fed with urine, the biodegradable stack was able to power appliances and was still operational after six months. One useful application for this truly sustainable MFC technology includes onboard power supplies for biodegradable robotic systems. After operation in remote ecological locations, these could degrade harmlessly into the surroundings to leave no trace when the mission is complete.

  4. Practical energy harvesting for microbial fuel cells: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Heming; Park, Jae-Do; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2015-03-17

    The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology offers sustainable solutions for distributed power systems and energy positive wastewater treatment, but the generation of practically usable power from MFCs remains a major challenge for system scale up and application. Commonly used external resistors will not harvest any usable energy, so energy-harvesting circuits are needed for real world applications. This review summarizes, explains, and discusses the different energy harvesting methods, components, and systems that can extract and condition the MFC energy for direct utilization. This study aims to assist environmental scientists and engineers to gain fundamental understandings of these electronic systems and algorithms, and it also offers research directions and insights on how to overcome the barriers, so the technology can be further advanced and applied in larger scale.

  5. Microbial fuel cells: novel biotechnology for energy generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabaey, Korneel; Verstraete, Willy

    2005-06-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) provide new opportunities for the sustainable production of energy from biodegradable, reduced compounds. MFCs function on different carbohydrates but also on complex substrates present in wastewaters. As yet there is limited information available about the energy metabolism and nature of the bacteria using the anode as electron acceptor; few electron transfer mechanisms have been established unequivocally. To optimize and develop energy production by MFCs fully this knowledge is essential. Depending on the operational parameters of the MFC, different metabolic pathways are used by the bacteria. This determines the selection and performance of specific organisms. Here we discuss how bacteria use an anode as an electron acceptor and to what extent they generate electrical output. The MFC technology is evaluated relative to current alternatives for energy generation.

  6. Microbial fuel cell treatment of ethanol fermentation process water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borole, Abhijeet P [Knoxville, TN

    2012-06-05

    The present invention relates to a method for removing inhibitor compounds from a cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol process which includes a pretreatment step of raw cellulosic biomass material and the production of fermentation process water after production and removal of ethanol from a fermentation step, the method comprising contacting said fermentation process water with an anode of a microbial fuel cell, said anode containing microbes thereon which oxidatively degrade one or more of said inhibitor compounds while producing electrical energy or hydrogen from said oxidative degradation, and wherein said anode is in electrical communication with a cathode, and a porous material (such as a porous or cation-permeable membrane) separates said anode and cathode.

  7. Performance of the Salt Bridge Based Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maksudur R. Khan

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Electricity generation from readily biodegradable organic substrates accompanied by decolorization of azo dye was investigated using a Microbial fuel cell (MFC. Biodegradation was the dominant mechanism of the dye removal, and glucose was the optimal substrate for Red Cibacron-2G (RC decolorization. Batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of the MFC.  As compared to traditional anaerobic technology higher decolorization efficiency was achieved by MFC. Effect of initial dye concentration and external resistance on power generation were studied. Polarization experiments were also directed to find the maximum power density. Maximum Power density of 100mW/m2 (1.04A/m2 was recorded at optimum operating conditions.

  8. Scaling up microbial fuel cells and other bioelectrochemical systems

    KAUST Repository

    Logan, Bruce E.

    2009-12-15

    Scientific research has advanced on different microbial fuel cell (MFC) technologies in the laboratory at an amazing pace, with power densities having reached over 1 kW/m3 (reactor volume) and to 6.9 W/m2 (anode area) under optimal conditions. The main challenge is to bring these technologies out of the laboratory and engineer practical systems for bioenergy production at larger scales. Recent advances in new types of electrodes, a better understanding of the impact of membranes and separators on performance of these systems, and results from several new pilot-scale tests are all good indicators that commercialization of the technology could be possible within a few years. Some of the newest advances and future challenges are reviewed here with respect to practical applications of these MFCs for renewable energy production and other applications. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

  9. Microbial fuel cells for clogging assessment in constructed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbella, Clara; García, Joan; Puigagut, Jaume

    2016-11-01

    Clogging in HSSF CW may result in a reduction of system's life-span or treatment efficiency. Current available techniques to assess the degree of clogging in HSSF CW are time consuming and cannot be applied on a continuous basis. Main objective of this work was to assess the potential applicability of microbial fuel cells for continuous clogging assessment in HSSF CW. To this aim, two replicates of a membrane-less microbial fuel cell (MFC) were built up and operated under laboratory conditions for five weeks. The MFC anode was gravel-based to simulate the filter media of HSSF CW. MFC were weekly loaded with sludge that had been accumulating for several years in a pilot HSSF CW treating domestic wastewater. Sludge loading ranged from ca. 20kgTS·m(-3)CW·year(-1) at the beginning of the study period up to ca. 250kgTS·m(-3)CW·year(-1) at the end of the study period. Sludge loading applied resulted in sludge accumulated within the MFC equivalent to a clogging degree ranging from 0.2years (ca. 0.5kgTS·m(-3)CW) to ca. 5years (ca. 10kgTS·m(-3)CW). Results showed that the electric charge was negatively correlated to the amount of sludge accumulated (degree of clogging). Electron transference (expressed as electric charge) almost ceased when accumulated sludge within the MFC was equivalent to ca. 5years of clogging (ca. 10kgTS·m(-3)CW). This result suggests that, although longer study periods under more realistic conditions shall be further performed, HSSF CW operated as a MFC has great potential for clogging assessment.

  10. Enhanced microbial reduction of vanadium (V) in groundwater with bioelectricity from microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Liting; Zhang, Baogang; Tian, Caixing; Liu, Ye; Shi, Chunhong; Cheng, Ming; Feng, Chuanping

    2015-08-01

    Bioelectricity generated from the microbial fuel cell (MFC) is applied to the bioelectrical reactor (BER) directly to enhance microbial reduction of vanadium (V) (V(V)) in groundwater. With the maximum power density of 543.4 mW m-2 from the MFC, V(V) removal is accelerated with efficiency of 93.6% during 12 h operation. Higher applied voltage can facilitate this process. V(V) removals decrease with the increase of initial V(V) concentration, while extra addition of chemical oxygen demand (COD) has little effect on performance improvement. Microbial V(V) reduction is enhanced and then suppressed with the increase of conductivity. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis implies the accumulated Enterobacter and Lactococcus reduce V(V) with products from fermentative microorganisms such as Macellibacteroides. The presentation of electrochemically active bacteria as Enterobacter promotes electron transfers. This study indicates that application of bioelectricity from MFCs is a promising strategy to improve the efficiency of in-situ bioremediation of V(V) polluted groundwater.

  11. Microfabricated microbial fuel cell arrays reveal electrochemically active microbes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huijie Hou

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are remarkable "green energy" devices that exploit microbes to generate electricity from organic compounds. MFC devices currently being used and studied do not generate sufficient power to support widespread and cost-effective applications. Hence, research has focused on strategies to enhance the power output of the MFC devices, including exploring more electrochemically active microbes to expand the few already known electricigen families. However, most of the MFC devices are not compatible with high throughput screening for finding microbes with higher electricity generation capabilities. Here, we describe the development of a microfabricated MFC array, a compact and user-friendly platform for the identification and characterization of electrochemically active microbes. The MFC array consists of 24 integrated anode and cathode chambers, which function as 24 independent miniature MFCs and support direct and parallel comparisons of microbial electrochemical activities. The electricity generation profiles of spatially distinct MFC chambers on the array loaded with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 differed by less than 8%. A screen of environmental microbes using the array identified an isolate that was related to Shewanella putrefaciens IR-1 and Shewanella sp. MR-7, and displayed 2.3-fold higher power output than the S. oneidensis MR-1 reference strain. Therefore, the utility of the MFC array was demonstrated.

  12. Electricity generation from tetrathionate in microbial fuel cells by acidophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulonen, Mira L K; Kokko, Marika E; Lakaniemi, Aino-Maija; Puhakka, Jaakko A

    2015-03-02

    Inorganic sulfur compounds, such as tetrathionate, are often present in mining process and waste waters. The biodegradation of tetrathionate was studied under acidic conditions in aerobic batch cultivations and in anaerobic anodes of two-chamber flow-through microbial fuel cells (MFCs). All four cultures originating from biohydrometallurgical process waters from multimetal ore heap bioleaching oxidized tetrathionate aerobically at pH below 3 with sulfate as the main soluble metabolite. In addition, all cultures generated electricity from tetrathionate in MFCs at pH below 2.5 with ferric iron as the terminal cathodic electron acceptor. The maximum current and power densities during MFC operation and in the performance analysis were 79.6 mA m(-2) and 13.9 mW m(-2) and 433 mA m(-2) and 17.6 mW m(-2), respectively. However, the low coulombic efficiency (below 5%) indicates that most of the electrons were directed to other processes, such as aerobic oxidation of tetrathionate and unmeasured intermediates. The microbial community analysis revealed that the dominant species both in the anolyte and on the anode electrode surface of the MFCs were Acidithiobacillus spp. and Ferroplasma spp. This study provides a proof of concept that tetrathionate serves as electron donor for biological electricity production in the pH range of 1.2-2.5.

  13. Integrated Microfluidic Flow-Through Microbial Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Huawei; Ali, Md. Azahar; Xu, Zhen; Halverson, Larry J.; Dong, Liang

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports on a miniaturized microbial fuel cell with a microfluidic flow-through configuration: a porous anolyte chamber is formed by filling a microfluidic chamber with three-dimensional graphene foam as anode, allowing nutritional medium to flow through the chamber to intimately interact with the colonized microbes on the scaffolds of the anode. No nutritional media flow over the anode. This allows sustaining high levels of nutrient utilization, minimizing consumption of nutritional substrates, and reducing response time of electricity generation owing to fast mass transport through pressure-driven flow and rapid diffusion of nutrients within the anode. The device provides a volume power density of 745 μW/cm3 and a surface power density of 89.4 μW/cm2 using Shewanella oneidensis as a model biocatalyst without any optimization of bacterial culture. The medium consumption and the response time of the flow-through device are reduced by 16.4 times and 4.2 times, respectively, compared to the non-flow-through counterpart with its freeway space volume six times the volume of graphene foam anode. The graphene foam enabled microfluidic flow-through approach will allow efficient microbial conversion of carbon-containing bioconvertible substrates to electricity with smaller space, less medium consumption, and shorter start-up time. PMID:28120875

  14. Importance of OH(-) transport from cathodes in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popat, Sudeep C; Ki, Dongwon; Rittmann, Bruce E; Torres, César I

    2012-06-01

    Cathodic limitation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is considered an important hurdle towards practical application as a bioenergy technology. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) needs to occur in MFCs under significantly different conditions compared to chemical fuel cells, including a neutral pH. The common reason cited for cathodic limitation is the difficulty in providing protons to the catalyst sites. Here, we show that it is not the availability of protons, but the transport of OH(-) from the catalyst layer to the bulk liquid that largely governs cathodic potential losses. OH(-) is a product of an ORR mechanism that has not been considered dominant before. The accumulation of OH(-) at the catalyst sites results in an increase in the local cathode pH, resulting in Nernstian concentration losses. For Pt-based gas-diffusion cathodes, using polarization curves developed in unbuffered and buffered solutions, we quantified this loss to be >0.3 V at a current density of 10 Am(-2) . We show that this loss can be partially overcome by replacing the Nafion binder used in the cathode catalyst layer with an anion-conducting binder and by providing additional buffer to the cathode catalyst directly in the form of CO(2) , which results in enhanced OH(-) transport. Our results provide a comprehensive analysis of cathodic limitations in MFCs and should allow researchers to develop and select materials for the construction of MFC cathodes and identify operational conditions that will help minimize Nernstian concentration losses due to pH gradients.

  15. Convergent development of anodic bacterial communities in microbial fuel cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Yates, Matthew D

    2012-05-10

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are often inoculated from a single wastewater source. The extent that the inoculum affects community development or power production is unknown. The stable anodic microbial communities in MFCs were examined using three inocula: a wastewater treatment plant sample known to produce consistent power densities, a second wastewater treatment plant sample, and an anaerobic bog sediment. The bog-inoculated MFCs initially produced higher power densities than the wastewater-inoculated MFCs, but after 20 cycles all MFCs on average converged to similar voltages (470±20 mV) and maximum power densities (590±170 mW m(-2)). The power output from replicate bog-inoculated MFCs was not significantly different, but one wastewater-inoculated MFC (UAJA3 (UAJA, University Area Joint Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant)) produced substantially less power. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiling showed a stable exoelectrogenic biofilm community in all samples after 11 cycles. After 16 cycles the predominance of Geobacter spp. in anode communities was identified using 16S rRNA gene clone libraries (58±10%), fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) (63±6%) and pyrosequencing (81±4%). While the clone library analysis for the underperforming UAJA3 had a significantly lower percentage of Geobacter spp. sequences (36%), suggesting that a predominance of this microbe was needed for convergent power densities, the lower percentage of this species was not verified by FISH or pyrosequencing analyses. These results show that the predominance of Geobacter spp. in acetate-fed systems was consistent with good MFC performance and independent of the inoculum source.

  16. Integral edge seals for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granata, Jr., Samuel J. (Inventor); Woodle, Boyd M. (Inventor); Dunyak, Thomas J. (Inventor)

    1992-01-01

    A phosphoric acid fuel cell having integral edge seals formed by an elastomer permeating an outer peripheral band contiguous with the outer peripheral edges of the cathode and anode assemblies and the matrix to form an integral edge seal which is reliable, easy to manufacture and has creep characteristics similar to the anode, cathode and matrix assemblies inboard of the seals to assure good electrical contact throughout the life of the fuel cell.

  17. Characterization of Microbial Fuel Cells at Microbially and Electrochemically Meaningful Time scales

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Zhiyong

    2011-03-15

    The variable biocatalyst density in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode biofilm is a unique feature of MFCs relative to other electrochemical systems, yet performance characterizations of MFCs typically involve analyses at electrochemically relevant time scales that are insufficient to account for these variable biocatalyst effects. This study investigated the electrochemical performance and the development of anode biofilm architecture under different external loadings, with duplicate acetate-fed singlechamber MFCs stabilized at each resistance for microbially relevant time scales. Power density curves from these steady-state reactors generally showed comparable profiles despite the fact that anode biofilm architectures and communities varied considerably, showing that steady-state biofilm differences had little influence on electrochemical performance until the steady-state external loading was much larger than the reactor internal resistance. Filamentous bacteria were dominant on the anodes under high external resistances (1000 and 5000 Ω), while more diverse rod-shaped cells formed dense biofilms under lower resistances (10, 50, and 265 Ω). Anode charge transfer resistance decreased with decreasing fixed external resistances, but was consistently 2 orders of magnitude higher than the resistance at the cathode. Cell counting showed an inverse exponential correlation between cell numbers and external resistances. This direct link ofMFCanode biofilm evolution with external resistance and electricity production offers several operational strategies for system optimization. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  18. Comparative analysis of microbial community between different cathode systems of microbial fuel cells for denitrification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chao; Xu, Ming; Lu, Yi; Fang, Fang; Cao, Jiashun

    2016-01-01

    Two types of cathodic biofilm in microbial fuel cells (MFC) were established for comparison on their performance and microbial communities. Complete autotrophic simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND) without organics addition was achieved in nitrifying-MFC (N-MFC) with a total nitrogen (TN) removal rate of 0.35 mg/(L·h), which was even higher than that in denitrifying-MFC (D-MFC) at same TN level. Integrated denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis based on both 16S rRNA and nirK genes showed that Alpha-, Gammaproteobacteria were the main denitrifier communities. Some potential autotrophic denitrifying bacteria which can use electrons and reducing power from cathodes, such as Shewanella oneidensis, Shewanella loihica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Starkeya novella and Rhodopseudomonas palustris were identified and selectively enriched on cathode biofilms. Further, relative abundance of denitrifying bacteria characterized by nirK/16S ratios was much higher in biofilm than suspended sludge according to real-time polymerase chain reaction. The highest enrichment efficiency for denitrifiers was obtained in N-MFC cathode biofilms, which confirmed autotrophic denitrifying bacteria enrichment is the key factor for a D-MFC system.

  19. Performance and microbial ecology of air-cathode microbial fuel cells with layered electrode assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Caitlyn S; Nerenberg, Robert

    2010-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can be built with layered electrode assemblies, where the anode, proton exchange membrane (PEM), and cathode are pressed into a single unit. We studied the performance and microbial community structure of MFCs with layered assemblies, addressing the effect of materials and oxygen crossover on the community structure. Four MFCs with layered assemblies were constructed using Nafion or Ultrex PEMs and a plain carbon cloth electrode or a cathode with an oxygen-resistant polytetrafluoroethylene diffusion layer. The MFC with Nafion PEM and cathode diffusion layer achieved the highest power density, 381 mW/m(2) (20 W/m(3)). The rates of oxygen diffusion from cathode to anode were three times higher in the MFCs with plain cathodes compared to those with diffusion-layer cathodes. Microsensor studies revealed little accumulation of oxygen within the anode cloth. However, the abundance of bacteria known to use oxygen as an electron acceptor, but not known to have exoelectrogenic activity, was greater in MFCs with plain cathodes. The MFCs with diffusion-layer cathodes had high abundance of exoelectrogenic bacteria within the genus Geobacter. This work suggests that cathode materials can significantly influence oxygen crossover and the relative abundance of exoelectrogenic bacteria on the anode, while PEM materials have little influence on anode community structure. Our results show that oxygen crossover can significantly decrease the performance of air-cathode MFCs with layered assemblies, and therefore limiting crossover may be of particular importance for these types of MFCs.

  20. Powering microbial electrolysis cells by capacitor circuits charged using microbial fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    Hatzell, Marta C.

    2013-05-01

    A microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) was powered by a capacitor based energy storage circuit using energy from a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to increase MEC hydrogen production rates compared to that possible by the MFC alone. To prevent voltage reversal, MFCs charged the capacitors in a parallel configuration, and then the capacitors were discharged in series to boost the voltage that was used to power the MECs. The optimal capacitance for charging was found to be ∼0.01 F for each MFC. The use of the capacitor charging system increased energy recoveries from 9 to 13%, and hydrogen production rates increased from 0.31 to 0.72 m3 m-3-day-1, compared to coupled systems without capacitors. The circuit efficiency (the ratio of the energy that was discharged to the MEC to the energy provided to the capacitor from the MFCs) was ∼90%. These results provide an improved method for linking MFCs to MECs for renewable hydrogen gas production. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Microbial electricity generation in rice paddy fields: recent advances and perspectives in rhizosphere microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouzuma, Atsushi; Kaku, Nobuo; Watanabe, Kazuya

    2014-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that use living microbes for the conversion of organic matter into electricity. MFC systems can be applied to the generation of electricity at water/sediment interfaces in the environment, such as bay areas, wetlands, and rice paddy fields. Using these systems, electricity generation in paddy fields as high as ∼80 mW m(-2) (based on the projected anode area) has been demonstrated, and evidence suggests that rhizosphere microbes preferentially utilize organic exudates from rice roots for generating electricity. Phylogenetic and metagenomic analyses have been conducted to identify the microbial species and catabolic pathways that are involved in the conversion of root exudates into electricity, suggesting the importance of syntrophic interactions. In parallel, pot cultures of rice and other aquatic plants have been used for rhizosphere MFC experiments under controlled laboratory conditions. The findings from these studies have demonstrated the potential of electricity generation for mitigating methane emission from the rhizosphere. Notably, however, the presence of large amounts of organics in the rhizosphere drastically reduces the effect of electricity generation on methane production. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the potential of these systems for mitigating methane emission from rice paddy fields. We suggest that paddy-field MFCs represent a promising approach for harvesting latent energy of the natural world.

  2. Enrichment of microbial electrolysis cell biocathodes from sediment microbial fuel cell bioanodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisciotta, John M; Zaybak, Zehra; Call, Douglas F; Nam, Joo-Youn; Logan, Bruce E

    2012-08-01

    Electron-accepting (electrotrophic) biocathodes were produced by first enriching graphite fiber brush electrodes as the anodes in sediment-type microbial fuel cells (sMFCs) using two different marine sediments and then electrically inverting the anodes to function as cathodes in two-chamber bioelectrochemical systems (BESs). Electron consumption occurred at set potentials of -439 mV and -539 mV (versus the potential of a standard hydrogen electrode) but not at -339 mV in minimal media lacking organic sources of energy. Results at these different potentials were consistent with separate linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) scans that indicated enhanced activity (current consumption) below only ca. -400 mV. MFC bioanodes not originally acclimated at a set potential produced electron-accepting (electrotrophic) biocathodes, but bioanodes operated at a set potential (+11 mV) did not. CO(2) was removed from cathode headspace, indicating that the electrotrophic biocathodes were autotrophic. Hydrogen gas generation, followed by loss of hydrogen gas and methane production in one sample, suggested hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. There was abundant microbial growth in the biocathode chamber, as evidenced by an increase in turbidity and the presence of microorganisms on the cathode surface. Clone library analysis of 16S rRNA genes indicated prominent sequences most similar to those of Eubacterium limosum (Butyribacterium methylotrophicum), Desulfovibrio sp. A2, Rhodococcus opacus, and Gemmata obscuriglobus. Transfer of the suspension to sterile cathodes made of graphite plates, carbon rods, or carbon brushes in new BESs resulted in enhanced current after 4 days, demonstrating growth by these microbial communities on a variety of cathode substrates. This report provides a simple and effective method for enriching autotrophic electrotrophs by the use of sMFCs without the need for set potentials, followed by the use of potentials more negative than -400 mV.

  3. Nanomodification of the electrodes in microbial fuel cell: impact of nanoparticle density on electricity production and microbial community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al Atraktchi, Fatima Al-Zahraa; Zhang, Yifeng; Angelidaki, Irini

    2014-01-01

    The nano-decoration of electrode with nanoparticles is one effective way to enhance power output of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, the amount of nanoparticles used for decoration has not been optimized yet, and how it affects the microbial community is still unknown. In this study, different....... Different densities of Au nanoparticles also resulted in different microbial communities on the anode. More diverse bacterial communities were found with higher Au nanoparticle densities. These results provide new dimensions in understanding electrode modification with nanoparticles in MFC systems....

  4. Poly iron sulfate flocculant as an effective additive for improving the performance of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyahara, Morio; Sakamoto, Akihiro; Kouzuma, Atsushi; Watanabe, Kazuya

    2016-12-01

    Laboratory microbial fuel cells were supplied with artificial wastewater and used to examine how supplementation with poly iron sulfate, an inorganic polymer flocculant widely used in wastewater-treatment plants, affects electricity generation and anode microbiomes. It is shown that poly iron sulfate substantially increases electric outputs from microbial fuel cells. Microbiological analyses show that iron and sulfate separately affect anode microbiomes, and the increase in power output is associated with the increases in bacteria affiliated with the families Geobacteraceae and/or Desulfuromonadaceae. We suggest that poly iron sulfate is an effective additive for increasing the electric output from microbial fuel cells. Other utilities of poly iron sulfate in microbial fuel cells are also discussed.

  5. Treatment of Oil Wastewater and Electricity Generation by Integrating Constructed Wetland with Microbial Fuel Cell

    OpenAIRE

    Qiao Yang; Zhenxing Wu; Lifen Liu; Fengxiang Zhang; Shengna Liang

    2016-01-01

    Conventional oil sewage treatment methods can achieve satisfactory removal efficiency, but energy consumption problems during the process of oil sewage treatment are worth attention. The integration of a constructed wetland reactor and a microbial fuel cell reactor (CW-MFC) to treat oil-contaminated wastewater, compared with a microbial fuel cell reactor (MFC) alone and a constructed wetland reactor (CW) alone, was explored in this research. Performances of the three reactors including chemic...

  6. A survey of Opportunities for Microbial Conversion of Biomass to Hydrocarbon Compatible Fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jovanovic, Iva; Jones, Susanne B.; Santosa, Daniel M.; Dai, Ziyu; Ramasamy, Karthikeyan K.; Zhu, Yunhua

    2010-09-01

    Biomass is uniquely able to supply renewable and sustainable liquid transportation fuels. In the near term, the Biomass program has a 2012 goal of cost competitive cellulosic ethanol. However, beyond 2012, there will be an increasing need to provide liquid transportation fuels that are more compatible with the existing infrastructure and can supply fuel into all transportation sectors, including aviation and heavy road transport. Microbial organisms are capable of producing a wide variety of fuel and fuel precursors such as higher alcohols, ethers, esters, fatty acids, alkenes and alkanes. This report surveys liquid fuels and fuel precurors that can be produced from microbial processes, but are not yet ready for commercialization using cellulosic feedstocks. Organisms, current research and commercial activities, and economics are addressed. Significant improvements to yields and process intensification are needed to make these routes economic. Specifically, high productivity, titer and efficient conversion are the key factors for success.

  7. Carbon nanotube dispersed conductive network for microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, S.; Yamanaka, K.; Ogikubo, H.; Akasaka, H.; Ohtake, N.

    2014-08-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are promising devices for capturing biomass energy. Although they have recently attracted considerable attention, their power densities are too low for practical use. Increasing their electrode surface area is a key factor for improving the performance of MFC. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which have excellent electrical conductivity and extremely high specific surface area, are promising materials for electrodes. However, CNTs are insoluble in aqueous solution because of their strong intertube van der Waals interactions, which make practical use of CNTs difficult. In this study, we revealed that CNTs have a strong interaction with Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. CNTs attach to the cells and are dispersed in a mixture of water and S. cerevisiae, forming a three-dimensional CNT conductive network. Compared with a conventional two-dimensional electrode, such as carbon paper, the three-dimensional conductive network has a much larger surface area. By applying this conductive network to MFCs as an anode electrode, power density is increased to 176 μW/cm2, which is approximately 25-fold higher than that in the case without CNTs addition. Maximum current density is also increased to approximately 8-fold higher. These results suggest that three-dimensional CNT conductive network contributes to improve the performance of MFC by increasing surface area.

  8. A novel microbial fuel cell sensor with biocathode sensing element.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yong; Liang, Peng; Liu, Panpan; Wang, Donglin; Miao, Bo; Huang, Xia

    2017-03-02

    The traditional microbial fuel cell (MFC) sensor with bioanode as sensing element delivers limited sensitivity to toxicity monitoring, restricted application to only anaerobic and organic rich water body, and increased potential fault warning to the combined shock of organic matter/toxicity. In this study, the biocathode for oxygen reduction reaction was employed for the first time as the sensing element in MFC sensor for toxicity monitoring. The results shown that the sensitivity of MFC sensor with biocathode sensing element (7.4±2.0 to 67.5±4.0mA%(-1)cm(-2)) was much greater than that showed by bioanode sensing element (3.4±1.5 to 5.5±0.7mA%(-1)cm(-2)). The biocathode sensing element achieved the lowest detection limit reported to date using MFC sensor for formaldehyde detection (0.0005%), while the bioanode was more applicable for higher concentration (>0.0025%). There was a quicker response of biocathode sensing element with the increase of conductivity and dissolved oxygen (DO). The biocathode sensing element made the MFC sensor directly applied to clean water body monitoring, e.g., drinking water and reclaimed water, without the amending of background organic matter, and it also decreased the warning failure when challenged by a combined shock of organic matter/toxicity.

  9. Polymer coatings as separator layers for microbial fuel cell cathodes

    KAUST Repository

    Watson, Valerie J.

    2011-03-01

    Membrane separators reduce oxygen flux from the cathode into the anolyte in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but water accumulation and pH gradients between the separator and cathode reduces performance. Air cathodes were spray-coated (water-facing side) with anion exchange, cation exchange, and neutral polymer coatings of different thicknesses to incorporate the separator into the cathode. The anion exchange polymer coating resulted in greater power density (1167 ± 135 mW m-2) than a cation exchange coating (439 ± 2 mW m-2). This power output was similar to that produced by a Nafion-coated cathode (1114 ± 174 mW m-2), and slightly lower than the uncoated cathode (1384 ± 82 mW m-2). Thicker coatings reduced oxygen diffusion into the electrolyte and increased coulombic efficiency (CE = 56-64%) relative to an uncoated cathode (29 ± 8%), but decreased power production (255-574 mW m-2). Electrochemical characterization of the cathodes ex situ to the MFC showed that the cathodes with the lowest charge transfer resistance and the highest oxygen reduction activity produced the most power in MFC tests. The results on hydrophilic cathode separator layers revealed a trade off between power and CE. Cathodes coated with a thin coating of anion exchange polymer show promise for controlling oxygen transfer while minimally affecting power production. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Copper anode corrosion affects power generation in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhu, Xiuping

    2013-07-16

    Non-corrosive, carbon-based materials are usually used as anodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In some cases, however, metals have been used that can corrode (e.g. copper) or that are corrosion resistant (e.g. stainless steel, SS). Corrosion could increase current through galvanic (abiotic) current production or by increasing exposed surface area, or decrease current due to generation of toxic products from corrosion. In order to directly examine the effects of using corrodible metal anodes, MFCs with Cu were compared with reactors using SS and carbon cloth anodes. MFCs with Cu anodes initially showed high current generation similar to abiotic controls, but subsequently they produced little power (2 mW m-2). Higher power was produced with microbes using SS (12 mW m-2) or carbon cloth (880 mW m-2) anodes, with no power generated by abiotic controls. These results demonstrate that copper is an unsuitable anode material, due to corrosion and likely copper toxicity to microorganisms. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. Voltage balancing strategies for serial connection of microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaled, Firas; Ondel, Olivier; Allard, Bruno; Buret, François

    2015-07-01

    The microbial fuel cell (MFC) converts electrochemically organic matter into electricity by means of metabolisms of bacteria. The MFC power output is limited by low voltage and low current characteristics in the range of microwatts or milliwatts per litre. In order to produce a sufficient voltage level (>1.5 V) and sufficient power to supply real applications such as autonomous sensors, it is necessary to either scale-up one single unit or to connect multiple units together. Many topologies of connection are possible as the serial association to improve the output voltage, or the parallel connection to improve the output current or the series/parallel connection to step-up both voltage and current. The association of MFCs in series is a solution to increase the voltage to an acceptable value and to mutualize the unit's output power. The serial association of a large number of MFCs presents several issues. The first one is the hydraulic coupling among MFCs when they share the same substrate. The second one is the dispersion between generators that lead to a non-optimal stack efficiency because the maximum power point (MPP) operation of all MFCs is not permitted. Voltage balancing is a solution to compensate non-uniformities towards MPP. This paper presents solutions to improve the efficiency of a stack of serially connected MFCs through a voltage-balancing circuit. Contribution to the topical issue "Electrical Engineering Symposium (SGE 2014)", edited by Adel Razek

  12. Microbial fuel cells with highly active aerobic biocathodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Edward M.; Popescu, Dorin; Curtis, Tom; Head, Ian M.; Scott, Keith; Yu, Eileen H.

    2016-08-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which convert organic waste to electricity, could be used to make the wastewater infrastructure more energy efficient and sustainable. However, platinum and other non-platinum chemical catalysts used for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode of MFCs are unsustainable due to their high cost and long-term degradation. Aerobic biocathodes, which use microorganisms as the biocatalysts for cathode ORR, are a good alternative to chemical catalysts. In the current work, high-performing aerobic biocathodes with an onset potential for the ORR of +0.4 V vs. Ag/AgCl were enriched from activated sludge in electrochemical half-cells poised at -0.1 and + 0.2 V vs. Ag/AgCl. Gammaproteobacteria, distantly related to any known cultivated gammaproteobacterial lineage, were identified as dominant in these working electrode biofilms (23.3-44.3% of reads in 16S rRNA gene Ion Torrent libraries), and were in very low abundance in non-polarised control working electrode biofilms (0.5-0.7%). These Gammaproteobacteria were therefore most likely responsible for the high activity of biologically catalysed ORR. In MFC tests, a high-performing aerobic biocathode increased peak power 9-fold from 7 to 62 μW cm-2 in comparison to an unmodified carbon cathode, which was similar to peak power with a platinum-doped cathode at 70 μW cm-2.

  13. Carbon fiber enhanced bioelectricity generation in soil microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaojing; Wang, Xin; Zhao, Qian; Wan, Lili; Li, Yongtao; Zhou, Qixing

    2016-11-15

    The soil microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising biotechnology for the bioelectricity recovery as well as the remediation of organics contaminated soil. However, the electricity production and the remediation efficiency of soil MFC are seriously limited by the tremendous internal resistance of soil. Conductive carbon fiber was mixed with petroleum hydrocarbons contaminated soil and significantly enhanced the performance of soil MFC. The maximum current density, the maximum power density and the accumulated charge output of MFC mixed carbon fiber (MC) were 10, 22 and 16 times as high as those of closed circuit control due to the carbon fiber productively assisted the anode to collect the electron. The internal resistance of MC reduced by 58%, 83% of which owed to the charge transfer resistance, resulting in a high efficiency of electron transfer from soil to anode. The degradation rates of total petroleum hydrocarbons enhanced by 100% and 329% compared to closed and opened circuit controls without the carbon fiber respectively. The effective range of remediation and the bioelectricity recovery was extended from 6 to 20cm with the same area of air-cathode. The mixed carbon fiber apparently enhanced the bioelectricity generation and the remediation efficiency of soil MFC by means of promoting the electron transfer rate from soil to anode. The use of conductively functional materials (e.g. carbon fiber) is very meaningful for the remediation and bioelectricity recovery in the bioelectrochemical remediation.

  14. Compost in plant microbial fuel cell for bioelectricity generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moqsud, M A; Yoshitake, J; Bushra, Q S; Hyodo, M; Omine, K; Strik, David

    2015-02-01

    Recycling of organic waste is an important topic in developing countries as well as developed countries. Compost from organic waste has been used for soil conditioner. In this study, an experiment has been carried out to produce green energy (bioelectricity) by using paddy plant microbial fuel cells (PMFCs) in soil mixed with compost. A total of six buckets filled with the same soil were used with carbon fiber as the electrodes for the test. Rice plants were planted in five of the buckets, with the sixth bucket containing only soil and an external resistance of 100 ohm was used for all cases. It was observed that the cells with rice plants and compost showed higher values of voltage and power density with time. The highest value of voltage showed around 700 mV when a rice plant with 1% compost mixed soil was used, however it was more than 95% less in the case of no rice plant and without compost. Comparing cases with and without compost but with the same number of rice plants, cases with compost depicted higher voltage to as much as 2 times. The power density was also 3 times higher when the compost was used in the paddy PMFCs which indicated the influence of compost on bio-electricity generation.

  15. Bacillus thermophilum sp. nov., isolated from a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jia; Yang, Guiqin; Wen, Junlin; Yu, Zhen; Zhou, Shungui; Liu, Zhi

    2014-09-01

    A novel thermophilic, Gram-staining positive bacterium, designated DX-2(T), was isolated from the anode biofilm of a microbial fuel cell. Cells of the strain were oxidase positive, catalase positive, facultative anaerobic, motile rods. The isolate grew at 30-60 °C (optimum 50 °C) and pH 5-9 (optimum pH 8-8.5). The pairwise 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities showed that strain DX-2(T) was most closely related to Bacillus fumarioli LMG 17489(T) (96.2 %), B. firmus JCM 2512(T) (96.0 %) and B. foraminis DSM 19613(T) (95.7 %). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain DX-2(T) formed a cluster with B. smithii (95.5 %) and B. infernus (94.9 %). The genomic G+C content of DX-2(T) was 43.7 mol%. The predominant respiratory quinone was MK-7. The polar lipids consisted of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine and unknown phospholipids. The major cellular fatty acid was iso-C16:0. Based on its phenotypic characteristics, chemotaxonomic features, and results of phylogenetic analysis, the strain was identified to represent a distinct novel species in the genus Bacillus, and the name proposed is B. thermophilum sp. nov. The type strain is DX-2(T) (=CCTCC AB2012194(T) = KCTC 33128(T)).

  16. Cadmium recovery by coupling double microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Chansoo; Hu, Naixu; Lim, Bongsu

    2014-10-01

    Cr(VI)-MFC of the double microbial fuel cell (d-MFC) arrangement could successfully complement the insufficient voltage and power needed to recover cadmium metal from Cd(II)-MFC, which operated as a redox-flow battery. It was also possible to drain electrical energy from the d-MFC by an additional passage. The highest maximum utilization power density (22.5Wm(-2)) of Cr(VI)-MFC, with the cathode optimized with sulfate buffer, was 11.3times higher than the highest power density directly supplied to Cd(II)-MFC (2.0Wm(-2)). Cr(VI)-MFC could generate 3times higher power with the additional passage than without it; and the current density for the former was 4.2times higher than the latter at the same maximum power point (38.0Am(-2) vs. 9.0Am(-2)). This boosting phenomenon could be explained by the Le Chatelier's principle, which addresses the rate of electron-hole pair formation that can be accelerated by quickly removing electrons generated by microorganisms.

  17. Microbial fuel cell with an azo-dye-feeding cathode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Liang [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou (China). Guangzhou Inst. of Geochemistry; Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou (China). Guangdon Key Lab. of Agricultural Environment Pollution Integrated Control; Graduate Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Li, Fang-bai [Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou (China). Guangdon Key Lab. of Agricultural Environment Pollution Integrated Control; Feng, Chun-hua [South China Univ. of Technology, Guangzhou (China). School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Li, Xiang-zhong [Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ., Hong Kong (China). Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering

    2009-11-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were constructed using azo dyes as the cathode oxidants to accept the electrons produced from the respiration of Klebsiella pneumoniae strain L17 in the anode. Experimental results showed that a methyl orange (MO)-feeding MFC produced a comparable performance against that of an air-based one at pH 3.0 and that azo dyes including MO, Orange I, and Orange II could be successfully degraded in such cathodes. The reaction rate constant ({kappa}) of azo dye reduction was positively correlated with the power output which was highly dependent on the catholyte pH and the dye molecular structure. When pH was varied from 3.0 to 9.0, the k value in relation to MO degradation decreased from 0.298 to 0.016 {mu}mol min{sup -1}, and the maximum power density decreased from 34.77 to 1.51 mW m{sup -2}. The performances of the MFC fed with different azo dyes can be ranked from good to poor as MO > Orange I > Orange II. Furthermore, the cyclic voltammograms of azo dyes disclosed that the pH and the dye structure determined their redox potentials. A higher redox potential corresponded to a higher reaction rate. (orig.)

  18. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION FROM WASTE WATER USING MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mannarreddy Prabu

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs an electricity producing device using waste-water treatment, biosensor, eco-friendly and low cost management of energy production. In this study, investigation power generation from waste water compared with their pure culture, mixed culture and different medium ingredients with microorganism. Enhance the power production with different ingredients like monosaccharide’s, nitrogen source and amino acids, these sources increasing the electron shuttle in the medium. Glucose (0.98 V, beef extract (0.85 V and Leucine (0.92 V exhibited maximum power production with the anodic chamber. Different electrode was used; platinum showed that maximum electron capturing in the anodic chamber. The SEM photography clearly showed that biofilm formation of microorganism on the electrode. The output power was compared with mixed culture to pure culture and different ingredients, thus bio electric power was retained maximum 1.03 V in pure culture from Morganella morganii and 1.2 V in mixed culture.

  19. Intermittent energy harvesting improves the performance of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewan, Alim; Beyenal, Haluk; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2009-06-15

    In this study, we compare the efficiencies of harvesting energy from microbial fuel cells (MFC) using two modes of operation: (1) continuous-passing the current through an electrical load-and (2) intermittent-first accumulating the energy in a capacitor and then discharging it through the load. Each of these two modes of operation has advantages and disadvantages: the first mode of operation allows the continuous powering of low-power-consuming devices, and the second mode of operation allows the intermittent powering of high-power-consuming devices. We used a two-compartment MFC: in the anodic compartment, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 was grown using lactate as an electron donor, whereas in the cathodic compartment we used an electrode made of manganese-based catalyzed carbon bonded to a current-collecting screen made of platinum mesh and oxygen as the electron acceptor. The maximum power generated by harvesting energy intermittently was 152 microW, which is 111% higher than the 72 microW generated by harvesting the energy continuously. We conclude that in the operation of MFCs it is beneficial to harvest the energy intermittently. This not only allows the powering of external devices of high power consumption but also allows generating power with greater energy efficiency than does harvesting the energy continuously.

  20. Energy accumulation and improved performance in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Melhuish, Chris [Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory, CEMS Faculty, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY (United Kingdom); Greenman, John [Microbiology Research Laboratory, Applied Sciences Faculty, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY (United Kingdom); Hart, John [School of Human and Analytical Sciences, Applied Sciences Faculty, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY (United Kingdom)

    2005-08-18

    The mechanisms for electron transfer from the microorganisms found in anaerobic sludge to the anode electrode in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have been investigated. In doing so, both the energy accumulation and improved performance were observed as a result of the addition of exogenous Na{sub 2}SO{sub 4}. Treatment of anaerobic sludge by centrifugation and washing can provide samples devoid of sulphide/sulphate. Addition of exogenous sulphate can give matched samples of S-deplete and S-replete suspensions. When these are compared in an experimental MFC, the power output of the S-deplete is only 20% that of the S-replete system. Moreover, repeat washing of the anodic chamber to remove suspended cells (leaving only cells attached to the electrode) and addition of buffer substrate gives MFC that produce an output between 10 and 20% that of control. We conclude that anaerobic sludge MFCs are a hybrid incorporating both natural mediator and anodophillic properties. We have also shown that disconnected MFC (open circuit) continue to produce sulphide and when reconnected gives an initial burst of power output demonstrating accumulator-type activity. (author)

  1. Microbial contamination in diesel fuel. Are new problems arising from biodiesel blends?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siegert, Wolfgang [Schuelke und Mayr GmbH, Norderstedt (Germany)

    2013-06-01

    Standard diesel fuel is allowed to contain only 0.2 cm{sup 3} water per litre of fuel from which a third of this is dissolved. The rest of the water settles at the tank bottom and is sufficient to serve as a biosphere for the microorganisms. Microbial products of decomposition form an emulsion of water and fuel and make separation of the water more difficult. Microbes are the cause for operational problems like fouling of tanks, pipes, filters and tank corrosion. These microbial problems in mineral diesel have been known for over 70 years. But nowadays the diesel fuel is a blend with biodiesel such as fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Since the widespread of biodiesel blends an increase of operational problems is observed. Does the addition of FAME increase the risk of microbial contamination? Is it enhancing microbial growth? The fatty acid esters, such as FAME, produce an environment in mineral diesel in which microbial growth is encouraged due to the ability of microorganisms to degrade natural fat and oil to yield energy for growth. The microbial growth can be enhanced at every stage in production, storage, distribution and in end users vehicles. Good housekeeping, monitoring and proper usage of an effective biocide are crucial measures for an anti-microbial strategy. A tailor-made fuel biocide for mineral diesel I FAME blends is introduced. (orig.)

  2. Increased electrical output when a bacterial ABTS oxidizer is used in a microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a technology that provides electrical energy from the microbial oxidation of organic compounds. Most MFCs use oxygen as the oxidant in the cathode chamber. The present study examined the formation in culture of an unidentified bacterial oxidant and investigated the ...

  3. Long-term performance of a plant microbial fuel cell with Spartina anglica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Strik, David P.B.T.B.; Hamelers, Hubertus V.M.; Buisman, Cees J.N. [Wageningen Univ. (Netherlands). Sub-dept. of Environmental Technology

    2010-04-15

    The plant microbial fuel cell is a sustainable and renewable way of electricity production. The plant is integrated in the anode of the microbial fuel cell which consists of a bed of graphite granules. In the anode, organic compounds deposited by plant roots are oxidized by electrochemically active bacteria. In this research, salt marsh species Spartina anglica generated current for up to 119 days in a plant microbial fuel cell. Maximum power production was 100 mW m{sup -2} geometric anode area, highest reported power output for a plant microbial fuel cell. Cathode overpotential was the main potential loss in the period of oxygen reduction due to slow oxygen reduction kinetics at the cathode. Ferricyanide reduction improved the kinetics at the cathode and increased current generation with a maximum of 254%. In the period of ferricyanide reduction, the main potential loss was transport loss. This research shows potential application of microbial fuel cell technology in salt marshes for bio-energy production with the plant microbial fuel cell. (orig.)

  4. Digestion of algal biomass for electricity generation in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishio, Koichi; Hashimoto, Kazuhito; Watanabe, Kazuya

    2013-01-01

    Algal biomass serves as a fuel for electricity generation in microbial fuel cells. This study constructed a model consortium comprised of an alga-digesting Lactobacillus and an iron-reducing Geobacter for electricity generation from photo-grown Clamydomonas cells. Total power-conversion efficiency (from Light to electricity) was estimated to be 0.47%.

  5. Procedure for determining maximum sustainable power generated by microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menicucci, Joseph; Beyenal, Haluk; Marsili, Enrico; Veluchamy, Raajaraajan Angathevar; Demir, Goksel; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2006-02-01

    Power generated by microbial fuel cells is computed as a product of current passing through an external resistor and voltage drop across this resistor. If the applied resistance is very low, then high instantaneous power generated by the cell is measured, which is not sustainable; the cell cannot deliver that much power for long periods of time. Since using small electrical resistors leads to erroneous assessment of the capabilities of microbial fuel cells, a question arises: what resistor should be used in such measurements? To address this question, we have defined the sustainable power as the steady state of power delivery by a microbial fuel cell under a given set of conditions and the maximum sustainable power as the highest sustainable power that a microbial fuel cell can deliver under a given set of conditions. Selecting the external resistance that is associated with the maximum sustainable power in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) is difficult because the operator has limited influence on the main factors that control power generation: the rate of charge transfer at the current-limiting electrode and the potential established across the fuel cell. The internal electrical resistance of microbial fuel cells varies, and it depends on the operational conditions of the fuel cell. We have designed an empirical procedure to predict the maximum sustainable power that can be generated by a microbial fuel cell operated under a given set of conditions. Following the procedure, we change the external resistors incrementally, in steps of 500 omega every 10, 60, or 180 s and measure the anode potential, the cathode potential, and the cell current. Power generated in the microbial fuel cell that we were using was limited by the anodic current. The anodic potential was used to determine the condition where the maximum sustainable power is obtained. The procedure is simple, microbial fuel cells can be characterized within an hour, and the results of the measurements can serve

  6. Stackable and submergible microbial fuel cell modules for wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Minsoo; Cha, Jaehwan; Yu, Jaecheul; Kim, Changwon

    2016-08-01

    The stackable and submergible microbial fuel cell (SS-MFC) system was fabricated consisting of three MFC modules (#1, #2 and #3) that were immersed in an anaerobic tank as a 30 L anode compartment. Each module consisted of the anion exchange membrane-membrane electrode assembly (A-MEA) and cation exchange membrane-MEA (C-MEA). Two MEAs shared a cathode compartment in the module and the three modules shared a anode compartment The SS-MFC system was operated with two phase. After batch feeding (phase I), the system was operated under continuous mode (phase II) with different organic concentrations (from 50 to 1000 mg/L) and different hydraulic retention times (HRT; from 3.4 to 7.2 h). The SS-MFC system successfully produced a stable voltage. A-MEA generated a lower power density than the C-MEA because of the former's high activation and resistance loss. C-MEA showed a higher average maximum power density (3.16 W/m(3)) than A-MEA (2.82 W/m(3)) at 70 mL/min (HRT of 7.2 h). The current density increased as the organic concentration was increased from 70 to 1000 mg/L in a manner consistent with Monod kinetics. When the HRT was increased from 3.4 to 7.2 h, the power densities of the C-MEAs increased from 34.3-40.9 to 40.7-45.7 mW/m(2), but those of the A-MEAs decreased from 25.3-48.0 to 27.7-40.9 mW/m(2). Although power generation was affected by HRT, organic concentrations, and separator types, the proposed SS-MFC modules can be applied to existing wastewater treatment plants.

  7. Electricity production from twelve monosaccharides using microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Catal, Tunc [Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, 116 Gilmore Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, 102 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul Technical University, 34469-Maslak, Istanbul (Turkey); Li, Kaichang [Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, 102 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Bermek, Hakan [Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul Technical University, 34469-Maslak, Istanbul (Turkey); Liu, Hong [Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, 116 Gilmore Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States)

    2008-01-03

    Direct generation of electricity from monosaccharides of lignocellulosic biomass was examined using air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Electricity was generated from all carbon sources tested, including six hexoses (D-glucose, D-galactose, D(-)-levulose (fructose), L-fucose, L-rhamnose, and D-mannose), three pentoses (D-xylose, D(-)-arabinose, and D(-)-ribose), two uronic acids (D-galacturonic acid and D-glucuronic acid) and one aldonic acid (D-gluconic acid). The mixed bacterial culture, which was enriched using acetate as a carbon source, adapted well to all carbon sources tested, although the adaptation times varied from 1 to 70 h. The maximum power density obtained from these carbon sources ranged from 1240 {+-} 10 to 2770 {+-} 30 mW m{sup -2} at current density range of 0.76-1.18 mA cm{sup -2}. D-Mannose resulted in the lowest maximum power density, whereas D-glucuronic acid generated the highest one. Coulombic efficiency ranged from 21 to 37%. For all carbon sources tested, the relationship between the maximum voltage output and the substrate concentration appeared to follow saturation kinetics at 120 {omega} external resistance. The estimated maximum voltage output ranged between 0.26 and 0.44 V and half-saturation kinetic constants ranged from 111 to 725 mg L{sup -1}. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was over 80% for all carbon sources tested. Results from this study indicated that lignocellulosic biomass-derived monosaccharides might be a suitable resource for electricity generation using MFC technology. (author)

  8. Electricity production from twelve monosaccharides using microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catal, Tunc; Li, Kaichang; Bermek, Hakan; Liu, Hong

    Direct generation of electricity from monosaccharides of lignocellulosic biomass was examined using air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Electricity was generated from all carbon sources tested, including six hexoses (D-glucose, D-galactose, D(-)-levulose (fructose), L-fucose, L-rhamnose, and D-mannose), three pentoses (D-xylose, D(-)-arabinose, and D(-)-ribose), two uronic acids (D-galacturonic acid and D-glucuronic acid) and one aldonic acid (D-gluconic acid). The mixed bacterial culture, which was enriched using acetate as a carbon source, adapted well to all carbon sources tested, although the adaptation times varied from 1 to 70 h. The maximum power density obtained from these carbon sources ranged from 1240 ± 10 to 2770 ± 30 mW m -2 at current density range of 0.76-1.18 mA cm -2. D-Mannose resulted in the lowest maximum power density, whereas D-glucuronic acid generated the highest one. Coulombic efficiency ranged from 21 to 37%. For all carbon sources tested, the relationship between the maximum voltage output and the substrate concentration appeared to follow saturation kinetics at 120 Ω external resistance. The estimated maximum voltage output ranged between 0.26 and 0.44 V and half-saturation kinetic constants ranged from 111 to 725 mg L -1. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was over 80% for all carbon sources tested. Results from this study indicated that lignocellulosic biomass-derived monosaccharides might be a suitable resource for electricity generation using MFC technology.

  9. Neutral hydrophilic cathode catalyst binders for microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Saito, Tomonori

    2011-01-01

    Improving oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes requires a better understanding of the effects of the catalyst binder chemistry and properties on performance. A series of polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) polymers with systematically varying hydrophilicity were designed to determine the effect of the hydrophilic character of the binder on cathode performance. Increasing the hydrophilicity of the PS-b-PEO binders enhanced the electrochemical response of the cathode and MFC power density by ∼15%, compared to the hydrophobic PS-OH binder. Increased cathode performance was likely a result of greater water uptake by the hydrophilic binder, which would increase the accessible surface area for oxygen reduction. Based on these results and due to the high cost of PS-b-PEO, the performance of an inexpensive hydrophilic neutral polymer, poly(bisphenol A-co-epichlorohydrin) (BAEH), was examined in MFCs and compared to a hydrophilic sulfonated binder (Nafion). MFCs with BAEH-based cathodes with two different Pt loadings initially (after 2 cycles) had lower MFC performance (1360 and 630 mW m-2 for 0.5 and 0.05 mg Pt cm-2) than Nafion cathodes (1980 and 1080 mW m -2 for 0.5 and 0.05 mg Pt cm-2). However, after long-term operation (22 cycles, 40 days), power production of each cell was similar (∼1200 and 700-800 mW m-2 for 0.5 and 0.05 mg Pt cm-2) likely due to cathode biofouling that could not be completely reversed through physical cleaning. While binder chemistry could improve initial electrochemical cathode performance, binder materials had less impact on overall long-term MFC performance. This observation suggests that long-term operation of MFCs will require better methods to avoid cathode biofouling. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  10. Perspectives on research and development of microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ortega-Martinez, A.; Vazquez Larios, A.L.; Solorza-Feria, O.; Poggi Varaldo, H.M. [Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)]. E-mail: hectorpoggi2001@gmail.com; rareli@hotmail.com

    2009-09-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC), is an anoxic electrochemical bioreactor where bacteria grow in the absence of oxygen in a chamber containing an anode which it may be covered by a biofilm. Microorganisms anoxically oxidize the organic substrate and electrons generated are released to the anode. Released protons are transferred to the cathode. Natural or forced aeration of the cathode supplies the oxygen for the final reaction 2H{sup +} + 2e{sup -} + (1/2) O{sub 2} = H{sub 2}O. In this work, we present a critical review on MFC focused on subjects that are receiving a growing interest from the research and technological communities: (i) types of MFC, their relative advantages and disadvantages and ranges of application; (ii) development of biocathodes; (iii) enrichment procedures of microbial communities in MFC. Recent research shows that one-chamber fitted with cathode aerated by natural aeration, and other special types of high performance MFC, have displaced the historical two-chamber MFC. Recent studies showed that electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) can be successfully enriched in MFC. The cost and eventual poisoning of the platinum catalyst used at the cathode is a major limitation to MFC application and economic viability. Researchers have started working on the concept of biocathodes that would use bacteria instead of platinum as a biocatalyst. Microbial enrichment of inocula seeded to MFC may provide a way to enrich the consortium with EAB, thus substantially increasing the transfer of electrons to the anode. Bioaugmentation of consortia in MFC with strains EAB, could contribute to the same goal. [Spanish] Las celdas de combustible microbianas (CCM) son un biorrector anoxico donde las bacterias crecen en ausencia de oxigeno en una camara que contiene un anodo que puede cubrirse con una biopelicula. Los microorganismos oxidan onoxicamente el sustrato organico y los electrones generados se liberan al anodo. Los protones liberados se transfieren al catodo. La

  11. Application of conductive polymers in biocathode of microbial fuel cells and microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chao; Ding, Lili; Cui, Hao; Zhang, Libin; Xu, Ke; Ren, Hongqiang

    2012-07-01

    Four kinds of conductive polymers, polyaniline (PANI) and its co-polymers poly (aniline-co-o-aminophenol) (PANOA), poly (aniline-co-2, 4-diaminophenol) (PANDAP) and poly (aniline-1, 8-diaminonaphthalene) (PANDAN) were applied to modify carbon felts as the aerobic abiotic cathodes and biocathodes in microbial fuel cells (MFC). Compare to unmodified, all the four polymers can significantly improve the power densities for both abiotic cathodes (increased by 300%) and biocathodes (increased by 180%). The co-polymers with different functional groups introduction had further special advantages in MFC performance: PANOA and PANDAP with -OH showed less sensitivity to DO and pH change in cathode; PANDAP and PANDAN with -NH(3) provided better attachment condition for biofilm which endowed them higher power output. With the help of conductive polymer coats, the cathode biofilm became thicker, and according to biodiversity analysis, the predominated phyla changed from β-Proteobacteria (unmodified) to α, γ-Proteobacteria (modified), which may be responsible for the superiority of the modified MFCs.

  12. The Impact of Microbially Influenced Corrosion on Spent Nuclear Fuel and Storage Life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. H. Wolfram; R. E. Mizia; R. Jex; L. Nelson; K. M. Garcia

    1996-10-01

    A study was performed to evaluate if microbial activity could be considered a threat to spent nuclear fuel integrity. The existing data regarding the impact of microbial influenced corrosion (MIC) on spent nuclear fuel storage does not allow a clear assessment to be made. In order to identify what further data are needed, a literature survey on MIC was accomplished with emphasis on materials used in nuclear fuel fabrication, e.g., A1, 304 SS, and zirconium. In addition, a survey was done at Savannah River, Oak Ridge, Hanford, and the INEL on the condition of their wet storage facilities. The topics discussed were the SNF path forward, the types of fuel, ramifications of damaged fuel, involvement of microbial processes, dry storage scenarios, ability to identify microbial activity, definitions of water quality, and the use of biocides. Information was also obtained at international meetings in the area of biological mediated problems in spent fuel and high level wastes. Topics dis cussed included receiving foreign reactor research fuels into existing pools, synergism between different microbes and other forms of corrosion, and cross contamination.

  13. Microbial Community Analysis of Anodes from Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells Powered by Rhizodeposits of Living Rice Plants ▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Schamphelaire, Liesje; Cabezas, Angela; Marzorati, Massimo; Friedrich, Michael W.; Boon, Nico; Verstraete, Willy

    2010-01-01

    By placing the anode of a sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) in the rhizosphere of a rice plant, root-excreted rhizodeposits can be microbially oxidized with concomitant current generation. Here, various molecular techniques were used to characterize the composition of bacterial and archaeal communities on such anodes, as influenced by electrical circuitry, sediment matrix, and the presence of plants. Closed-circuit anodes in potting soil were enriched with Desulfobulbus-like species, members of the family Geobacteraceae, and as yet uncultured representatives of the domain Archaea. PMID:20097806

  14. Separator Characteristics for Increasing Performance of Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2009-11-01

    Two challenges for improving the performance of air cathode, single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) include increasing Coulombic efficiency (CE) and decreasing internal resistance. Nonbiodegradable glass fiber separators between the two electrodes were shown to increase power and CE, compared to cloth separators (J-cloth) that were degraded over time. MFCtestswereconductedusing glass fibermatswith thicknesses of 1.0mm (GF1) or 0.4 mm (GF0.4), a cation exchange membrane (CEM), and a J-cloth (JC), using reactors with different configurations. Higher power densities were obtained with either GF1 (46 ± 4 W/m3) or JC (46 ± 1 W/m3) in MFCs with a 2 cm electrode spacing, when the separator was placed against the cathode (S-configuration), rather than MFCs with GF0.4 (36 ± 1 W/m3) or CEM (14 ± 1 W/m3). Power was increased to 70 ± 2 W/m3 by placing the electrodes on either side of the GF1 separator (single separator electrode assembly, SSEA) and further to 150 ± 6 W/m3 using two sets of electrodes spaced 2 cm a part (double separator electrode assembly, DSEA). Reducing the DSEA electrode spacing to 0.3 cm increased power to 696 ± 26 W/m3 as a result of a decrease in the ohmic resistance from 5.9 to 2.2 Ω. The main advantages of a GF1 separator compared to JC were an improvement in the CE from 40% to 81% (S-configuration), compared to only 20-40% for JC under similar conditions, and the fact that GF1 was not biodegradable. The high CE for the GF1 separator was attributed to a low oxygen mass transfer coefficient (ko ) 5.0 x 10-5 cm/s). The GF1 andJCmaterials differed in the amount of biomass that accumulated on the separator and its biodegradability, which affected long-term power production and oxygen transport. These results show that materials and mass transfer properties of separators are important factors for improving power densities, CE, and long-term performance of MFCs. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

  15. Cationic fluorinated polymer binders for microbial fuel cell cathodes

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Guang

    2012-01-01

    Fluorinated quaternary ammonium-containing polymers were used as catalyst binders in microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes. The performance of the cathodes was examined and compared to NAFION ® and other sulfonated aromatic cathode catalyst binders using linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), impedance spectroscopy, and performance tests in single chamber air-cathode MFCs. The cathodes with quaternary ammonium functionalized fluorinated poly(arylene ether) (Q-FPAE) binders showed similar current density and charge transfer resistance (R ct) to cathodes with NAFION ® binders. Cathodes containing either of these fluorinated binders exhibited better electrochemical responses than cathodes with sulfonated or quaternary ammonium-functionalized RADEL ® poly(sulfone) (S-Radel or Q-Radel) binders. After 19 cycles (19 d), the power densities of all the MFCs declined compared to the initial cycles due to biofouling at the cathode. MFC cathodes with fluorinated polymer binders (1445 mW m -2, Q-FPAE-1.4-H; 1397 mW m -2, Q-FPAE-1.4-Cl; 1277 mW m -2, NAFION ®; and 1256 mW m -2, Q-FPAE-1.0-Cl) had better performance than those with non-fluorinated polymer binders (880 mW m -2, S-Radel; 670 mW m -2, Q-Radel). There was a 15% increase in the power density using the Q-FPAE binder with a 40% higher ion exchange capacity (Q-FPAE-1.4-H compared to Q-FPAE-1.0-Cl) after 19 cycles of operation, but there was no effect on the power production due to counter ions in the binder (Cl -vs. HCO 3 -). The highest-performance cathodes (NAFION ® and Q-FPAE binders) had the lowest charge transfer resistances (R ct) in fresh and in fouled cathodes despite the presence of thick biofilms on the surface of the electrodes. These results show that fluorinated binders may decrease the penetration of the biofilm and associated biopolymers into the cathode structure, which helps to combat MFC performance loss over time. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  16. Electricity generation from wastewaters with starch as carbon source using a mediatorless microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero-Hernandez, E; Smith, T J; Akid, R

    2013-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells represent a new method for producing electricity from the oxidation of organic matter. A mediatorless microbial fuel cell was developed using Escherichia coli as the active bacterial component with synthetic wastewater of potato extract as the energy source. The two-chamber fuel cell, with a relation of volume between anode and cathode chamber of 8:1, was operated in batch mode. The response was similar to that obtained when glucose was used as the carbon source. The performance characteristics of the fuel cell were evaluated with two different anode and cathode shapes, platinised titanium strip or mesh; the highest maximum power density (502mWm(-2)) was achieved in the microbial fuel cell with mesh electrodes. In addition to electricity generation, the MFC exhibited efficient treatment of wastewater so that significant reduction of initial oxygen demand of wastewater by 61% was observed. These results demonstrate that potato starch can be used for power generation in a mediatorless microbial fuel cell with high removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand.

  17. Graphite anode surface modification with controlled reduction of specific aryl diazonium salts for improved microbial fuel cells power output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picot, Matthieu; Lapinsonnière, Laure; Rothballer, Michael; Barrière, Frédéric

    2011-10-15

    Graphite electrodes were modified with reduction of aryl diazonium salts and implemented as anodes in microbial fuel cells. First, reduction of 4-aminophenyl diazonium is considered using increased coulombic charge density from 16.5 to 200 mC/cm(2). This procedure introduced aryl amine functionalities at the surface which are neutral at neutral pH. These electrodes were implemented as anodes in "H" type microbial fuel cells inoculated with waste water, acetate as the substrate and using ferricyanide reduction at the cathode and a 1000 Ω external resistance. When the microbial anode had developed, the performances of the microbial fuel cells were measured under acetate saturation conditions and compared with those of control microbial fuel cells having an unmodified graphite anode. We found that the maximum power density of microbial fuel cell first increased as a function of the extent of modification, reaching an optimum after which it decreased for higher degree of surface modification, becoming even less performing than the control microbial fuel cell. Then, the effect of the introduction of charged groups at the surface was investigated at a low degree of surface modification. It was found that negatively charged groups at the surface (carboxylate) decreased microbial fuel cell power output while the introduction of positively charged groups doubled the power output. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the microbial anode modified with positively charged groups was covered by a dense and homogeneous biofilm. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses showed that this biofilm consisted to a large extent of bacteria from the known electroactive Geobacter genus. In summary, the extent of modification of the anode was found to be critical for the microbial fuel cell performance. The nature of the chemical group introduced at the electrode surface was also found to significantly affect the performance of the microbial fuel cells. The method used for

  18. Electricity Generation from Organic Matters in Biocatalyst-Based Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Min, Booki; Zhang, Yifeng; Angelidaki, Irini

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a novel technology for converting organic matter directly to electricity via biocatalytic reactions by microorganisms. MFCs can also be used for wastewater treatment by the oxidations of organic pollutants during the electricity generation. Several factors...... for optimum power generation in MFC have been investigated at previous studies. A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC), which is a novel configuration, was developed by immersing an anode electrode and a cathode chamber in an anaerobic reactor. Domestic wastewater without any amendments was used...... generation showed a saturation-type relationship as a function of wastewater strength, with a maximum power density (Pmax) of 218mWm−2 and a saturation constant (Ks) of 244 mg L−1.We also achieved a successful power generation (123 mW/m2) from wheat straw hydrolysate in a two chamber microbial fuel cells...

  19. Substrates and pathway of electricity generation in a nitrification-based microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hui; Zheng, Ping; Zhang, Jiqiang; Xie, Zuofu; Ji, Junyuan; Ghulam, Abbas

    2014-06-01

    Nitrification-based microbial fuel cell (N-MFC) is a novel inorganic microbial fuel cell based on nitrification in the anode compartment. So far, little information is available on the substrates and pathway of N-MFC. The results of this study indicated that apart from the primary nitrification substrate (ammonium), the intermediates (hydroxylamine and nitrite) could also serve as anodic fuel to generate current, and the end product nitrate showed an inhibitory effect on electricity generation. Based on the research, a pathway of electricity generation was proposed for N-MFC: ammonium was oxidized first to nitrite by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), then the nitrite in anolyte and the potassium permanganate in catholyte constituted a chemical cell to generate current. In other words, the electricity generation in N-MFC was not only supported by microbial reaction as we expected, but both biological and electrochemical reactions contributed.

  20. Performance of Klebsiella oxytoca to generate electricity from POME in microbial fuel cell

    OpenAIRE

    Islam Md. Amirul; Rahman Maksudur; Yousuf Abu; Cheng Chin Kui; Wai Woon Chee

    2016-01-01

    This study is aimed to evaluate the electricity generation from microbial fuel cell (MFC) and to analyze the microbial community structure of city wastewater and anaerobic sludge to enhance the MFC performance. MFCs, enriched with palm oil mill effluent (POME) were employed to harvest electricity by innoculating of Klebsiella oxytoca, collected from city wastewater and other microbes from anaerobic sludge (AS). The MFC showed maximum power density of 207.28 mW/m3 with continuous feeding of PO...

  1. Riboflavin-shuttled extracellular electron transfer from Enterococcus faecalis to electrodes in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Enren; Cai, Yamin; Luo, Yue; Piao, Zhe

    2014-11-01

    Great attention has been focused on Gram-negative bacteria in the application of microbial fuel cells. In this study, the Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecalis was employed in microbial fuel cells. Bacterial biofilms formed by E. faecalis ZER6 were investigated with respect to electricity production through the riboflavin-shuttled extracellular electron transfer. Trace riboflavin was shown to be essential for transferring electrons derived from the oxidation of glucose outside the peptidoglycan layer in the cell wall of E. faecalis biofilms formed on the surface of electrodes, in the absence of other potential electron mediators (e.g., yeast extract).

  2. Sustainable Hypersaline Microbial Fuel Cells: Inexpensive Recyclable Polymer Supports for Carbon Nanotube Conductive Paint Anodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grattieri, Matteo; Shivel, Nelson; Sifat, Iram; Bestetti, Massimiliano; Minteer, Shelley

    2017-02-28

    Microbial fuel cells are an emerging technology for wastewater treatment, but in order to be commercially viable and sustainable, the electrode materials must be inexpensive, recyclable and reliable. In this paper, recyclable polymeric supports were explored for the development of anode electrodes to be applied in-field in single chamber microbial fuel cells operated in hypersaline conditions. The support was covered with a carbon-nanotube (CNT)-based conductive paint and biofilms were able to colonize the electrodes. The single chamber microbial fuel cells with Pt-free cathodes delivered a reproducible power output after 15 days of operation, achieving 12 ± 1 mW m-2 at a current density of 69 ± 7 mA m-2. The decrease of performance in long-term experiments was mostly related to inorganic precipitates on the cathode electrode and did not affect the performance of the anode, as shown by experiments replacing the cathode that regenerated the fuel cell performance. The results of these studies show the feasibility of carbon nanotube-based paint coated polymeric supports for microbial fuel cell applications.

  3. Inocula selection in microbial fuel cells based on anodic biofilm abundance of Geobacter sulfurreducens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Guotao; Rodrigues, Diogo De Sacadura; Thygesen, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) rely on microbial conversion of organic substrates to electricity. The optimal performance depends on the establishment of a microbial community rich in electrogenic bacteria. Usually this microbial community is established from inoculation of the MFC anode chamber...... with naturally occurring mixed inocula. In this study, the electrochemical performance of MFCs and microbial community evolution were evaluated for three inocula including domestic wastewater (DW), lake sediment (LS) and biogas sludge (BS) with varying substrate loading (Lsub) and external resistance (Rext......) on the MFC. The electrogenic bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens was identified in all inocula and its abundance during MFC operation was positively linked to the MFC performance. The LS inoculated MFCs showed highest abundance (18% ± 1%) of G. sulfurreducens, maximum current density [Imax = (690 ± 30) m...

  4. Inhibition of microbial growth on air cathodes of single chamber microbial fuel cells by incorporating enrofloxacin into the catalyst layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weifeng; Cheng, Shaoan; Sun, Dan; Huang, Haobin; Chen, Jie; Cen, Kefa

    2015-10-15

    The inevitable growth of aerobic bacteria on the surface of air cathodes is an important factor reducing the performance stability of air cathode single-chamber membrane-free microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Thus searching for effective methods to inhibit the cathodic microbial growth is critical for the practical application of MFCs. In this study, enrofloxacin (ENR), a broad spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic, was incorporated into the catalyst layer of activated carbon air cathodes (ACACs) to inhibit the cathodic microbial growth. The biomass content on ACACs was substantially reduced by 60.2% with ENR treatment after 91 days of MFCs operation. As a result of the inhibited microbial growth, the oxygen reduction catalytic performance of the ENR treated ACACs was much stable compared to the fast performance decline of the untreated control. Consequently, a quite stable electricity production was obtained for the MFCs with the ENR treated ACACs, in contrast with a 22.5% decrease in maximum power density of the MFCs with the untreated cathode. ENR treatment of ACACs showed minimal effects on the anode performance. These results indicate that incorporating antibiotics into ACACs should be a simple and effective strategy to inhibit the microbial growth and improve the long-term stability of the performance of air cathode and the electricity production of MFCs.

  5. Coating-type three-dimensional acetate-driven microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jin; Tang, Yulan

    2015-08-01

    This study uses sodium acetate as fuel to construct bioelectricity in coating-type three-dimensional microbial fuel cells anode. The coating-type three-dimensional anode was constructed using iron net as structural support, adhering a layer of carbon felt as primary coating and using carbon powder and 30% PTFE solution mixture as coating. The efficiency of electricity production and wastewater treatment were analyzed for the three-dimensional acetate-fed (C2H3NaO2) microbial fuel cells with the various ratio of the coating mixture. The results showed that the efficiency of electricity production was significantly improved when using the homemade coating-type microbial fuel cells anode compared with the one without coating on the iron net, which the apparent internal resistance was decreased by 59.4% and the maximum power density was increased by 1.5 times. It was found the electricity production was greatly influenced by the ratio of the carbon powder and PTFE in the coating. The electricity production was the highest with apparent internal resistance of 190 Ω, and maximum power density of 5189.4 mW m(-3) when 750 mg of carbon powder and 10 ml of PTFE (i.e., ratio 75:1) was used in the coating. With the efficiency of electricity production, wide distribution and low cost of the raw materials, the homemade acetate-fed microbial fuel cells provides a valuable reference to the development of the composition microbial fuel cell anode production.

  6. A Metagenomic Analysis of Microbial Contamination in Aviation Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    microbial growth at phase interfaces (liquid-liquid, liquid-solid, liquid-gas, and so forth) (ASTM, 1999). Biosurfactant , n. — A surface-active...toxic and biodegradable. Biosurfactants enhance the emulsification of hydrocarbons, have the potential to solubilize hydrocarbon contaminants and...utilize secreted biosurfactants to solubilize the alkanes prior to metabolizing them (Rauch, 2008). Unfortunately, the biosurfactants have deleterious

  7. Renewable sustainable biocatalyzed electricity production in a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Terlouw, H.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2008-01-01

    Electricity production via solar energy capturing by living higher plants and microalgae in combination with microbial fuel cells are attractive because these systems promise to generate useful energy in a renewable, sustainable, and efficient manner. This study describes the proof of principle of a

  8. Synthesization of SnO2-modified carbon nanotubes and their application in microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zi-Bo; Xiong, Shi-Chang; Guan, Yu-Jiang; Zhu, Xue-Qiang

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this work was to study the synthesization of SnO2-modified carbon nanotubes and their application in microbial fuel cell. With the chemical vapor deposition technique, carbon nanotubes growing in situ on a carbon felt are obtained. A SnO2 sol was applied to the carbon felt to prepare a SnO2-modified carbon nanotubes. X-ray diffraction and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis confirmed that SnO2 existed in the prepared samples. Using the prepared samples as anode electrodes, flexible graphite as cathode, and glucose solution as substrate in microbial fuel cell, the effects of the temperature, substrate concentration, and electrodes on removal rates for chemical oxygen demand and the performance of microbial fuel cell have been analyzed. With substrate concentration of 1500 mg L-1, the microbial fuel cell had an optimal output voltage of 563 mV and a removal rate of 78 % for chemical oxygen demand at 311 K. The composite electrodes are stable and reusable.

  9. A microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for the detection of toxic components in water

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, N.E.

    2011-01-01

    In a microbial fuel cell bacteria produce electricity. When water with a constant quality is lead passed the bacteria, a constant current will be measured. When toxic components enter the cell with the water, the bacteria are affected a

  10. Modelling microbial fuel cells with suspended cells and added electron transfer mediator

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Picoreanu, C.; Katuri, K.P.; Van Loosdrecht, M.C.M.; Head, I.M.; Scott, K.

    2009-01-01

    Derivation of a mathematical model for microbial fuel cells (MFC) with suspended biomass and added electron-transfer mediator is described. The model is based on mass balances for several dissolved chemical species such as substrate, oxidized mediator and reduced mediator. Biological, chemical and e

  11. Improving the cathode of a microbial fuel cell for efficient electricity production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijne, ter A.

    2010-01-01

    The worldwide demand for energy is increasing. At the same time, energy rich wastewaters are currently purified by oxygen supply, which costs a lot of energy. The Microbial Fuel Cell is a new technology that offers advantages in both directions: it produces electricity while purifying wastewaters. T

  12. Electricity production from xylose using a mediator-less microbial fuel cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Liping; Zeng, Raymond Jianxiong; Angelidaki, Irini

    2008-01-01

    Electricity generation integrated with xylose degradation was investigated in a two-chamber mediator-less microbial fuel cell (MFC). Voltage output followed saturation kinetics as a function of xylose concentration for concentration below 9.7 mM, with a predicted maximum of 86 mV (6.3 mW m(-2...

  13. Analysis and Improvement of a Scaled-Up and Stacked Microbial Fuel Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekker, A.J.G.; Heijne, ter A.; Saakes, M.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2009-01-01

    Scaling up microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is inevitable when power outputs have to be obtained that can power electrical devices other than small sensors. This research has used a bipolar plate MFC stack of four cells with a total working volume of 20 L and a total membrane surface area of 2 m2. The ca

  14. Increased power generation from primary sludge by a submersible microbial fuel cell and optimum operational conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vologni, Valentina; Kakarla, Ramesh; Angelidaki, Irini;

    2013-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have received attention as a promising renewable energy technology for waste treatment and energy recovery. We tested a submersible MFC with an innovative design capable of generating a stable voltage of 0.250 ± 0.008 V (with a fixed 470 Ω resistor) directly from primary...

  15. Increase of power output by change of ion transport direction in a plant microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, R.A.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2013-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology for the production of renewable and clean bioenergy based on photosynthesis. To increase the power output of the PMFC, the internal resistance (IR) must be reduced. The objective of the present study was to reduce the membrane resistance by changi

  16. Electricity generation by a plant microbial fuel cell with an integrated oxygen reducing biocathode

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wetser, K.; Sudirjo, E.; Buisman, C.J.N.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.

    2015-01-01

    In this study we show that a chemical ferricyanide cathode can be replaced by a biological oxygen reducing cathode in a plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) with a new record power output. A biocathode was successfully integrated in a PMFC and operated for 151 days. Plants growth continued and the power

  17. Copper Recovery Combined with Electricity Production in a Microbial Fuel Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijne, ter A.; Liu, F.; Weijden, R.V.D.; Weijma, J.; Buisman, C.J.N.; Hamelers, H.V.M.

    2010-01-01

    A metallurgical microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an attractive alternative for recovery of copper from copper containing waste streams, as the metal is recovered in its metallic form at the cathode, while the energy for metal reduction can be obtained from oxidation of organic materials at the anode wit

  18. Use of a Burkholderia cenocepacia ABTS Oxidizer in a Microbial Fuel Cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) often use biological processes to generate electrons from organic material contained in the anode chamber and abiotic processes employing atmospheric oxygen as the oxidant in the cathode chamber. This study investigated the accumulation of an oxidant in bacterial cultures...

  19. Microbial Fuel Cell Operation with Continuous Biological Ferrous Iron Oxidation of the Catholyte

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijne, ter A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2007-01-01

    The oxygen reduction rate at the cathode is a limiting factor in microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance. In our previous study, we showed the performance of an MFC with ferric iron (Fe3+) reduction at the cathode. Instead of oxygen, ferric iron was reduced to ferrous iron (Fe2+) at the cathode with a

  20. Trend of Mathematical Models in Microbial Fuel Cell for Environmental Energy Refinery from Waste/Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Sung Taek

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a device to use for bio electrochemical energy production. Electrophilic bacteria produce electrons in their metabolic pathway and the electrons can be extracted and concentrated on electrode by the electric potential difference (i.e. Galvanic cell). The bio-electrode may provide new opportunities for the renewable energy in waste water/swage treatment plants.

  1. Electricity generation by microbial fuel cells fuelled with wheat straw hydrolysate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thygesen, Anders; Poulsen, Finn Willy; Angelidaki, Irini;

    2011-01-01

    Electricity production from microbial fuel cells fueled with hydrolysate produced by hydrothermal treatment of wheat straw can achieve both energy production and domestic wastewater purification. The hydrolysate contained mainly xylan, carboxylic acids, and phenolic compounds. Power generation...... density with the hydrolysate was higher than the one with only xylan (120 mW m−2) and carboxylic acids as fuel. The higher power density can be caused by the presence of phenolic compounds in the hydrolysates, which could mediate electron transport. Electricity generation with the hydrolysate resulted...

  2. Microbial Fuel Cells Applied to the Metabolically-Based Detection of Extraterrestrial Life

    CERN Document Server

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Cortón, Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    Since the 1970's, when the Viking spacecrafts carried out experiments aimed to the detection of microbial metabolism on the surface of Mars, the search for nonspecific methods to detect life in situ has been one of the goals of astrobiology. It is usually required that the methodology can detect life independently from its composition or form, and that the chosen biological signature points to a feature common to all living systems, as the presence of metabolism. In this paper we evaluate the use of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) for the detection of microbial life in situ. MFCs are electrochemical devices originally developed as power electrical sources, and can be described as fuel cells in which the anode is submerged in a medium that contains microorganisms. These microorganisms, as part of their metabolic process, oxidize organic material releasing electrons that contribute to the electric current, which is therefore proportional to metabolic and other redox processes. We show that power and current density...

  3. Characterization of microbial contamination in United States Air Force aviation fuel tanks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, Michelle E; Graef, Harold W; Rozenzhak, Sophie M; Jones, Sharon E; Bleckmann, Charles A; Kruger, Randell L; Naik, Rajesh R; Stone, Morley O

    2006-01-01

    Bacteria and fungi, isolated from United States Air Force (USAF) aviation fuel samples, were identified by gas chromatograph fatty acid methyl ester (GC-FAME) profiling and 16S or 18S rRNA gene sequencing. Thirty-six samples from 11 geographically separated USAF bases were collected. At each base, an above-ground storage tank, a refueling truck, and an aircraft wing tank were sampled at the lowest sample point, or sump, to investigate microbial diversity and dispersion within the fuel distribution chain. Twelve genera, including four Bacillus species and two Staphylococcus species, were isolated and identified. Bacillus licheniformis, the most prevalent organism isolated, was found at seven of the 11 bases. Of the organisms identified, Bacillus sp., Micrococcus luteus, Sphinogmonas sp., Staphylococcus sp., and the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans have previously been isolated from aviation fuel samples. The bacteria Pantoea ananatis, Arthrobacter sp., Alcaligenes sp., Kocuria rhizophilia, Leucobacter komagatae, Dietza sp., and the fungus Discophaerina fagi have not been previously reported in USAF aviation fuel. Only at two bases were the same organisms isolated from all three sample points in the fuel supply distribution chain. Isolation of previously undocumented organisms suggests either, changes in aviation fuel microbial community in response to changes in aviation fuel composition, additives and biocide use, or simply, improvements in isolation and identification techniques.

  4. [Bioanode for a microbial fuel cell based on Gluconobacter oxydans inummobilized into a polymer matrix].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alferov, S V; Minaĭcheva, P R; Arliapov, V A; Asulian, L D; Alferov, V A; Ponomareva, O N; Reshetilov, A N

    2014-01-01

    Acetic acid bacteria Gluconobacter oxydans subsp. industrius RKM V-1280 were immobilized into a synthetic matrix based on polyvinyl alcohol modified with N-vinylpyrrolidone and used as biocatalysts for the development ofbioanodes for microbial fuel cells. The immobilization method did not significantly affect bacterial substrate specificity. Bioanodes based on immobilized bacteria functioned stably for 7 days. The maximum voltage (fuel cell signal) was reached when 100-130 µM of an electron transport mediator, 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol, was added into the anode compartment. The fuel cell signals reached a maximum at a glucose concentration higher than 6 mM. The power output of the laboratory model of a fuel cell based on the developed bioanode reached 7 mW/m2 with the use of fermentation industry wastes as fuel.

  5. A hybrid microbial fuel cell stack based on single and double chamber microbial fuel cells for self-sustaining pH control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wei; Li, Jun; Ye, Dingding; Zhang, Liang; Zhu, Xun; Liao, Qiang

    2016-02-01

    Proton accumulation in the anode chamber is the major problem that affects the operational stability and electricity generation performance of double chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, a hybrid microbial fuel cell stack (DS-DS stack) based on single (SCMFCs) and double chamber MFCs (DCMFCs) is proposed for self-sustaining pH control in the MFC stack. It is found that the aerobic microbial oxidation of acetate by the biofilm that is attached to the air cathode of SCMFCs is responsible for the self-sustaining removal of accumulated H+ in the effluent of DCMFCs. Compared with the stack that solely consists of SCMFCs (SS-SS stack) or DCMFCs (DD-DD stack), the hybrid stack exhibits the highest electricity output performance and the most effective conversion of acetate into electricity at high power levels. Furthermore, the hybrid stack demonstrates the operation time of 15.7 ± 1.1 h when the operating voltage is above 0.8 V. This value is much higher than that of the DD-DD (8.5 ± 2.4 h) and SS-SS (8.1 ± 1.4 h) stacks, which suggests that the hybrid stack had a good operational stability.

  6. Effect of biodiesel addition on microbial community structure in a simulated fuel storage system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restrepo-Flórez, Juan-Manuel; Bassi, Amarjeet; Rehmann, Lars; Thompson, Michael R

    2013-11-01

    Understanding changes in microbial structure due to biodiesel storage is important both for protecting integrity of storage systems and fuel quality management. In this work a simulated storage system was used to study the effect of biodiesel (0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) on a microbial population, which was followed by community level physiological profiling (CLPP), 16s rDNA analysis and plating in selective media. Results proved that structure and functionality were affected by biodiesel. CLPP showed at least three populations: one corresponding to diesel, one to biodiesel and one to blends of diesel and biodiesel. Analysis of 16s rDNA revealed that microbial composition was different for populations growing in diesel and biodiesel. Genera identified are known for degradation of hydrocarbons and emulsifier production. Maximum growth was obtained in biodiesel; however, microbial counts in standard media were lower for this samples. Acidification of culture media was observed at high biodiesel concentration.

  7. Application of a weak magnetic field to improve microbial fuel cell performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Zhong-Hua; Yu, Han-Qing; Li, Wen-Wei; Wang, Yun-Kun; Sun, Min; Liu, Xian-Wei; Sheng, Guo-Ping

    2015-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have emerged as a promising technology for wastewater treatment with concomitant energy production but the performance is usually limited by low microbial activities. This has spurred intensive research interest for microbial enhancement. This study demonstrated an interesting stimulation effect of a static magnetic field (MF) on sludge-inoculated MFCs and explored into the mechanisms. The implementation of a 100-mT MF accelerated the reactor startup and led to increased electricity generation. Under the MF exposure, the activation loss of the MFC was decreased, but there was no increased secretion of redox mediators. Thus, the MF effect was mainly due to enhanced bioelectrochemical activities of anodic microorganisms, which are likely attributed to the oxidative stress and magnetohydrodynamic effects under an MF exposure. This work implies that weak MF may be applied as a simple and effective approach to stimulate microbial activities for various bioelectrochemical energy production and decontamination applications.

  8. The use of microbial gene abundance in the development of fuel remediation guidelines in polar soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elizabeth L; King, Catherine K; Powell, Shane M

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial fuel spills in Antarctica commonly occur on ice-free land around research stations as the result of human activities. Successful spill clean-ups require appropriate targets that confirm contaminated sites are no longer likely to pose environmental risk following remediation. These targets are based on knowledge of the impacts of contaminants on the soil ecosystem and on the response of native biota to contamination. Our work examined the response of soil microbial communities to fuel contamination by measuring the abundance of genes involved in critical soil processes, and assessed the use of this approach as an indicator of soil health in the presence of weathered and fresh fuels. Uncontaminated and contaminated soils were collected from the site of remediation treatment of an aged diesel spill at Casey Station, East Antarctica in December 2012. Uncontaminated soil was spiked with fresh Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) diesel to determine the response of the genes to fresh fuel. Partly remediated soil containing weathered SAB diesel was diluted with uncontaminated soil to simulate a range of concentrations of weathered fuel and used to determine the response of the genes to aged fuel. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to measure the abundance of rpoB, alkB, cat23, and nosZ in soils containing SAB diesel. Differences were observed between the abundance of genes in control soils versus soils containing weathered and fresh fuels. Typical dose-response curves were generated for genes in response to the presence of fresh fuel. In contrast, the response of these genes to the range of weathered fuel appeared to be due to dilution, rather than to the effect of the fuel on the microbial community. Changes in microbial genes in response to fresh contamination have potential as a sensitive measure of soil health and for assessments of the effect of fuel spills in polar soils. This will contribute to the development of remediation guidelines to assist in management

  9. Microbial Bioremediation of Fuel Oil Hydrocarbons in Marine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sapna Pavitran

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Pollution in marine environment due to heavier petroleum products such as high-speeddiesel is known to take from days to months for complete natural remediation owing to its lowvolatility. For the survival of marine flora and fauna, it is important to control pollution causedby such recalcitrant and xenobiotic substances. Several petroleum hydrocarbons found in natureare toxic and recalcitrant. Therefore, pollution due to high-speed diesel is a cause of concern.The natural dispersion of high-speed diesel, a slow process, is attributed to an overall combinedeffect of physico-chemical and biological processes which take months for complete dispersion.History of marine oil spill bioremediation indicates limited laboratory studies. But experiencesfrom various oil spill management and field trials indicate important role of bioremediation, where,biodegradation of hydrocarbons through microbial mediators plays a major role in pollutant oildispersion. These microbial mediators such as bioemulsifiers and fimbrae, help in emulsification,dispersion, allowing attachment of bacteria to oil layers, followed by substrate-specific enzymaticbiodegradation in water.

  10. Engineering PQS biosynthesis pathway for enhancement of bioelectricity production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa microbial fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Victor Bochuan; Chua, Song-Lin; Cao, Bin;

    2013-01-01

    . aeruginosa strain that produces higher concentrations of phenazines under anaerobic conditions by over-expressing the PqsE effector in a PQS negative ΔpqsC mutant. The engineered strain exhibited an improved electrical performance in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and potentiostat-controlled electrochemical...... cells with an approximate five-fold increase of maximum current density relative to the parent strain. Electrochemical analysis showed that the current increase correlates with an over-synthesis of phenazines. These results therefore demonstrate that targeting microbial cell-to-cell communication...... by genetic engineering is a suitable technique to improve power output of bioelectrochemical systems....

  11. Wiring microbial biofilms to the electrode by osmium redox polymer for the performance enhancement of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Yong; Shin, Hyosul; Kang, Chan; Kim, Sunghyun

    2016-04-01

    An osmium redox polymer, PAA-PVI-[Os(4,4'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine)2Cl]+/2+ that has been used in enzymatic fuel cells and microbial sensors, was applied for the first time to the anode of single-chamber microbial fuel cells with the mixed culture inoculum aiming at enhancing performance. Functioning as a molecular wire connecting the biofilm to the anode, power density increased from 1479 mW m(-2) without modification to 2355 mW m(-2) after modification of the anode. Evidence from cyclic voltammetry showed that the catalytic activity of an anodic biofilm was greatly enhanced in the presence of an osmium redox polymer, indicating that electrons were more efficiently transferred to the anode via co-immobilized osmium complex tethered to wiring polymer chains at the potential range of -0.3 V-+0.1 V (vs. SCE). The optimum amount of the redox polymer was determined to be 0.163 mg cm(-2).

  12. Biomimetic and microbial approaches to solar fuel generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnuson, Ann; Anderlund, Magnus; Johansson, Olof; Lindblad, Peter; Lomoth, Reiner; Polivka, Tomas; Ott, Sascha; Stensjö, Karin; Styring, Stenbjörn; Sundström, Villy; Hammarström, Leif

    2009-12-21

    Photosynthesis is performed by a multitude of organisms, but in nearly all cases, it is variations on a common theme: absorption of light followed by energy transfer to a reaction center where charge separation takes place. This initial form of chemical energy is stabilized by the biosynthesis of carbohydrates. To produce these energy-rich products, a substrate is needed that feeds in reductive equivalents. When photosynthetic microorganisms learned to use water as a substrate some 2 billion years ago, a fundamental barrier against unlimited use of solar energy was overcome. The possibility of solar energy use has inspired researchers to construct artificial photosynthetic systems that show analogy to parts of the intricate molecular machinery of photosynthesis. Recent years have seen a reorientation of efforts toward creating integrated light-to-fuel systems that can use solar energy for direct synthesis of energy-rich compounds, so-called solar fuels. Sustainable production of solar fuels is a long awaited development that promises extensive solar energy use combined with long-term storage. The stoichiometry of water splitting into molecular oxygen, protons, and electrons is deceptively simple; achieving it by chemical catalysis has proven remarkably difficult. The reaction center Photosystem II couples light-induced charge separation to an efficient molecular water-splitting catalyst, a Mn(4)Ca complex, and is thus an important template for biomimetic chemistry. In our aims to design biomimetic manganese complexes for light-driven water oxidation, we link photosensitizers and charge-separation motifs to potential catalysts in supramolecular assemblies. In photosynthesis, production of carbohydrates demands the delivery of multiple reducing equivalents to CO(2). In contrast, the two-electron reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen is much less demanding. Virtually all microorganisms have enzymes called hydrogenases that convert protons to hydrogen, many of

  13. Microbial liquefaction of peat for the production of synthetic fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gunasekaran, M.

    1988-01-01

    Objectives of this study were: to evaluate the potential of using various microorganisms to hydrolyse and liquify peat; to determine the optimal conditions for peat hydrolysis and liquefaction; to study the co-metabolizable substances; to separate the compounds present in liquified peat by alumina and silica acid chromatography and capillary gas chromatography; and to identify the compounds in liquified peat by capillary GC-Mass spectrometry. Organisms used in the study include: Coprinus comatus, Coriolus hirsutus, Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinus edodes, Lenzites trabea, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Pleurotus ostreatus, P. sapidus, Polyporus adjustus, Neurospora sitophila, Rhizophus arrhizus, Bacillus subtilis, Acinetobacter sp. and Alcaligenes sp. The fungi were maintained and cultivated in potato dextrose agar at 30 C. The bacteria were maintained in nutrient agar at 30 C. We have also initiated work on coal solubilization in addition to the studies on peat liquefaction. A relatively new substratum or semi-solid base for culture media called Pluronic F-127, or Polyol (BASF, New Jersey). Objectives of this study were: (1) to study the growth patterns of Candida ML 13 on pluronic as substratum; (2) to determine the rate of microbial coal solubilization on pluronic F-127 amended in different growth media; (3) to separate the mycelial mat of Candida ML 13 from unsolubilized coal particles and solubilized coal products from pluronic F-127; (4) to determine the effects of pH on microbial coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media; (5) the effect of concentration of pluronic F-127 in media on coal solubilization; and, (6) to study the role of extracellular factors secreted by Candida ML 13 on coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media. Results are discussed. 4 refs.

  14. Inocula selection in microbial fuel cells based on anodic biofilm abundance of Geobacter sulfurreducens

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guotao Sun; Diogo de Sacadura Rodrigues; Anders Thygesen; Geoffrey Daniel; Dinesh Fernando; Anne S Meyer

    2016-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) rely on microbial conversion of organic substrates to electricity. The optimal perfor-mance depends on the establishment of a microbial community rich in electrogenic bacteria. Usual y this micro-bial community is established from inoculation of the MFC anode chamber with naturally occurring mixed inocula. In this study, the electrochemical performance of MFCs and microbial community evolution were eval-uated for three inocula including domestic wastewater (DW), lake sediment (LS) and biogas sludge (BS) with varying substrate loading (Lsub) and external resistance (Rext) on the MFC. The electrogenic bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens was identified in al inocula and its abundance during MFC operation was positively linked to the MFC performance. The LS inoculated MFCs showed highest abundance (18%± 1%) of G. sulfurreducens, maximum current density [Imax=(690 ± 30) mA·m−2] and coulombic efficiency (CE=29%± 1%) with acetate as the substrate. Imax and CE increased to (1780 ± 30) mA·m−2 and 58%± 1%, respectively, after decreasing the Rext from 1000Ωto 200Ω, which also correlated to a higher abundance of G. sulfurreducens (21%± 0.7%) on the MFC anodic biofilm. The data obtained contribute to understanding the microbial community response to Lsub and Rext for optimizing electricity generation in MFCs.

  15. Advanced Microbial Fuel Cell Development, Miniaturization and Energy and Power Density Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-04-30

    fuel cell development, miniaturization, and energy and power density enhancement. The anode is very important in the performance of a microbial fuel cell "MFC", and is often the limiting factor for a high power output. In present work, we used the CNT/PANI composite as the anode materials of MFCs for the first time and investigated the electrocatalytic properties of the composite associated with the bacterium biocatalyst. A method was developed to fabricate a nanostructured CNT/PANI composite anode for

  16. Performance of Cassava Starch as a Proton Exchange Membrane in a Dual Chambered Microbial Fuel Cell.

    OpenAIRE

    Livinus A. Obasi; Charles C. Opara; Akuma Oji

    2012-01-01

    This research work shows the feasibility of power generation in a mediatorless dual chambered microbial fuel cell, utilizing cassava starch as the proton exchange membrane (PEM). The study employed swine house effluent (a serious environmental threat) as the substrate (fuel) (pH, 7.2, BOD: 1200mg/l, COD: 3800mg/l) in the anode chamber prepared with a phosphate buffer solution (K2HPO4+KH2PO4), potassium ferry cyanide solution served as the oxygen acceptor in the cathode chamber using graphite ...

  17. Quantification of effective exoelectrogens by most probable number (MPN) in a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidrich, Elizabeth S; Curtis, Thomas P; Woodcock, Stephen; Dolfing, Jan

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this work was to quantify the number of exoelectrogens in wastewater capable of producing current in a microbial fuel cell by adapting the classical most probable number (MPN) methodology using current production as end point. Inoculating a series of microbial fuel cells with various dilutions of domestic wastewater and with acetate as test substrate yielded an apparent number of exoelectrogens of 17perml. Using current as a proxy for activity the apparent exoelectrogen growth rate was 0.03h(-1). With starch or wastewater as more complex test substrates similar apparent growth rates were obtained, but the apparent MPN based numbers of exoelectrogens in wastewater were significantly lower, probably because in contrast to acetate, complex substrates require complex food chains to deliver the electrons to the electrodes. Consequently, the apparent MPN is a function of the combined probabilities of members of the food chain being present.

  18. Biofilm vivacity and destruction on antimicrobial nanosurfaces assayed within a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugnaux, Marc; Fischer, Fabian

    2016-08-01

    A novel method was developed to assay the antimicrobial capacity of nanostructured surfaces for medical implants in a bicathodic microbial fuel cell. Nano-structured gold surfaces with protruding nanopillars and nanorings were investigated. Escherichia coli K12 were used as a model microbe to record electronic effects caused by the interaction with nanosurfaces. The nanostructured gold surfaces enabled power density maxima up to 1910mW/m(2), indicating fair vivacity, while flat surfaces on the nanoscale provided almost no power 0.35mW/m(2). The biofilm presence on antimicrobial nanosurfaces was confirmed by the addition of ampicillin and its bactericidal effect resulted in oscillating and declining potentiometric signals. Current density experiments showed that biofilms on antimicrobial nanostructured electrodes caused low currents, indicating that E.coli biofilm remained functional before destruction. The bicathodic microbial fuel cell sensor is a novel tool for evaluating antimicrobial effects caused by nanosurfaces and antibiotics.

  19. Characteristic changes in algal organic matter derived from Microcystis aeruginosa in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huan; Lu, Lu; Liu, Dongmei; Cui, Fuyi; Wang, Peng

    2015-11-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate behavior of algal organic matter (AOM) during bioelectrochemical oxidation in microbial fuel cell in terms of compositions and structures. Study revealed that the AOM derived from blue-green algae Microcystis aeruginosa could be degraded more completely (82% COD removal) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) than by anaerobic fermentation (24% COD removal) in a control reactor without closed-circuit electrode and electricity was produced simultaneously. A variety of techniques were used to characterize the changes in AOM compositions and structures during bioelectrochemical oxidation. The presence of syntrophic interactions between electrochemical active bacteria and fermentative bacteria to degrade large molecular organics into small molecular substances, which could be oxidized by electrode but not by fermentation. The dominant tryptophan protein-like substances, humic acid-like substances and Chlorophyll a in AOM were highly degraded during MFC treatment.

  20. Electricity generation of Plant Microbial Fuel Cell (PMFC using Cyperus Involucratus R.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuttawut Klaisongkram

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This research is a study of microbial fuel cells produce electricity from plants using Cyperus involucratus R. called Plant Microbial Fuel Cell (PMFC. As a result of the polarization curve, by adjusting the external resistance between 10 to 12,000 ohms, it was found that the internal resistance of PMFC1 , PMFC2 , MFC1 and MFC2 was 9.78, 11.06, 9.47 and 11.92 ohms respectively. The results showed that the optimum size of the anode electrode is 242 square centimeters and adding soil by using the external resistance 100 ohms. The highest average power density equaled to 5.99 milliwatts per square meter of the anode electrode. Finally the wastewater in PMFC was reduced 53.5 percent in the period of 5 days compared with un-treated wastewater.

  1. Polymer Separators for High-Power, High-Efficiency Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Guang

    2012-12-26

    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. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  2. Studies on treatment of chlorophenol-containing wastewater by microbial fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    A microbial fuel cell with 4-CP as oxidant was established to investigate the feasibility of 4-CP dechlorination in the cathodic chamber of MFC. It demonstrated good performance on electricity generation with Pmax 12.4 mW/m2 and CE 22.7%. Besides, 60 mg/L 4-CP could be completely dechlorinated in 45 h in the MFC, and 4-CP dechlorination process and electricity generation process had obvious synergistic effect.

  3. Nano-structured textiles as high-performance aqueous cathodes for microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Xie, Xing

    2011-01-01

    A carbon nanotube (CNT)-textile-Pt cathode for aqueous-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was prepared by electrochemically depositing Pt nanoparticles on a CNT-textile. An MFC equipped with a CNT-textile-Pt cathode revealed a 2.14-fold maximum power density with only 19.3% Pt loading, compared to that with a commercial Pt coated carbon cloth cathode. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  4. Importance of temperature and anodic medium composition on microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Min, Booki; Romàn, Ó.B.; Angelidaki, Irini

    2008-01-01

    The performance of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was investigated at different temperatures and anodic media. A lag phase of 30 h occurred at 30°C which was half that at room temperature (22°C). The maximum power density at 30°C was 70 mW/m2 and at 22°C was 43 mW/m2. At 15°C, no successful operation...

  5. Bioinspired Nanosucker Array for Enhancing Bioelectricity Generation in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; You, Shijie; Gong, Xiaobo; Qi, Dianpeng; Chandran, Bevita K; Bi, Lanpo; Cui, Fuyi; Chen, Xiaodong

    2016-01-13

    A bioinspired active anode with a suction effect is demonstrated for microbial fuel cells by constructing polypyrrole (PPy) nanotubular arrays on carbon textiles. The oxygen in the inner space of the nanosucker can be depleted by micro-organisms with the capability of facul-tative respiration, forming a vacuum, which then activates the electrode to draw the microorganism by suction and thus improve the bioelectricity generation.

  6. A Literature Survey and Data Base Assessment: Microbial Fate of Diesel Fuel and Fog Oils,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-04-01

    were mostly aerobic NocardLa species and fungi. Cladosporum resinae , which has been repeatedly found as a contaminant of jet fuels and has been...1,13 2 Glucose metabolism is subject to inhibition or repression by hydrocarbon in a Candida strain 1 3 3 and Cladosporium resinae .1 3 ,1 5 Microbial...microorganisms isolated from soil. Can. J. Microbiol. 14:403. 93. Cooney, J.J. and J.D. Walker. 1973. Hydrocarbon utilization by Cladosporium resinae

  7. Graphene–sponges as high-performance low-cost anodes for microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Xie, Xing

    2012-01-01

    A high-performance microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode was constructed from inexpensive materials. Key components were a graphene-sponge (G-S) composite and a stainless-steel (SS) current collector. Anode fabrication is simple, scalable, and environmentally friendly, with low energy inputs. The SS current collector improved electrode conductivity and decreased voltage drop and power loss. The resulting G-S-SS composite electrode appears promising for large-scale applications. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  8. Detecting Industrial Chemicals in Water With Microbial Fuel Cells and Artificial Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-27

    Transfer FM First Moment mA milli-Ampere MFC Microbial Fuel Cell NADH Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide PA Peak Area PH...transfer of electrons across the inner membrane. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) derived from the oxidation of organic matter is taken up by...filters (Mahle et al., 2003). It is a weak cholinesterase inhibitor and is an irritant of the skin , eyes, mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract

  9. Power management systems for sediment microbial fuel cells in high power and continuous power applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Conrad Koble

    The objective of this dissertation was to develop power management systems (PMS) for sediment microbial fuel cells (SFMCs) for high power and continuous applications. The first part of this dissertation covers a new method for testing the performance of SMFCs. This device called the microbial fuel cell tester was developed to automatically test power generation of PMS. The second part focuses on a PMS capable of delivering high power in burst mode. This means that for a small amount of time a large amount of power up to 2.5 Watts can be delivered from a SMFC only generating mW level power. The third part is aimed at developing a multi-potentiostat laboratory tool that measures the performance at fixed cell potentials of microbial fuel cells so that I can optimize them for use with the PMS. This tool is capable of controlling the anode potential or cathode potential and measuring current of six separate SMFCs simultaneously. By operating multiple potentiostats, I was able to run experiments that find ideal operating conditions for the sediment microbial fuel cells, and also I can optimize the power management system for these conditions. The fourth part of the dissertation is targeting a PMS that was able to operate a sensor continuously which was powered by an SMFC. In pervious applications involving SMFCs, the PMS operated in batch mode. In this PMS, the firmware on the submersible ultrasonic receiver (SUR) was modified for use with my PMS. This integration of PMS and SUR allowed for the continuous operation of the SUR without using a battery. Finally, the last part of the dissertation recommends a scale-up power management system to overcome the linearity scale up issue of SMFCs as future work. Concluding remarks are also added to summarize the goal and focus of this dissertation.

  10. Electrochemical Characterization of a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) that Utilizes cow Manure as Energy Source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vinas, M.; Prenafeta, F.; Flotats, X.; Gerritse, J.

    2009-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells are new types of bioreactors that convert the chemical energy encountered in organic matter directly to electricity. The efficiency of this energy conversion is potentially higher than described in other environmental technologies focused on energy production from organic wastes, such as biogas utilization. A MFC reactor utilizes microorganisms as catalysts to transfer electrons from the biological oxidation of the organic matter to an electrode (anode) in anaerobic conditions. (Author)

  11. Graphene-modified Electrodes for Enhancing the Performance of Microbial Fuel Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Yuan, Heyang; He, Zhen

    2014-01-01

    Graphene is an emerging material with superior physical and chemical properties, which can benefit the development of microbial fuel cells (MFC) in several aspects. Graphene-based anodes can enhance MFC performance with increased electron transfer efficiency, higher specific surface area and more active microbe-electrode-electrolyte interaction. For cathodic processes, oxygen reduction reaction is effectively catalyzed by graphene-based materials because of a favorable pathway and an increase...

  12. Rapid Evaluation of Power Degradation in Series Connection of Single Feeding Microsized Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Rojas, Jhonathan Prieto

    2014-07-08

    We have developed a sustainable, single feeding, microsized, air-cathode and membrane-free microbial fuel cells with a volume of 40 mu L each, which we have used for rapid evaluation of power generation and viability of a series array of three cells seeking higher voltage levels. Contrary to expectations, the achieved power density was modest (45 mWm(-3)), limited due to non-uniformities in assembly and the single-channel feeding system.

  13. Effect of acclimatization on hexavalent chromium reduction in a biocathode microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiayuan; Zhu, Xujun; Song, Tianshun; Zhang, Lixiong; Jia, Honghua; Wei, Ping

    2015-03-01

    A simple acclimatization method for the reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) at a biocathode by first enriching an exoelectrogenic biofilm on a microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode, followed by direct inversion of the anode to function as the biocathode, has been established. This novel method significantly enhanced the Cr(VI) reduction efficiency of the MFC, which was mainly attributed to the higher microbial density and less resistive Cr(III) precipitates on the cathode when compared with a common biocathode acclimatization method (control). The biocathode acclimatization period was shortened by 19days and the Cr(VI) reduction rate was increased by a factor of 2.9. Microbial community analyses of biocathodes acclimatized using different methods further verified the feasibility of this electrode inversion method, indicating similar dominant bacteria species in biofilms, which mainly consist of Gamma-proteobacteria and Bacteria.

  14. Electron transfer mechanisms, new applications, and performance of biocathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Huang, Liping

    2011-01-01

    Broad application of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) requires low cost and high operational sustainability. Microbial-cathode MFCs, or cathodes using only bacterial catalysts (biocathodes), can satisfy these demands and have gained considerable attention in recent years. Achievements with biocathodes over the past 3-4. years have been particularly impressive not only with respect to the biological aspects but also the system-wide considerations related to electrode materials and solution chemistry. The versatility of biocathodes enables us to use not only oxygen but also contaminants as possible electron acceptors, allowing nutrient removal and bioremediation in conjunction with electricity generation. Moreover, biocathodes create opportunities to convert electrical current into microbially generated reduced products. While many new experimental results with biocathodes have been reported, we are still in the infancy of their engineering development. This review highlights the opportunities, limits, and challenges of biocathodes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Microbial alkane production for jet fuel industry: motivation, state of the art and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Díaz, Lorena; Caballero, Antonio; Pérez-Hernández, Natalia; Segura, Ana

    2017-01-01

    Bio-jet fuel has attracted a lot of interest in recent years and has become a focus for aircraft and engine manufacturers, oil companies, governments and researchers. Given the global concern about environmental issues and the instability of oil market, bio-jet fuel has been identified as a promising way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry, while also promoting energy security. Although a number of bio-jet fuel sources have been approved for manufacture, their commercialization and entry into the market is still a far way away. In this review, we provide an overview of the drivers for intensified research into bio-jet fuel technologies, the type of chemical compounds found in bio-jet fuel preparations and the current state of related pre-commercial technologies. The biosynthesis of hydrocarbons is one of the most promising approaches for bio-jet fuel production, and thus we provide a detailed analysis of recent advances in the microbial biosynthesis of hydrocarbons (with a focus on alkanes). Finally, we explore the latest developments and their implications for the future of research into bio-jet fuel technologies.

  16. Microbial conversion of coals to clean fuel forms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barik, S.; Isbister, J.; Hawley, B.; Forgacs, T.; Reed, L.; Anspach, G.; Middaugh, T.

    1988-01-01

    Anaerobic cultures have been used for the production of methane and alcohols from coal. Cultures were adapted from natural inocula collected from sources such as sewage sludge and horse manure. A 1% (w/v) slurry of leonardite, lignite, or subbituminous coal was used in the incubations. Methane was produced from all cultures, including some untreated coals, to a greater extent than in control cultures. Over several months of adaptation, methane production capacity increased considerably. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) were identified as intermediates in the conversion of coal to methane. A proposed scheme for the conversion is breakdown of the coal polymer by a series of organisms and metabolism of the fragments to methane precursors such as VFAs. A mixture of short chain alcohols was produced by cultures grown in the presence of methane inhibitors. These cultures after prolonged adaptation show potential for use in larger scale bioreactors for the production of gaseous and liquid fuels.

  17. Microbial fuel cells applied to the metabolically based detection of extraterrestrial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Mauas, Pablo J D; Cortón, Eduardo

    2010-12-01

    Since the 1970s, when the Viking spacecrafts carried out experiments to detect microbial metabolism on the surface of Mars, the search for nonspecific methods to detect life in situ has been one of the goals of astrobiology. It is usually required that a methodology detect life independently from its composition or form and that the chosen biological signature point to a feature common to all living systems, such as the presence of metabolism. In this paper, we evaluate the use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for the detection of microbial life in situ. MFCs are electrochemical devices originally developed as power electrical sources and can be described as fuel cells in which the anode is submerged in a medium that contains microorganisms. These microorganisms, as part of their metabolic process, oxidize organic material, releasing electrons that contribute to the electric current, which is therefore proportional to metabolic and other redox processes. We show that power and current density values measured in MFCs that use microorganism cultures or soil samples in the anode are much larger than those obtained with a medium free of microorganisms or sterilized soil samples, respectively. In particular, we found that this is true for extremophiles, which have been proposed as potential inhabitants of extraterrestrial environments. Therefore, our results show that MFCs have the potential to be used for in situ detection of microbial life.

  18. Electricity and H2 generation from hemicellulose by sequential fermentation and microbial fuel/electrolysis cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Di; Yang, Xuewei; Yuan, Wenqiao

    2015-09-01

    Electricity and hydrogen generation by bacteria Geobacter sulfurreducens in a dual-chamber microbial fuel/electrolysis cell following the fermentation of hemicellulose by bacteria Moorella thermoacetica was investigated. Experimental results showed that 10 g l-1 xylose under 60 °C was appropriate for the fermentation of xylose by M. thermoacetica, yielding 0.87 g-acetic acid per gram of xylose consumed. Corncob hydrolysate could also be fermented to produce acetic acid, but with lower yield (0.74 g-acid per g-xylose). The broths of xylose and corncob hydrolysate fermented by M. thermoacetica containing acetic acid were fed to G. sulfurreducens in a dual-chamber microbial fuel/electrolysis cell for electricity and hydrogen generation. The highest open-circuit cell voltages generated were 802 and 745 mV, and hydrogen yields were 41.7 and 23.3 mmol per mol-acetate, in xylose and corncob hydrolysate fermentation broth media, respectively. The internal resistance of the microbial fuel/electrolysis cell fed with corncob hydrolysate fermentation broth (3472 Ω) was much higher than that with xylose fermentation broth (1993 Ω) or sodium acetate medium (467 Ω), which was believed to be the main cause of the variation in hydrogen yield of the three feeding media.

  19. Construction and operation of a microbial fuel cell for electricity generation from wastewater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniel, David K.; Das Mankidy, Bijith; Ambarish, K.; Manogari, R. [Chemical Engineering Division, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT University, Vellore 632014, Tamil Nadu (India)

    2009-09-15

    The increase in the global energy demand every year and the over-consumption of nonrenewable sources of energy has led to the identification and use of renewable and cost effective sources of energy. In this context, wastewater, which contains high levels of easily degradable organic material, has gained importance as a source of electricity generation using a microbial fuel cell. A microbial fuel cell comprising of Pseudomonas sp., mediator, and potassium ferricyanide as the oxidizing agent was developed for generation of electricity using wastewater, as substrate, obtained from wastewater treatment plant. The cells were connected in series with the anodic and cathodic solutions being introduced in batch and continuous modes. A maximum open-circuit potential of 2.2 V was obtained with the anode in batch-fed and cathode in continuous mode of operation. Methylene blue, when used as the mediator was found to produce a higher output from the cell when compared to neutral red. The maximum power output and current density obtained were 979 {mu}W/m{sup 2} and 1.15 mA/m{sup 2} respectively. A 10% reduction in COD was observed when the microbial fuel cell was operated using the wastewater as the substrate. (author)

  20. Core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Gaixiu; Chen, Dong; Lv, Pengmei; Kong, Xiaoying; Sun, Yongming; Wang, Zhongming; Yuan, Zhenhong; Liu, Hui; Yang, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Bimetallic nanoparticles with core-shell structures usually display enhanced catalytic properties due to the lattice strain created between the core and shell regions. In this study, we demonstrate the application of bimetallic Au-Pd nanoparticles with an Au core and a thin Pd shell as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells, which represent a promising technology for wastewater treatment, while directly generating electrical energy. In specific, in comparison with the hollow structured Pt nanoparticles, a benchmark for the electrocatalysis, the bimetallic core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles are found to have superior activity and stability for oxygen reduction reaction in a neutral condition due to the strong electronic interaction and lattice strain effect between the Au core and the Pd shell domains. The maximum power density generated in a membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cell running on wastewater with core-shell Au-Pd as cathode catalysts is ca. 16.0 W m−3 and remains stable over 150 days, clearly illustrating the potential of core-shell nanostructures in the applications of microbial fuel cells. PMID:27734945

  1. Core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Gaixiu; Chen, Dong; Lv, Pengmei; Kong, Xiaoying; Sun, Yongming; Wang, Zhongming; Yuan, Zhenhong; Liu, Hui; Yang, Jun

    2016-10-01

    Bimetallic nanoparticles with core-shell structures usually display enhanced catalytic properties due to the lattice strain created between the core and shell regions. In this study, we demonstrate the application of bimetallic Au-Pd nanoparticles with an Au core and a thin Pd shell as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells, which represent a promising technology for wastewater treatment, while directly generating electrical energy. In specific, in comparison with the hollow structured Pt nanoparticles, a benchmark for the electrocatalysis, the bimetallic core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles are found to have superior activity and stability for oxygen reduction reaction in a neutral condition due to the strong electronic interaction and lattice strain effect between the Au core and the Pd shell domains. The maximum power density generated in a membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cell running on wastewater with core-shell Au-Pd as cathode catalysts is ca. 16.0 W m‑3 and remains stable over 150 days, clearly illustrating the potential of core-shell nanostructures in the applications of microbial fuel cells.

  2. [Electricity generation of surplus sludge microbial fuel cells enhanced by additional enzyme].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hui; Liu, Zhi-Hu; Li, Xiao-Ming; Yang, Qi; Fang, Li; Huang, Hua-Jun; Zeng, Guang-Ming; Li, Shuo

    2012-01-01

    In this paper the feasibility of enhanced electricity generation of microbial fuel cell fed surplus sludge by additional enzymes (neutral protease and alpha-amylase) was discussed. The effect of dosage of additional enzyme on characteristics of electricity generation of the surplus sludge microbial fuel cell (SSMFC) and the reduction of surplus sludge were investigated. The results indicated that the maximum output power destiny of the group of experiment was higher than that of control under the same condition. Moreover, the maximum output power density, coulomb efficiency, efficiency of reducing TCOD, efficiency of reducing TSS and efficiency of reducing VSS reached up to 507 W x m(-2) (700 mW x m(-2)), 3.98% (5.11%), 88.31% (94.09%), 83.18% (98.02%) and 89.03% (98.80%) respectively for protease (alpha-amylase) at the dosage of 10 mg x g(-1). This study demonstrated that additional enzyme greatly enhanced the electricity generation of MFC with simultaneous accomplishments of sludge treatment, providing a novel approach for the practical application of microbial fuel cell.

  3. Decoupling of DAMO archaea from DAMO bacteria in a methane-driven microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jing; Lu, Yong-Ze; Fu, Liang; Ding, Zhao-Wei; Mu, Yang; Cheng, Shuk H; Zeng, Raymond J

    2017-03-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) contributes significantly to the global methane sink. Previously, studies of anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea have been limited as they have not been separable from their bacterial partners during the AOM process because of their dependence on the bacteria. A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a device capable of directly transforming chemical energy to electrical energy via electrochemical reactions involving biochemical pathways. In this study, decoupling of denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation (DAMO) archaea and DAMO bacteria was investigated in an microbial fuel cell (MFC) using methane as the fuel. The DAMO fuel cell worked successfully but demonstrated weak electrogenic capability with around 25 mV production. After 45 days' enrichment, the sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization results showed the DAMO archaea percentage had increased from 26.96% (inoculum) to 65.77% (electrode biofilm), while the DAMO bacteria percentage decreased from 24.39% to 2.07%. Moreover, the amount of ANME-2d had doubled in the electrode biofilm compared with the inoculum. The sequencing results also showed substantial enrichment of the Ignavibacterium and Geobacter genera. The roles of Ignavibacterium and Geobacter in the MFC system need to be further investigated. Nevertheless, these results illustrate that an MFC device may provide a possible approach to separate DAMO archaea from DAMO bacteria.

  4. Design, Engineering, and Construction of Photosynthetic Microbial Cell Factories for Renewable Solar Fuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindblad, Peter; Lindberg, Pia; Stensjoe, Karin (Photochemistry and Molecular Science, Dept. of Chemistry-Aangstroem Laboratory, Uppsala Univ., Uppsala (Sweden)), E-mail: Peter.Lindblad@kemi.uu.se; Oliveira, Paulo (Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Porto (Portugal)); Heidorn, Thorsten (Bioforsk-Norwegian Inst. for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Aas Oslo, (Norway))

    2012-03-15

    There is an urgent need to develop sustainable solutions to convert solar energy into energy carriers used in the society. In addition to solar cells generating electricity, there are several options to generate solar fuels. This paper outlines and discusses the design and engineering of photosynthetic microbial systems for the generation of renewable solar fuels, with a focus on cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic microorganisms with the same type of photosynthesis as higher plants. Native and engineered cyanobacteria have been used by us and others as model systems to examine, demonstrate, and develop photobiological H{sub 2} production. More recently, the production of carbon-containing solar fuels like ethanol, butanol, and isoprene have been demonstrated. We are using a synthetic biology approach to develop efficient photosynthetic microbial cell factories for direct generation of biofuels from solar energy. Present progress and advances in the design, engineering, and construction of such cyanobacterial cells for the generation of a portfolio of solar fuels, e.g., hydrogen, alcohols, and isoprene, are presented and discussed. Possibilities and challenges when introducing and using synthetic biology are highlighted

  5. Electricity generation and microbial community in response to short-term changes in stack connection of self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell powered by glycerol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, Nannan; Angelidaki, Irini; Zhang, Yifeng

    2017-01-01

    Stack connection (i.e., in series or parallel) of microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an efficient way to boost the power output for practical application. However, there is little information available on short-term changes in stack connection and its effect on the electricity generation and microbial...... community. In this study, a self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell (SSMFC) powered by glycerol was tested to elucidate this important issue. In series connection, the maximum voltage output reached to 1.15 V, while maximum current density was 5.73 mA in parallel. In both connections, the maximum power...... density increased with the initial glycerol concentration. However, the glycerol degradation was even faster in parallel connection. When the SSMFC was shifted from series to parallel connection, the reactor reached to a stable power output without any lag phase. Meanwhile, the anodic microbial community...

  6. Fabrication and characterization of high power dual chamber E. coli microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalitha Priya, R.; Ramachandran, T.; Suneesh, P. V.

    2016-09-01

    This work reports the fabrication of a dual chamber microbial fuel cell with E. coli modified graphite as the anode and lead dioxide cathode. At the optimized operating conditions, the cell provided 778 mV open circuit potential, 3.47 mA m-2 of current density and 1660 mW m-2 power density. Morphology of the of E. coli biofilm on the electrode was analysed using AFM and the electrochemical characterization of the fuel cell was carried out using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and polarization curves. The composition of the anode and the time duration for E. coli biofilm formation were varied to obtain maximum power density. The MFC fabricated in this study was found to have improved power density in comparison with other reported fuel cells.

  7. Microbial-enzymatic-hybrid biological fuel cell with optimized growth conditions for Shewanella oneidensis DSP-10.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Jared N; Luckarift, Heather R; Sizemore, Susan R; Farrington, Karen E; Lau, Carolin; Johnson, Glenn R; Atanassov, Plamen

    2013-07-10

    In this work we present a biological fuel cell fabricated by combining a Shewanella oneidensis microbial anode and a laccase-modified air-breathing cathode. This concept is devised as an extension to traditional biochemical methods by incorporating diverse biological catalysts with the aim of powering small devices. In preparing the biological fuel cell anode, novel hierarchical-structured architectures and biofilm configurations were investigated. A method for creating an artificial biofilm based on encapsulating microorganisms in a porous, thin film of silica was compared with S. oneidensis biofilms that were allowed to colonize naturally. Results indicate comparable current and power densities for artificial and natural biofilm formations, based on growth characteristics. As a result, this work describes methods for creating controllable and reproducible bio-anodes and demonstrates the versatility of hybrid biological fuel cells.

  8. Long-term cathode performance and the microbial communities that develop in microbial fuel cells fed different fermentation endproducts

    KAUST Repository

    Kiely, Patrick D.

    2011-01-01

    To better understand how cathode performance and substrates affected communities that evolved in these reactors over long periods of time, microbial fuel cells were operated for more than 1year with individual endproducts of lignocellulose fermentation (acetic acid, formic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid, or ethanol). Large variations in reactor performance were primarily due to the specific substrates, with power densities ranging from 835±21 to 62±1mW/m3. Cathodes performance degraded over time, as shown by an increase in power of up to 26% when the cathode biofilm was removed, and 118% using new cathodes. Communities that developed on the anodes included exoelectrogenic families, such as Rhodobacteraceae, Geobacteraceae, and Peptococcaceae, with the Deltaproteobacteria dominating most reactors. Pelobacter propionicus was the predominant member in reactors fed acetic acid, and it was abundant in several other MFCs. These results provide valuable insights into the effects of long-term MFC operation on reactor performance. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Integrated hydrogen production process from cellulose by combining dark fermentation, microbial fuel cells, and a microbial electrolysis cell

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Aijie

    2011-03-01

    Hydrogen gas production from cellulose was investigated using an integrated hydrogen production process consisting of a dark fermentation reactor and microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as power sources for a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). Two MFCs (each 25mL) connected in series to an MEC (72mL) produced a maximum of 0.43V using fermentation effluent as a feed, achieving a hydrogen production rate from the MEC of 0.48m 3 H 2/m 3/d (based on the MEC volume), and a yield of 33.2mmol H 2/g COD removed in the MEC. The overall hydrogen production for the integrated system (fermentation, MFC and MEC) was increased by 41% compared with fermentation alone to 14.3mmol H 2/g cellulose, with a total hydrogen production rate of 0.24m 3 H 2/m 3/d and an overall energy recovery efficiency of 23% (based on cellulose removed) without the need for any external electrical energy input. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Effects of proton exchange membrane on the performance and microbial community composition of air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yun-Yeong; Kim, Tae Gwan; Cho, Kyung-Suk

    2015-10-10

    This study investigated the effects of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) on performance and microbial community of air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Air-cathode MFCs with reactor volume of 1L were constructed in duplicate with or without PEM (designated as ACM-MFC and AC-MFC, respectively) and fed with a mixture of glucose and acetate (1:1, w:w). The maximum power density and coulombic efficiency did not differ between MFCs in the absence or presence of a PEM. However, PEM use adversely affected maximum voltage production and the rate of organic compound removal (p0.9 and p<0.05). Geobacter, which is known as an exoelectrogen, was positively associated with maximum power density and negatively associated with PEM. Thus, these results suggest that the absence of PEM favored the growth of Geobacter, a key player for electricity generation in MFC systems. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that MFC systems without PEM are more efficient with respect to power production and COD removal as well as exoelectrogen growth.

  11. Integrated hydrogen production process from cellulose by combining dark fermentation, microbial fuel cells, and a microbial electrolysis cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Aijie; Sun, Dan; Cao, Guangli; Wang, Haoyu; Ren, Nanqi; Wu, Wei-Min; Logan, Bruce E

    2011-03-01

    Hydrogen gas production from cellulose was investigated using an integrated hydrogen production process consisting of a dark fermentation reactor and microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as power sources for a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). Two MFCs (each 25 mL) connected in series to an MEC (72 mL) produced a maximum of 0.43 V using fermentation effluent as a feed, achieving a hydrogen production rate from the MEC of 0.48 m(3) H(2)/m(3)/d (based on the MEC volume), and a yield of 33.2 mmol H(2)/g COD removed in the MEC. The overall hydrogen production for the integrated system (fermentation, MFC and MEC) was increased by 41% compared with fermentation alone to 14.3 mmol H(2)/g cellulose, with a total hydrogen production rate of 0.24 m(3) H(2)/m(3)/d and an overall energy recovery efficiency of 23% (based on cellulose removed) without the need for any external electrical energy input.

  12. A comparison of simultaneous organic carbon and nitrogen removal in microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Abid; Manuel, Michelle; Tartakovsky, Boris

    2016-05-15

    This study demonstrates simultaneous carbon and nitrogen removal in laboratory-scale continuous flow microbial fuel cell (MFC) and microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) and provides side-by side comparison of these bioelectrochemical systems. The maximum organic carbon removal rates in MFC and MEC tests were similar at 5.1 g L(-1) d(-1) and 4.16 g L(-1) d(-1), respectively, with a near 100% carbon removal efficiency at an organic load of 3.3 g L(-1) d(-1). An ammonium removal efficiency of 30-55% with near-zero nitrite and nitrate concentrations was observed in the MFC operated at an optimal external resistance, while open-circuit MFC operation resulted in a reduced carbon and ammonium removal of 53% and 21%, respectively. In the MEC ammonium removal was limited to 7-12% under anaerobic conditions, while micro-aerobic conditions increased the removal efficiency to 31%. Also, at zero applied voltage both carbon and ammonium removal efficiencies were reduced to 42% and 4%, respectively. Based on the observed performance under different operating conditions, it was concluded that simultaneous carbon and nitrogen removal was facilitated by concurrent anaerobic and aerobic biotransformation pathways at the anode and cathode, which balanced bioelectrochemical nitrification and denitrification reactions.

  13. Electricity generation and microbial community in microbial fuel cell using low-pH distillery wastewater at different external resistances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hongsuck; Kim, Byunggoon; Kim, Jiyeon; Lee, Taeho; Yu, Jaecheul

    2014-09-30

    Single chamber MFC (SMFC) consisted of two separator-electrode assemblies (SEA) using low-pH distillery wastewater (DW) was operated under continuous mode. The electricity generation and microbial community were analyzed according to the external resistance (Rext; 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 kΩ). The two SEAs exhibited different electricity generations, despite sharing the same anodic chamber. The SMFC showed the largest maximum power density (PDmax) of 3.7 W/m(3) (SEA 1) and 12.9 W/m(3) (SEA 2) at 5 kΩ. These results demonstrated that low-pH wastewater could be sufficiently used as fuels for electricity generation. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that microbial communities at the phylum level were significantly different according to the Rext. The communities of SEA 1 were slightly different from those of SEA 2. In both SEAs, Firmicutes (>45%) were the most dominant at 0.1 kΩ, while Firmicutes (>34%) and Caldiserica (>34%) were dominant at 5 kΩ. Caldiserica sp. might significantly contribute to electricity generation under low-pH and high-Rext.

  14. Change in microbial communities in acetate- and glucose-fed microbial fuel cells in the presence of light

    KAUST Repository

    Xing, Defeng

    2009-09-01

    Power densities produced by microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in natural systems are changed by exposure to light through the enrichment of photosynthetic microorganisms. When MFCs with brush anodes were exposed to light (4000 lx), power densities increased by 8-10% for glucose-fed reactors, and 34% for acetate-fed reactors. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that exposure to high light levels changed the microbial communities on the anodes. Based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries of light-exposed systems the anode communities using glucose were also significantly different than those fed acetate. Dominant bacteria that are known exoelectrogens were identified in the anode biofilm, including a purple nonsulfur (PNS) photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, and a dissimilatory iron-reducing bacterium, Geobacter sulfurreducens. Pure culture tests confirmed that PNS photosynthetic bacteria increased power production when exposed to high light intensities (4000 lx). These results demonstrate that power production and community composition are affected by light conditions as well as electron donors in single-chamber air-cathode MFCs. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Effect of separator and inoculum type on electricity generation and microbial community in single-chamber microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jaecheul; Park, Younghyun; Lee, Taeho

    2014-04-01

    Single-chamber microbial fuel cell (SMFC)-I consisted of 4 separator-electrode assemblies (SEAs) with two types of cation exchange membrane (CEM: Nafion and CMI 7000) and an anion exchange membrane (AEM: AMI 7001). SMFC-II consisted of 4 SEAs with Nafion and three types of nonwoven fabric. SMFC-I and -II were inoculated with anaerobic digested and activated sludge, respectively, and operated under fed-batch mode. In SMFC I, AEM-SEA showed a maximum power density (PDmax). Nafion-SEA showed a PDmax in SMFC II, which was similar to that of Nafion-SEA of SMFC I. Although different bacteria were developed in SMFC-I (Deltaproteobacteria and Firmicutes) and SMFC-II (Gammaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes), the inoculum type little affects electricity generation. Variations of pH and oxygen in biofilm have influenced microbial community structure and electricity generation according to the electrode and separator material. Although the electricity generation of non-woven fabric-SEA was less than that of Nafion-SEA, the use of non-woven fabrics is expected to reduce the construction and operating costs of MFCs.

  16. Self-sustained reduction of multiple metals in a microbial fuel cell-microbial electrolysis cell hybrid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan; Wu, Yining; Liu, Bingchuan; Luan, Hongwei; Vadas, Timothy; Guo, Wanqian; Ding, Jie; Li, Baikun

    2015-09-01

    A self-sustained hybrid bioelectrochemical system consisting of microbial fuel cell (MFC) and microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) was developed to reduce multiple metals simultaneously by utilizing different reaction potentials. Three heavy metals representing spontaneous reaction (chromium, Cr) and unspontaneous reaction (lead, Pb and nickel, Ni) were selected in this batch-mode study. The maximum power density of the MFC achieved 189.4 mW m(-2), and the energy recovery relative to the energy storage circuit (ESC) was ∼ 450%. At the initial concentration of 100 mg L(-1), the average reduction rate of Cr(VI) was 30.0 mg L(-1) d(-1), Pb(II) 32.7 mg L(-1) d(-1), and Ni(II) 8.9 mg L(-1) d(-1). An electrochemical model was developed to predict the change of metal concentration over time. The power output of the MFC was sufficient to meet the requirement of the ESC and MEC, and the "self-sustained metal reduction" was achieved in this hybrid system.

  17. Design of a microbial fuel cell and its transition to microbial electrolytic cell for hydrogen production by electrohydrogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Pratima; Parkhey, Piyush; Joshi, Komal; Mahilkar, Anjali

    2013-10-01

    Anaerobic bacteria were isolated from industrial wastewater and soil samples and tested for exoelectrogenic activity by current production in double chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC), which was further transitioned into a single chambered microbial electrolytic cell to test hydrogen production by electrohydrogenesis. Of all the cultures, the isolate from industrial water sample showed the maximum values for current = 0.161 mA, current density = 108.57 mA/m2 and power density = 48.85 mW/m2 with graphite electrode. Maximum voltage across the cell, however, was reported by the isolate from sewage water sample (506 mv) with copper as electrode. Tap water with KMnO4 was the best cathodic electrolyte as the highest values for all the measured MFC parameters were reported with it. Once the exoelectrogenic activity of the isolates was confirmed by current production, these were tested for hydrogen production in a single chambered microbial electrolytic cell (MEC) modified from the MFC. Hydrogen production was reported positive from co-culture of isolates of both the water samples and co-culture of one soil and one water sample. The maximum rate and yield of hydrogen production was 0.18 m3H2/m3/d and 3.2 mol H2/mol glucose respectively with total hydrogen production of 42.4 mL and energy recovery of 57.4%. Cumulative hydrogen production for a five day cycle of MEC operation was 0.16 m3H2/m3/d.

  18. Submersible microbial fuel cell sensor for monitoring microbial activity and BOD in groundwater: Focusing on impact of anodic biofilm on sensor applicability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Angelidaki, Irini

    2011-01-01

    A sensor, based on a submersible microbial fuel cell (SUMFC), was developed for in situ monitoring of microbial activity and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in groundwater. Presence or absence of a biofilm on the anode was a decisive factor for the applicability of the sensor. Fresh anode...... was required for application of the sensor for microbial activity measurement, while biofilm‐colonized anode was needed for utilizing the sensor for BOD content measurement. The current density of SUMFC sensor equipped with a biofilm‐colonized anode showed linear relationship with BOD content, to up to 250 mg...

  19. Spatiotemporal development of the bacterial community in a tubular longitudinal microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jung Rae; Premier, Giuliano C. [Glamorgan Univ., Pontypridd (United Kingdom). Faculty of Advnaced Technology; Beecroft, Nelli J.; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio [Surrey Univ., Guildford (United Kingdom). Microbial Sciences; Varcoe, John R.; Slade, Robert C.T. [Surrey Univ., Guildford (United Kingdom). Chemical Sciences; Dinsdale, Richard M.; Guwy, Alan J. [Glamorgan Univ., Pontypridd (United Kingdom). Faculty of Health, Sport and Science; Thumser, Alfred [Surrey Univ., Guildford (United Kingdom). Biochemical Sciences

    2011-05-15

    The spatiotemporal development of a bacterial community in an exoelectrogenic biofilm was investigated in sucrose-fed longitudinal tubular microbial fuel cell reactors, consisting of two serially connected modules. The proportional changes in the microbial community composition were assessed by polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and DNA sequencing in order to relate them to the performance and stability of the bioelectrochemical system. The reproducibility of duplicated reactors, evaluated by cluster analysis and Jaccard's coefficient, shows 80-90% similarity in species composition. Biofilm development through fed-batch start-up and subsequent stable continuous operation results in a population shift from {gamma}-Proteobacteria- and Bacteroidetes- to Firmicutes-dominated communities, with other diverse species present at much lower relative proportions. DGGE patterns were analysed by range-weighted richness (Rr) and Pareto-Lorenz evenness distribution curves to investigate the evolution of the bacterial community. The first modules shifted from dominance by species closely related to Bacteroides graminisolvens, Raoultella ornithinolytica and Klebsiella sp. BM21 at the start of continuous-mode operation to a community dominated by Paludibacter propionicigenes-, Lactococcus sp.-, Pantoea agglomerans- and Klebsiella oxytoca-related species with stable power generation (6.0 W/m{sup 3}) at day 97. Operational strategies that consider the dynamics of the population will provide useful parameters for evaluating system performance in the practical application of microbial fuel cells. (orig.)

  20. Olive mill wastewater treatment in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermek, Hakan; Catal, Tunc; Akan, S Süha; Ulutaş, Mehmet Sefa; Kumru, Mert; Özgüven, Mine; Liu, Hong; Özçelik, Beraat; Akarsubaşı, Alper Tunga

    2014-04-01

    Olive mill wastewaters create significant environmental issues in olive-processing countries. One of the most hazardous groups of pollutants in these wastewaters is phenolic compounds. Here, olive mill wastewater was used as substrate and treated in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells. Olive mill wastewater yielded a maximum voltage of 381 mV on an external resistance of 1 kΩ. Notable decreases in the contents of 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, tyrosol, gallic acid and p-coumaric acid were detected. Chemical oxygen demand removal rates were 65 % while removal of total phenolics by the process was lower (49 %). Microbial community analysis during the olive mill wastewater treating MFC has shown that both exoelectrogenic and phenol-degrading microorganisms have been enriched during the operation. Brevundimonas-, Sphingomonas- and Novosphingobium-related phylotypes were enriched on the anode biofilm, while Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes dominated the cathode biofilm. As one of the novel studies, it has been demonstrated that recalcitrant olive mill wastewaters could be treated and utilized for power generation in microbial fuel cells.

  1. Optimization of double chamber microbial fuel cell for domestic wastewater treatment and electricity production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Amr El-Hag Ali; Ola M Gomaa; Reham Fathey; Hussein Abd El Kareem; Mohamed Abou Zaid

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells ( MFCs) represent a new approach for treating waste water along with electricity production. The present study addressed electricity production from domestic wastewater using a mediator-less double chamber MFC. The electricity production was monitored under different operational conditions for both summer and winter samples. Optimization of the anodic and cathodic chambers resulted in a maximal current of 0. 784 and 0. 645 mA with the maximal power intensity of 209 and 117 mW/m2 in power duration of 24 h for the summer and winter samples, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the bacterial biofilm formation on the anode was denser for the summer sample than that when the winter sample was used, so was the total bacterial count. Therefore, samples taken during summer were considered better in electricity production and waste water treatment than those taken during winter basically because of the high microbial load during the hot season. In parallel, there was a decrease in both biological oxygen demand ( BOD5 ) and chemical oxygen demand ( COD) values which reached 71. 8% and 72. 85%, respectively at the end of the operation process for the summer sample, while there was no evident decrease for the winter sample. Optimizing the operating conditions not only increased the potential of using domestic waste water in microbial fuel cells to produce electricity, but also improved the quality of the domestic waste water.

  2. Energy harvesting from organic liquids in micro-sized microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Mink, J.E.

    2014-03-07

    Micro-sized microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are miniature energy harvesters that use bacteria to convert biomass from liquids into usable power. The key challenge is transitioning laboratory test beds into devices capable of producing high power using readily available fuel sources. Here, we present a pragmatic step toward advancing MFC applications through the fabrication of a uniquely mobile and inexpensive micro-sized device that can be fueled with human saliva. The 25-ll MFC was fabricated with graphene, a two-dimensional atomic crystal-structured material, as an anode for efficient current generation and with an air cathode for enabling the use of the oxygen present in air, making its operation completely mobile and free of the need for laboratory chemicals. With saliva as a fuel, the device produced higher current densities (1190 Am-3) than any previous aircathode micro-sized MFCs. The use of the graphene anode generated 40 times more power than that possible using a carbon cloth anode. Additional tests were performed using acetate, a conventional organic material, at high organic loadings that were comparable to those in saliva, and the results demonstrated a linear relationship between the organic loading and current. These findings open the door to saliva-powered applications of this fuel cell technology for Lab-on-a-Chip devices or portable point-of-care diagnostic devices. 2014 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved 1884-4057/14.

  3. Phenol-degrading anode biofilm with high coulombic efficiency in graphite electrodes microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dongdong; Li, Zhiling; Zhang, Chunfang; Zhou, Xue; Xiao, Zhixing; Awata, Takanori; Katayama, Arata

    2017-03-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC), with graphite electrodes as both the anode and cathode, was operated with a soil-free anaerobic consortium for phenol degradation. This phenol-degrading MFC showed high efficiency with a current density of 120 mA/m(2) and a coulombic efficiency of 22.7%, despite the lack of a platinum catalyst cathode and inoculation of sediment/soil. Removal of planktonic bacteria by renewing the anaerobic medium did not decrease the performance, suggesting that the phenol-degrading MFC was not maintained by the planktonic bacteria but by the microorganisms in the anode biofilm. Cyclic voltammetry analysis of the anode biofilm showed distinct oxidation and reduction peaks. Analysis of the microbial community structure of the anode biofilm and the planktonic bacteria based on 16S rRNA gene sequences suggested that Geobacter sp. was the phenol degrader in the anode biofilm and was responsible for current generation.

  4. Formation of industrial mixed culture biofilm in chlorophenol cultivated medium of microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Huzairy; Jin, Bo; Dai, Sheng; Ngau, Cornelius

    2016-11-01

    The formation of microbial biofilm while maintaining the electricity output is a challenging topic in microbial fuel cell (MFC) studies. This MFC critical factor becomes more significant when handling with industrial wastewater which normally contains refractory and toxic compounds. This study explores the formation of industrial mixed culture biofilm in chlorophenol cultivated medium through observing and characterizing microscopically its establishment on MFC anode surface. The mixed culture was found to develop its biofilm on the anode surface in the chlorophenol environment and established its maturity and dispersal stages with concurrent electricity generation and phenolic degradation. The mixed culture biofilm engaged the electron transfer roles in MFC by generating current density of 1.4 mA/m2 and removing 53 % of 2,4-dichlorophenol. The results support further research especially on hazardous wastewater treatment using a benign and sustainable method.

  5. Engineering PQS biosynthesis pathway for enhancement of bioelectricity production in pseudomonas aeruginosa microbial fuel cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Bochuan Wang

    Full Text Available The biosynthesis of the redox shuttle, phenazines, in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an ubiquitous microorganism in wastewater microflora, is regulated by the 2-heptyl-3,4-dihydroxyquinoline (PQS quorum-sensing system. However, PQS inhibits anaerobic growth of P. aeruginosa. We constructed a P. aeruginosa strain that produces higher concentrations of phenazines under anaerobic conditions by over-expressing the PqsE effector in a PQS negative ΔpqsC mutant. The engineered strain exhibited an improved electrical performance in microbial fuel cells (MFCs and potentiostat-controlled electrochemical cells with an approximate five-fold increase of maximum current density relative to the parent strain. Electrochemical analysis showed that the current increase correlates with an over-synthesis of phenazines. These results therefore demonstrate that targeting microbial cell-to-cell communication by genetic engineering is a suitable technique to improve power output of bioelectrochemical systems.

  6. Electric power generation by a submersible microbial fuel cell equipped with a membrane electrode assembly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Min, Booki; Poulsen, Finn Willy; Thygesen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    , the maximum power density was 631mW/m2 at current density of 1772mA/m2 at 82Ω. With 180-Ω external resistance, one set of the electrodes on the same side could generate more power density of 832±4mW/m2 with current generation of 1923±4mA/m2. The anode, inclusive a biofilm behaved ohmic, whereas a Tafel type...... behavior was observed for the oxygen reduction. The various impedance contributions from electrodes, electrolyte and membrane were analyzed and identified by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Air flow rate to the cathode chamber affected microbial voltage generation, and higher power generation......Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were incorporated into the cathode chamber of a submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC). A close contact of the electrodes could produce high power output from SMFC in which anode and cathode electrodes were connected in parallel. In polarization test...

  7. Organic content influences sediment microbial fuel cell performance and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qing; Li, Ruying; Ji, Min; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2016-11-01

    This study constructed sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) with different organic loadings without the amendment of external substrates, and it investigated how such variation affects electricity generation and microbial community structure. Results found sediment characteristics significantly influenced SMFC performance and appropriate organic content is important to maintain stable power outputs. SMFCs with loss of ignition (LOI) of 5% showed the most reliable performance in this study, while high organic content (LOI 10-16%) led to higher but very unstable voltage output because of biogas accumulation and worm activities. SMFCs with low organic content (1-3%) showed low power output. Different bacterial communities were found in SMFCs shown various power generation performance even those with similar organic contents. Thermodesulfovibrionaceae was found closely related to the system startup and Desulfobulbaceae showed great abundance in SMFCs with high power production.

  8. A Microbial Fuel Cell Modified with Carbon Nanomaterials for Organic Removal and Denitrification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Njud S. Alharbi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigated microbial denitrification using electrochemical sources to replace organic matter as reductant. The work also involved developing a system that could be optimised for nitrate removal in applied situations such as water processing in fish farming or drinking water, where high nitrate levels represent a potential health problem. Consequently, the study examined a range of developments for the removal of nitrate from water based on the development of electrochemical biotransformation systems for nitrate removal. This also offers considerable scope for the potential application of these systems in broader bionanotechnology based processes. Furthermore, the work discussed the context of improved microbial fuel cell (MFC performance, potential analytic applications, and further innovations using a bionanotechnology approach to analyse cell-electrode interactions. High nitrate removal rate of more than 95% was successfully achieved by using a MFC system modified with carbon nanomaterials.

  9. Electrobiocommodities: powering microbial production of fuels and commodity chemicals from carbon dioxide with electricity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lovley, DR; Nevin, KP

    2013-06-01

    Electricity can be an energy source for microbially catalyzed production of fuels and other organic commodities from carbon dioxide. These electrobiocommodities (E-BCs) can be produced directly via electrode-to-microbe electron transfer or indirectly with electrochemically generated electron donors such as H-2 or formate. Producing E-BCs may be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable strategy for converting solar energy to biocommodities than approaches that rely on biological photosynthesis. A diversity of microbial physiologies could potentially be adapted for E-BC production, but to date acetogenic microorganisms are the only organisms shown to covert electrically generated low potential electrons and carbon dioxide into multi-carbon organic products with high recovery of electrons in product. Substantial research and development will be required for E-BC commercialization.

  10. EvoBot: An Open-Source, Modular Liquid Handling Robot for Nurturing Microbial Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faina, Andres; Nejatimoharrami, Farzad; Støy, Kasper;

    2016-01-01

    Liquid handling robots are rarely used in the domain of artificial life. In this field, transitory behaviours of non-equilibrium man-made systems are studied and need an automatic monitoring and logging of results. In addition, artificial life experiments are dynamic with frequent changes, which ......-equilibrium conditions. In this paper, we describe the modular design of EvoBot, document its performance, and provide a novel example of an interactive experiment in artificial life, where the robot nurtures a microbial fuel cell based on its voltage output....

  11. Photosynthetic membrane-less microbial fuel cells to enhance microalgal biomass concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uggetti, Enrica; Puigagut, Jaume

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess the net increase in microalgal biomass concentration induced by photosynthetic microbial fuel cells (PMFC). The experiment was conducted on six lab-scale PMFC constituted by an anodic chamber simulating an anaerobic digester connected to a cathodic chamber consisting of a mixed algae consortia culture. Three PMFC were operated at closed circuit (PMFC(+)) whereas three PMFC were left unconnected as control (PMFC(-)). PMFC(+) produced a higher amount of carbon dioxide as a product of the organic matter oxidation that resulted in 1.5-3 times higher biomass concentration at the cathode compartment when compared to PMFC(-).

  12. Exoelectrogenic bacterium phylogenetically related to Citrobacter freundii, isolated from anodic biofilm of a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jianjian; Zhu, Nengwu; Cao, Yanlan; Peng, Yue; Wu, Pingxiao; Dong, Wenhao

    2015-02-01

    An electrogenic bacterium, named Citrobacter freundii Z7, was isolated from the anodic biofilm of microbial fuel cell (MFC) inoculated with aerobic sewage sludge. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) analysis exhibited that the strain Z7 had relatively high electrochemical activity. When the strain Z7 was inoculated into MFC, the maximum power density can reach 204.5 mW/m(2) using citrate as electron donor. Series of substrates including glucose, glycerol, lactose, sucrose, and rhammose could be utilized to generate power. CV tests and the addition of anode solution as well as AQDS experiments indicated that the strain Z7 might transfer electrons indirectly via secreted mediators.

  13. Synthetic Biology and Microbial Fuel Cells: Towards Self-Sustaining Life Support Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, John Andrew

    2014-01-01

    NASA ARC and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) collaborated to investigate the development of advanced microbial fuels cells (MFCs) for biological wastewater treatment and electricity production (electrogenesis). Synthetic biology techniques and integrated hardware advances were investigated to increase system efficiency and robustness, with the intent of increasing power self-sufficiency and potential product formation from carbon dioxide. MFCs possess numerous advantages for space missions, including rapid processing, reduced biomass and effective removal of organics, nitrogen and phosphorus. Project efforts include developing space-based MFC concepts, integration analyses, increasing energy efficiency, and investigating novel bioelectrochemical system applications

  14. Excellent endurance of MWCNT anode in micro-sized Microbial Fuel Cell

    KAUST Repository

    Mink, Justine E.

    2012-08-01

    Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are a sustainable technology for energy production using bioelectrochemical reactions from bacteria. Microfabrication of micro-sized MFCs allows rapid and precise production of devices that can be integrated into Lab-on-a-chip or other ultra low power devices. We show a multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) integrated anode in a biocompatible and high power and current producing device. Long term testing of the MWCNT anode also reveals a high endurance and durable anode material that can be adapted as a long-lasting power source. © 2012 IEEE.

  15. Graphene-modified electrodes for enhancing the performance of microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Heyang; He, Zhen

    2015-04-01

    Graphene is an emerging material with superior physical and chemical properties, which can benefit the development of microbial fuel cells (MFC) in several aspects. Graphene-based anodes can enhance MFC performance with increased electron transfer efficiency, higher specific surface area and more active microbe-electrode-electrolyte interaction. For cathodic processes, oxygen reduction reaction is effectively catalyzed by graphene-based materials because of a favorable pathway and an increase in active sites and conductivity. Despite challenges, such as complexity in synthesis and property degeneration, graphene-based electrodes will be promising for developing MFCs and other bioelectrochemical systems to achieve sustainable water/wastewater treatment and bioenergy production.

  16. Factors affecting the performance of microbial fuel cells for sulfur pollutants removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Feng; Rahunen, Nelli; Varcoe, John R; Roberts, Alexander J; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio; Thumser, Alfred E; Slade, Robert C T

    2009-03-15

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been developed for removal of sulfur-based pollutants and can be used for simultaneous wastewater treatment and electricity generation. This fuel cell uses an activated carbon cloth+carbon fibre veil composite anode, air-breathing dual cathodes and the sulfate-reducing species Desulfovibrio desulfuricans. 1.16gdm(-3) sulfite and 0.97gdm(-3) thiosulfate were removed from the wastewater at 22 degrees C, representing sulfite and thiosulfate removal conversions of 91% and 86%, respectively. The anode potential was controlled by the concentration of sulfide in the compartment. The performance of the cathode assembly was affected by the concentration of protons in the cation-exchanging ionomer with which the electrocatalyst is co-bound at the three-phase (air, catalyst and support) boundary.

  17. Essential Data and Techniques for Conducting Microbial Fuel Cell and other Types of Bioelectrochemical System Experiments

    KAUST Repository

    Logan, Bruce E.

    2012-04-19

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and other bioelectrochemical systems are new technologies that require expertise in a variety of technical areas, ranging from electrochemistry to biological wastewater treatment. There are certain data and critical information that should be included in every MFC study, such as specific surface area of the electrodes, solution conductivity, and power densities normalized to electrode surface area and volumes. Electrochemical techniques such as linear sweep voltammetry can be used to understand the performance of the MFC, but extremely slow scans are required for these biological systems compared to more traditional fuel cells. In this Minireview, the critical information needed for MFC studies is provided with examples of how results can be better conveyed through a full description of materials, the use of proper controls, and inclusion of a more complete electrochemical analysis. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Additive Manufacturing of a Microbial Fuel Cell--A detailed study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calignano, Flaviana; Tommasi, Tonia; Manfredi, Diego; Chiolerio, Alessandro

    2015-11-27

    In contemporary society we observe an everlasting permeation of electron devices, smartphones, portable computing tools. The tiniest living organisms on Earth could become the key to address this challenge: energy generation by bacterial processes from renewable stocks/waste through devices such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, the application of this solution was limited by a moderately low efficiency. We explored the limits, if any, of additive manufacturing (AM) technology to fabricate a fully AM-based powering device, exploiting low density, open porosities able to host the microbes, systems easy to fuel continuously and to run safely. We obtained an optimal energy recovery close to 3 kWh m(-3) per day that can power sensors and low-power appliances, allowing data processing and transmission from remote/harsh environments.

  19. The Role of Microfabrication and Nanotechnology in the Development of Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Rojas, Jhonathan Prieto

    2015-09-23

    Innovative solutions are paramount to the identification and development of alternative energy resources, specifically for the production of potable water. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a trending emerging technology that promises green energy production while simultaneously treating wastewater. At present, several research efforts are working towards determining which bacteria, fuels, and materials are optimal for developing the most efficient MFCs; microsized MFCs have a key role in this goal. Therefore, in this Review, we summarize recent microfabrication techniques for building microsized cells and elaborate on their advantages and the challenges that need to be overcome. We will then focus on the integration of nanomaterials into MFCs and finish with an overview on the challenges to scale up MFCs and potential uses for these miniature cells.

  20. Electricity production by a microbial fuel cell fueled by brewery wastewater and the factors in its membrane deterioration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Afşin Y. Çetinkaya; Emre Oğuz Köroğlu; Neslihan Manav Demir; Derya Yılmaz Baysoy; Bestamin Özkaya; Mehmet Çakmakçı

    2015-01-01

    Electricity production from brewery wastewater using dual-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with a tin-coated copper mesh in the anode was investigated by changing the hydraulic retention time (HRT). The MFCs were fed with wastewater samples from the inlet (inflow, MFC-1) and outlet (outflow, MFC-2) of an anaerobic digester of a brewery wastewater treatment plant. Both chemical oxygen demand removal and current density were improved by decreasing HRT. The best MFC performance was with an HRT of 0.5 d. The maximum power densities of 8.001 and 1.843 µW/cm2 were obtained from reactors MFC-1 and MFC-2, respectively. Microbial diversity at different condi-tions was studied using PCR-DGGE profiling of 16S rRNA fragments of the microorganisms from the biofilm on the anode electrode. The MFC reactor had mainlyGeobacter,Shewanella, andClostridium species, and some bacteria were easily washed out at lower HRTs. The fouling characteristics of the MFC Nafion membrane and the resulting degradation of MFC performance were examined. The ion exchange capacity, conductivity, and diffusivity of the membrane decreased significantly after foul-ing. The morphology of the Nafion membrane and MFC degradation were studied using scanning electron microscopy and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

  1. [Power generation from glucose and nitrobenzene degradation using the microbial fuel cell].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Liu, Guang-Li; Zhang, Ren-Duo; Luo, Yong; Zhang, Cui-Ping; Li, Ming-Chen; Quan, Xiang-Chun

    2010-11-01

    By constructing a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC), experiments were carried out using an initial glucose concentration of 1 000 mg/L with different nitrobenzene (NB) concentrations (0, 50, 150 and 250 mg/L) as the MFC's fuel. Results showed that with an external resistance of 1 000 omega, the initial glucose concentration of 1 000 mg/L and the initial NB concentrations of 0, 50, 150, 250 mg/L, the operation periods were 55.7, 51.6, 45.9 and 32.2 h, respectively, the maximum voltage outputs were 670, 597, 507, and 489 mV, the maximum volumetric power densities were 28.57, 20.42, 9.29, and 8.47 W/m3, and the electric charges were 65.10, 43.50, 35.48, and 30.32 C. The MFC could use the NB and glucose mixtures as fuel and generated stable electricity outputs. The degradation rates of NB in the MFC in all cases reached up to 100% and COD removals in the MFC were 87% - 98%. However, the electricity generation was negligible when using 250 mg/L NB as the sole fuel. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles demonstrated that the presence of NB resulted in changes of the dominant bacterial species on the electrodes.

  2. Degradation of organic pollutants in a photoelectrocatalytic system enhanced by a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Shi-Jie; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Li, Wen-Wei; Lin, Zhi-Qi; Zeng, Raymond J; Tong, Zhong-Hua; Yu, Han-Qing

    2010-07-15

    Photocatalytic oxidation mediated by TiO(2) is a promising oxidation process for degradation of organic pollutants, but suffers from the decreased photocatalytic efficiency attributed to the recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes. Thus, a cost-effective supply of external electrons is an effective way to elevate the photocatalytic efficiency. Here we report a novel bioelectrochemical system to effectively reduce p-nitrophenol as a model organic pollutant with utilization of the energy derived from a microbial fuel cell. In such a system, there is a synergetic effect between the electrochemical and photocatalytic oxidation processes. Kinetic analysis shows that the system exhibits a more rapid p-nitrophenol degradation at a rate two times the sum of rates by the individual photocatalytic and electrochemical methods. The system performance is influenced by both external resistor and electrolyte concentration. Either a lower external resistor or a lower electrolyte concentration results in a higher p-nitrophenol degradation rate. This system has a potential for the effective degradation of refractory organic pollutants and provides a new way for utilization of the energy generated from conversion of organic wastes by microbial fuel cells.

  3. Self-powered supercapacitive microbial fuel cell: The ultimate way of boosting and harvesting power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Carlo; Soavi, Francesca; Serov, Alexey; Arbizzani, Catia; Atanassov, Plamen

    2016-04-15

    In this work, for the first time, we demonstrate a supercapacitive microbial fuel cell which integrates the energy harvesting function of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) with the high-power operation of an internal supercapacitor. The pursued strategies are: (i) the increase of the cell voltage by the use of high potential cathodes like bilirubin oxidase (BOx) or iron-aminoantipyrine (Fe-AAPyr); (ii) the use of an additional capacitive electrode (additional electrode, AdE) which is short-circuited with the MFC cathode and coupled with the MFC anode (MFC-AdE). The high working potential of BOx cathode and the low impedances of the additional capacitive electrode and the MFC anode permitted to achieve up to 19 mW (84.4 Wm(-2), 152 Wm(-3)), the highest power value ever reported for MFCs. Exploiting the supercapacitive properties of the MFC electrodes allows the system to be simpler, cheaper and more efficient without additional electronics management added with respect to an MFC/external supercapacitor coupling. The use of the AdE makes it possible to decouple energy and power and to achieve recharge times in the order of few seconds making the system appealing for practical applications.

  4. Electric current generation by sulfur-reducing bacteria in microbial-anode fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasyliv, Oresta M.; Bilyy, Oleksandr I.; Ferensovych, Yaroslav P.; Hnatush, Svitlana O.

    2012-10-01

    Sulfur - reducing bacteria are a part of normal microflora of natural environment. Their main function is supporting of reductive stage of sulfur cycle by hydrogen sulfide production in the process of dissimilative sulfur-reduction. At the same time these bacteria completely oxidize organic compounds with CO2 and H2O formation. It was shown that they are able to generate electric current in the two chamber microbial-anode fuel cell (MAFC) by interaction between these two processes. Microbial-anode fuel cell on the basis of sulfur- and ferric iron-reducing Desulfuromonas acetoxidans bacteria has been constructed. It has been shown that the amount of electricity generation by investigated bacteria is influenced by the concentrations of carbon source (lactate) and ferric iron chloride. The maximal obtained electric current and potential difference between electrodes equaled respectively 0.28-0.29 mA and 0.19-0.2 V per 0.3 l of bacterial suspension with 0.4 g/l of initial biomass that was grown under the influence of 0.45 mM of FeCl3 and 3 g/l of sodium lactate as primal carbon source. It has also been shown that these bacteria are resistant to different concentrations of silver ions.

  5. Renewable sustainable biocatalyzed electricity production in a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strik, David P B T B; Terlouw, Hilde; Hamelers, Hubertus V M; Buisman, Cees J N

    2008-12-01

    Electricity production via solar energy capturing by living higher plants and microalgae in combination with microbial fuel cells are attractive because these systems promise to generate useful energy in a renewable, sustainable, and efficient manner. This study describes the proof of principle of a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC) based on naturally selected algae and electrochemically active microorganisms in an open system and without addition of instable or toxic mediators. The developed solar-powered PAMFC produced continuously over 100 days renewable biocatalyzed electricity. The sustainable performance of the PAMFC resulted in a maximum current density of 539 mA/m2 projected anode surface area and a maximum power production of 110 mW/m2 surface area photobioreactor. The energy recovery of the PAMFC can be increased by optimization of the photobioreactor, by reducing the competition from non-electrochemically active microorganisms, by increasing the electrode surface and establishment of a further-enriched biofilm. Since the objective is to produce net renewable energy with algae, future research should also focus on the development of low energy input PAMFCs. This is because current algae production systems have energy inputs similar to the energy present in the outcoming valuable products.

  6. Energy generation in a Microbial Fuel Cell using anaerobic sludge from a wastewater treatment plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinicius Fabiano Passos

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In microbial fuel cells (MFCs, the oxidation of organic compounds catalyzed by microorganisms (anode generates electricity via electron transfer to an external circuit that acts as an electron acceptor (cathode. Microbial fuel cells differ in terms of the microorganisms employed and the nature of the oxidized organic compound. In this study, a consortium of anaerobic microorganisms helped to treat the secondary sludge obtained from a sewage treatment plant. The microorganisms were grown in a 250 mL bioreactor containing a carbon cloth. The reactor was fed with media containing acetate (as the carbon source for 48 days. Concomitantly, the electrochemical data were measured with the aid of a digital multimeter and data acquisition system. At the beginning of the MFC operation, power density was low, probably due to slow microorganism growth and adhesion. The power density increased from the 15th day of operation, reaching a value of 13.5 μW cm–2 after ca. 24 days of operation, and remained stable until the end of the process. Compared with data in the literature, this power density value is promising; improvements in the MFC design and operation could increase this value even further. The system investigated herein employed excess sludge as a biocatalyst in an MFC. This opens up the possibility of using organic acids and/or carbohydrate-rich effluents to feed MFCs, and thereby provide simultaneous effluent treatment and energy generation.

  7. A Terrestrial Microbial Fuel Cell for Powering a Single-Hop Wireless Sensor Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daxing Zhang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are envisioned as one of the most promising alternative renewable energy sources because they can generate electric current continuously while treating waste. Terrestrial Microbial Fuel Cells (TMFCs can be inoculated and work on the use of soil, which further extends the application areas of MFCs. Energy supply, as a primary influential factor determining the lifetime of Wireless Sensor Network (WSN nodes, remains an open challenge in sensor networks. In theory, sensor nodes powered by MFCs have an eternal life. However, low power density and high internal resistance of MFCs are two pronounced problems in their operation. A single-hop WSN powered by a TMFC experimental setup was designed and experimented with. Power generation performance of the proposed TMFC, the relationships between the performance of the power generation and the environment temperature, the water content of the soil by weight were measured by experiments. Results show that the TMFC can achieve good power generation performance under special environmental conditions. Furthermore, the experiments with sensor data acquisition and wireless transmission of the TMFC powering WSN were carried out. We demonstrate that the obtained experimental results validate the feasibility of TMFCs powering WSNs.

  8. Influence of ceramic separator’s characteristics on microbial fuel cell performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil N. Ghadge

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at evaluating the influence of clay properties on the performance of microbial fuel cell made using ceramic separators. Performance of two clayware microbial fuel cells (CMFCs made from red soil (CMFC-1 typically rich in aluminum and silica and black soil (CMFC-2 with calcium, iron and magnesium predominant was evaluated. These MFCs were operated under batch mode using synthetic wastewater. Maximum sustainable volumetric power density of 1.49 W m-3 and 1.12 W m-3 was generated in CMFC-1 and CMFC-2, respectively. During polarization, the maximum power densities normalized to anode surface area of 51.65 mW m-2 and 31.20 mW m-2 were obtained for CMFC-1 and CMFC-2, respectively. Exchange current densities at cathodes of CMFC-1 and CMFC-2 are 3.38 and 2.05 times more than that of respective anodes, clearly indicating that the cathodes supported much faster reaction than the anode. Results of laboratory analysis support the presence of more number of exchangeable cations in red soil, representing higher proton exchange capacity of CMFC-1 than CMFC-2. Higher power generation was observed for CMFC-1 with separator made of red soil. Hence, separators made of red soil were more suitable for fabrication of MFC to generate higher power.

  9. Thionine increases electricity generation from microbial fuel cell using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and exoelectrogenic mixed culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimnejad, Mostafa; Najafpour, Ghasem Darzi; Ghoreyshi, Ali Asghar; Talebnia, Farid; Premier, Giuliano C; Bakeri, Gholamreza; Kim, Jung Rae; Oh, Sang-Eun

    2012-08-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have been shown to be capable of clean energy production through the oxidation of biodegradable organic waste using various bacterial species as biocatalysts. In this study we found Saccharomyces cerevisiae, previously known electrochemcially inactive or less active species, can be acclimated with an electron mediator thionine for electrogenic biofilm formation in MFC, and electricity production is improved with facilitation of electron transfer. Power generation of MFC was also significantly increased by thionine with both aerated and non-aerated cathode. With electrochemically active biofilm enriched with swine wastewater, MFC power increased more significantly by addition of thionine. The optimum mediator concentration was 500 mM of thionine with S. cerevisae in MFC with the maximum voltage and current generation in the microbial fuel cell were 420 mV and 700 mA/m(2), respectively. Cyclic voltametry shows that thionine improves oxidizing and reducing capability in both pure culture and acclimated biofilm as compared to non-mediated cell. The results obtained indicated that thionine has great potential to enhance power generation from unmediated yeast or electrochemically active biofilm in MFC.

  10. Bioelectricity generation using two chamber microbial fuel cell treating wastewater from food processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansoorian, Hossein Jafari; Mahvi, Amir Hossein; Jafari, Ahmad Jonidi; Amin, Mohammad Mehdi; Rajabizadeh, Ahmad; Khanjani, Narges

    2013-05-10

    Electricity generation from microbial fuel cells which treat food processing wastewater was investigated in this study. Anaerobic anode and aerobic cathode chambers were separated by a proton exchange membrane in a two-compartment MFC reactor. Buffer solutions and food industry wastewater were used as electrolytes in the anode and cathode chambers, respectively. The produced voltage and current intensity were measured using a digital multimeter. Effluents from the anode compartment were tested for COD, BOD5, NH3, P, TSS, VSS, SO4 and alkalinity. The maximum current density and power production were measured 527mA/m(2) and 230mW/m(2) in the anode area, respectively, at operation organic loading (OLR) of 0.364g COD/l.d. At OLR of 0.182g COD/l.d, maximum voltage and columbic efficiency production were recorded 0.475V and 21%, respectively. Maximum removal efficiency of COD, BOD5, NH3, P, TSS, VSS, SO4 and alkalinity were 86, 79, 73, 18, 68, 62, 30 and 58%, respectively. The results indicated that catalysts and mediator-less microbial fuel cells (CAML-MFC) can be considered as a better choice for simple and complete energy conversion from the wastewater of such industries and also this could be considered as a new method to offset wastewater treatment plant operating costs.

  11. Enhanced biofilm distribution and cell performance of microfluidic microbial fuel cells with multiple anolyte inlets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Ye, Dingding; Liao, Qiang; Zhang, Pengqing; Zhu, Xun; Li, Jun; Fu, Qian

    2016-05-15

    A laminar-flow controlled microfluidic microbial fuel cell (MMFC) is considered as a promising approach to be a bio-electrochemical system (BES). But poor bacterial colonization and low power generation are two severe bottlenecks to restrict its development. In this study, we reported a MMFC with multiple anolyte inlets (MMFC-MI) to enhance the biofilm formation and promote the power density of MMFCs. Voltage profiles during the inoculation process demonstrated MMFC-MI had a faster start-up process than the conventional microfluidic microbial fuel cell with one inlet (MMFC-OI). Meanwhile, benefited from the periodical replenishment of boundary layer near the electrode, a more densely-packed bacterial aggregation was observed along the flow direction and also the substantially low internal resistance for MMFC-MI. Most importantly, the output power density of MMFC-MI was the highest value among the reported µl-scale MFCs to our best knowledge. The presented MMFC-MI appears promising for bio-chip technology and extends the scope of microfluidic energy.

  12. Mathematical model for microbial fuel cells with anodic biofilms and anaerobic digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picioreanu, C; van Loosdrecht, M C M; Katuri, K P; Scott, K; Head, I M

    2008-01-01

    This study describes the integration of IWA's anaerobic digestion model (ADM1) within a computational model of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Several populations of methanogenic and electroactive microorganisms coexist suspended in the anolyte and in the biofilm attached to the anode. A number of biological, chemical and electrochemical reactions occur in the bulk liquid, in the biofilm and at the electrode surface, involving glucose, organic acids, H2 and redox mediators. Model output includes the evolution in time of important measurable MFC parameters (current production, consumption of substrates, suspended and attached biomass growth). Two- and three-dimensional model simulations reveal the importance of current and biomass heterogeneous distribution over the planar anode surface. Voltage- and power-current characteristics can be calculated at different moments in time to evaluate the limiting regime in which the MFC operates. Finally, model simulations are compared with experimental results showing that, in a batch MFC, smaller electrical resistance of the circuit leads to selection of electroactive bacteria. Higher coulombic yields are so obtained because electrons from substrate are transferred to anode rather than following the methanogenesis pathway. In addition to higher currents, faster COD consumption rates are so achieved. The potential of this general modelling framework is in the understanding and design of more complex cases of wastewater-fed microbial fuel cells.

  13. Electricity generating capacity and performance deterioration of a microbial fuel cell fed with beer brewery wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köroğlu, Emre Oğuz; Özkaya, Bestamin; Denktaş, Cenk; Çakmakci, Mehmet

    2014-12-01

    This study focused on using beer brewery wastewater (BBW) to evaluate membrane concentrate disposal and production of electricity in microbial fuel cells. In the membrane treatment of BBW, the membrane permeate concentration was 570 ± 30 mg/L corresponding to a chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency of 75 ± 5%, and the flux values changed between 160 and 40 L/m(2)-h for all membrane runs. For electricity production from membrane concentrate, the highest current density in the microbial fuel cell (MFC) was observed to be 1950 mA/m(2) according to electrode surface area with 36% COD removal efficiency and 2.48% CE with 60% BBW membrane concentrate. The morphologies of the cation exchange membrane and the MFC deterioration were studied using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). A decrease in the thermal stability of the sulfonate (-SO3H) groups was demonstrated and morphological changes were detected in the SEM analysis.

  14. In situ microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for organic carbon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Jesus dos Santos Peixoto, Luciana; Min, Booki; Martins, Gilberto

    2011-01-01

    The biological oxygen demand (BOD) may be the most used test to assess the amount of pollutant organic matter in water; however, it is time and labor consuming, and is done ex-situ. A BOD biosensor based on the microbial fuel cell principle was tested for online and in situ monitoring of biodegra......The biological oxygen demand (BOD) may be the most used test to assess the amount of pollutant organic matter in water; however, it is time and labor consuming, and is done ex-situ. A BOD biosensor based on the microbial fuel cell principle was tested for online and in situ monitoring...... to 78±7.6mg O2/L. The current generation from the BOD biosensor was dependent on the measurement conditions such as temperature, conductivity, and pH. Thus, a correction factor should be applied to measurements done under different environmental conditions from the ones used in the calibration....... These results provide useful information for the development of a biosensor for real-time in situ monitoring of wastewater quality....

  15. Open air biocathode enables effective electricity generation with microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clauwaert, Peter; Van der Ha, David; Boon, Nico; Verbeken, Kim; Verhaege, Marc; Rabaey, Korneel; Verstraete, Willy

    2007-11-01

    The reduction of oxygen at the cathode is one of the major bottlenecks of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). While research so far has mainly focused on chemical catalysis of this oxygen reduction, here we present a continuously wetted cathode with microorganisms that act as biocatalysts for oxygen reduction. We combined the anode of an acetate oxidizing tubular microbial fuel cell with an open air biocathode for electricity production. The maximum power production was 83 +/- 11 W m(-3) MFC (0.183 L MFC) for batch-fed systems (20-40% Coulombic yield) and 65 +/- 5 W m(-3) MFC for a continuous system with an acetate loading rate of 1.5 kg COD m(-3) day(-1) (90 +/- 3% Coulombic yield). Electrochemical precipitation of manganese oxides on the cathodic graphite felt decreased the start-up period with approximately 30% versus a non-treated graphite felt. After the start-up period, the cell performance was similar for the pretreated and non-treated cathodic electrodes. Several reactor designs were tested, and it was found that enlargement of the 0.183 L MFC reactor by a factor 2.9-3.8 reduced the volumetric power output by 60-67%. Biocathodes alleviate the need to use noble or non-noble catalysts for the reduction of oxygen, which increases substantially the viability and sustainability of MFCs.

  16. Treatment of Oil Wastewater and Electricity Generation by Integrating Constructed Wetland with Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiao Yang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Conventional oil sewage treatment methods can achieve satisfactory removal efficiency, but energy consumption problems during the process of oil sewage treatment are worth attention. The integration of a constructed wetland reactor and a microbial fuel cell reactor (CW-MFC to treat oil-contaminated wastewater, compared with a microbial fuel cell reactor (MFC alone and a constructed wetland reactor (CW alone, was explored in this research. Performances of the three reactors including chemical oxygen demand (COD, oil removal, and output voltage generation were continuously monitored. The COD removals of three reactors were between 73% and 75%, and oil removals were over 95.7%. Compared with MFC, the CW-MFC with a MnO2 modified cathode produced higher power density and output voltage. Maximum power densities of CW-MFC and MFC were 3868 mW/m3 (102 mW/m2 and 3044 mW/m3 (80 mW/m2, respectively. The plants in CW-MFC play a positive role for reactor cathode potential. Both plants and cathode modification can improve reactor performance of electricity generation.

  17. Energy recovery from waste streams with microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Y.

    2012-09-15

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based technologies are promising technologies for direct energy production from various wastewaters and waste streams. Beside electrical power production, more emphasis is recently devoted to alternative applications such as hydrogen production, bioremediation, seawater desalination, and biosensors. Although the technologies are promising, a number of hurdles need to be overcome before that field applications are economically feasible. The main purpose of this work was to improve the performance, reduce the construction cost, and expand the application scopes of MFC-based bio-electrochemical systems. To reduce the energy cost in nitrogen removal and during the same process achieve phosphorus elimination, a sediment-type photomicrobial fuel cell was developed based on the cooperation between microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris) and electrochemically active bacteria. The main removal mechanism of nitrogen and phosphorus was algae biomass uptake, while nitrification and denitrification process contributed to part of nitrogen removal. The key factors such as algae concentration, COD/N ratios and photoperiod were systemically studied. A self-powered submersible microbial electrolysis cell was developed for in situ biohydrogen production from anaerobic reactors. The hydrogen production increased along with acetate and buffer concentration. The hydrogen production rate of 32.2 mL/L/d and yield of 1.43 mol-H2/mol-acetate were achieved. Alternate exchanging the function between the two cell units was found to be an effective approach to inhibit methanogens. A sensor, based on a submersible microbial fuel cell, was developed for in situ monitoring of microbial activity and biochemical oxygen demand in groundwater. Presence or absence of a biofilm on the anode was a decisive factor for the applicability of the sensor. Temperature, pH, conductivity and inorganic solid content were significantly affecting the sensitivity of the sensor. The sensor showed

  18. Cometabolic degradation of chloramphenicol via a meta-cleavage pathway in a microbial fuel cell and its microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qinghua; Zhang, Yanyan; Li, Daping

    2017-04-01

    The performance of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) in terms of degradation of chloramphenicol (CAP) was investigated. Approximately 84% of 50mg/L CAP was degraded within 12h in the MFC. A significant interaction of pH, temperature, and initial CAP concentration was found on removal of CAP, and a maximum degradation rate of 96.53% could theoretically be achieved at 31.48°C, a pH of 7.12, and an initial CAP concentration of 106.37mg/L. Moreover, CAP was further degraded through a ring-cleavage pathway. The antibacterial activity of CAP towards Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 was largely eliminated by MFC treatment. High-throughput sequencing analysis indicated that Azonexus, Comamonas, Nitrososphaera, Chryseobacterium, Azoarcus, Rhodococcus, and Dysgonomonas were the predominant genera in the MFC anode biofilm. In conclusion, the MFC shows potential for the treatment of antibiotic residue-containing wastewater due to its high rates of CAP removal and energy recovery.

  19. Operational, design and microbial aspects related to power production with microbial fuel cells implemented in constructed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbella, Clara; Guivernau, Miriam; Viñas, Marc; Puigagut, Jaume

    2015-11-01

    This work aimed at determining the amount of energy that can be harvested by implementing microbial fuel cells (MFC) in horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands (HSSF CWs) during the treatment of real domestic wastewater. To this aim, MFC were implemented in a pilot plant based on two HSSF CW, one fed with primary settled wastewater (Settler line) and the other fed with the effluent of a hydrolytic up-flow sludge blanket reactor (HUSB line). The eubacterial and archaeal community was profiled on wetland gravel, MFC electrodes and primary treated wastewater by means of 16S rRNA gene-based 454-pyrosequencing and qPCR of 16S rRNA and mcrA genes. Maximum current (219 mA/m(2)) and power (36 mW/m(2)) densities were obtained for the HUSB line. Power production pattern correlated well with water level fluctuations within the wetlands, whereas the type of primary treatment implemented had a significant impact on the diversity and relative abundance of eubacteria communities colonizing MFC. It is worth noticing the high predominance (13-16% of relative abundance) of one OTU belonging to Geobacter on active MFC of the HUSB line that was absent for the settler line MFC. Hence, MFC show promise for power production in constructed wetlands receiving the effluent of a HUSB reactor.

  20. Stainless steel mesh supported nitrogen-doped carbon nanofibers for binder-free cathode in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuiliang; Chen, Yu; He, Guanghua; He, Shuijian; Schröder, Uwe; Hou, Haoqing

    2012-04-15

    In this communication, we report a binder-free oxygen reduction cathode for microbial fuel cells. The binder-free cathode is prepared by growth of nitrogen-doped carbon nanofibers (NCNFs) on stainless steel mesh (SSM) via simple pyrolysis of pyridine. The interaction force between NCNFs and SSM surface is very strong which is able to tolerate water flush. The NCNFs/SSM cathode shows high and stable electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction, which is comparable to that of Pt/SSM and ferricyanide cathode. This study proposes a promising low-cost binder-free cathode for microbial fuel cells.

  1. Improved fuel cell and electrode designs for producing electricity from microbial degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Doo Hyun; Zeikus, J Gregory

    2003-02-05

    A new one-compartment fuel cell was composed of a rubber bunged bottle with a center-inserted anode and a window-mounted cathode containing an internal, proton-permeable porcelain layer. This fuel cell design was less expensive and more practical than the conventional two-compartment system, which requires aeration and a ferricyanide solution in the cathode compartment. Three new electrodes containing bound electron mediators including a Mn(4+)-graphite anode, a neutral red (NR) covalently linked woven graphite anode, and an Fe(3+)-graphite cathode were developed that greatly enhanced electrical energy production (i.e., microbial electron transfer) over conventional graphite electrodes. The potentials of these electrodes measured by cyclic voltametry at pH 7.0 were (in volts): +0.493 (Fe(3+)-graphite); +0.15 (Mn(4+)-graphite); and -0.53 (NR-woven graphite). The maximal electrical productivities obtained with sewage sludge as the biocatalyst and using a Mn(4+)-graphite anode and a Fe(3+)-graphite cathode were 14 mA current, 0.45 V potential, 1,750 mA/m(2) current density, and 788 mW/m(2) of power density. With Escherichia coli as the biocatalyst and using a Mn(4+)-graphite anode and a Fe(3+)-graphite cathode, the maximal electrical productivities obtained were 2.6 mA current, 0.28 V potential, 325 mA/m(2) current density, and 91 mW/m(2) of power density. These results show that the amount of electrical energy produced by microbial fuel cells can be increased 1,000-fold by incorporating electron mediators into graphite electrodes. These results also imply that sewage sludge may contain unique electrophilic microbes that transfer electrons more readily than E. coli and that microbial fuel cells using the new Mn(4+)-graphite anode and Fe(3+)-graphite cathode may have commercial utility for producing low amounts of electrical power needed in remote locations.

  2. Challenges and constraints of using oxygen cathodes in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Feng; Harnisch, Falk; Schröder, Uwe; Scholz, Fritz; Bogdanoff, Peter; Herrmann, Iris

    2006-09-01

    The performance of oxygen reduction catalysts (platinum, pyrolyzed iron(ll) phthalocyanine (pyr-FePc) and cobalt tetramethoxyphenylporphyrin (pyr-CoTMPP)) is discussed in light of their application in microbial fuel cells. It is demonstrated that the physical and chemical environment in microbial fuel cells severely affects the thermodynamics and the kinetics of the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction. The neutral pH in combination with low buffer capacities and low ionic concentrations strongly affect the cathode performance and limit the fuel cell power output. Thus, the limiting current density in galvanodyanamic polarization experiments decreases from 1.5 mA cm(-2) to 0.6 mA cm(-2) (pH 3.3, E(cathode) = 0 V) when the buffer concentration is decreased from 500 to 50 mM. The cathode limitations are superposed by the increasing internal resistance of the MFC that substantially contributes to the decrease of power output. For example, the maximum power output of a model MFC decreased by 35%, from 2.3 to 1.5 mW, whereas the difference between the electrode potentials (deltaE = E(anode) - E(cathode)) decreased only by 10%. The increase of the catalyst load of pyr-FePc from 0.25 to 2 mg cm(-2) increased the cathodic current density from 0.4 to 0.97 mA cm(-2) (pH 7, 50 mM phosphate buffer). The increase of the load of such inexpensive catalyst thus represents a suitable means to improve the cathode performance in microbial fuel cells. Due to the low concentration of protons in MFCs in comparison to relatively high alkali cation levels (ratio C(Na+,K+)/C(H+) = 5 x E5 in pH 7, 50 mM phosphate buffer) the transfer of alkali ions through the proton exchange membrane plays a major role in the charge-balancing ion flux from the anodic into the cathodic compartment. This leads to the formation of pH gradients between the anode and the cathode compartment.

  3. Phylogenetic and metagenomic analyses of substrate-dependent bacterial temporal dynamics in microbial fuel cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Husen Zhang

    Full Text Available Understanding the microbial community structure and genetic potential of anode biofilms is key to improve extracellular electron transfers in microbial fuel cells. We investigated effect of substrate and temporal dynamics of anodic biofilm communities using phylogenetic and metagenomic approaches in parallel with electrochemical characterizations. The startup non-steady state anodic bacterial structures were compared for a simple substrate, acetate, and for a complex substrate, landfill leachate, using a single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell. Principal coordinate analysis showed that distinct community structures were formed with each substrate type. The bacterial diversity measured as Shannon index decreased with time in acetate cycles, and was restored with the introduction of leachate. The change of diversity was accompanied by an opposite trend in the relative abundance of Geobacter-affiliated phylotypes, which were acclimated to over 40% of total Bacteria at the end of acetate-fed conditions then declined in the leachate cycles. The transition from acetate to leachate caused a decrease in output power density from 243±13 mW/m2 to 140±11 mW/m2, accompanied by a decrease in Coulombic electron recovery from 18±3% to 9±3%. The leachate cycles selected protein-degrading phylotypes within phylum Synergistetes. Metagenomic shotgun sequencing showed that leachate-fed communities had higher cell motility genes including bacterial chemotaxis and flagellar assembly, and increased gene abundance related to metal resistance, antibiotic resistance, and quorum sensing. These differentially represented genes suggested an altered anodic biofilm community in response to additional substrates and stress from the complex landfill leachate.

  4. Characterization of a filamentous biofilm community established in a cellulose-fed microbial fuel cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hotta Yasuaki

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are devices that exploit microorganisms to generate electric power from organic matter. Despite the development of efficient MFC reactors, the microbiology of electricity generation remains to be sufficiently understood. Results A laboratory-scale two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC was inoculated with rice paddy field soil and fed cellulose as the carbon and energy source. Electricity-generating microorganisms were enriched by subculturing biofilms that attached onto anode electrodes. An electric current of 0.2 mA was generated from the first enrichment culture, and ratios of the major metabolites (e.g., electric current, methane and acetate became stable after the forth enrichment. In order to investigate the electrogenic microbial community in the anode biofilm, it was morphologically analyzed by electron microscopy, and community members were phylogenetically identified by 16S rRNA gene clone-library analyses. Electron microscopy revealed that filamentous cells and rod-shaped cells with prosthecae-like filamentous appendages were abundantly present in the biofilm. Filamentous cells and appendages were interconnected via thin filaments. The clone library analyses frequently detected phylotypes affiliated with Clostridiales, Chloroflexi, Rhizobiales and Methanobacterium. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization revealed that the Rhizobiales population represented rod-shaped cells with filamentous appendages and constituted over 30% of the total population. Conclusion Bacteria affiliated with the Rhizobiales constituted the major population in the cellulose-fed MFC and exhibited unique morphology with filamentous appendages. They are considered to play important roles in the cellulose-degrading electrogenic community.

  5. Outward electron transfer by Saccharomyces cerevisiae monitored with a bi-cathodic microbial fuel cell-type activity sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducommun, Raphaël; Favre, Marie-France; Carrard, Delphine; Fischer, Fabian

    2010-03-01

    A Janus head-like bi-cathodic microbial fuel cell was constructed to monitor the electron transfer from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to a woven carbon anode. The experiments were conducted during an ethanol cultivation of 170 g/l glucose in the presence and absence of yeast-peptone medium. First, using a basic fuel-cell type activity sensor, it was shown that yeast-peptone medium contains electroactive compounds. For this purpose, 1% solutions of soy peptone and yeast extract were subjected to oxidative conditions, using a microbial fuel cell set-up corresponding to a typical galvanic cell, consisting of culture medium in the anodic half-cell and 0.5 M K(3)Fe(CN)(6) in the cathodic half-cell. Second, using a bi-cathodic microbial fuel cell, it was shown that electrons were transferred from yeast cells to the carbon anode. The participation of electroactive compounds in the electron transport was separated as background current. This result was verified by applying medium-free conditions, where only glucose was fed, confirming that electrons are transferred from yeast cells to the woven carbon anode. Knowledge about the electron transfer through the cell membrane is of importance in amperometric online monitoring of yeast fermentations and for electricity production with microbial fuel cells.

  6. Electricity generation and microbial community in response to short-term changes in stack connection of self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell powered by glycerol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Nannan; Angelidaki, Irini; Zhang, Yifeng

    2017-02-01

    Stack connection (i.e., in series or parallel) of microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an efficient way to boost the power output for practical application. However, there is little information available on short-term changes in stack connection and its effect on the electricity generation and microbial community. In this study, a self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell (SSMFC) powered by glycerol was tested to elucidate this important issue. In series connection, the maximum voltage output reached to 1.15 V, while maximum current density was 5.73 mA in parallel. In both connections, the maximum power density increased with the initial glycerol concentration. However, the glycerol degradation was even faster in parallel connection. When the SSMFC was shifted from series to parallel connection, the reactor reached to a stable power output without any lag phase. Meanwhile, the anodic microbial community compositions were nearly stable. Comparatively, after changing parallel to series connection, there was a lag period for the system to get stable again and the microbial community compositions became greatly different. This study is the first attempt to elucidate the influence of short-term changes in connection on the performance of MFC stack, and could provide insight to the practical utilization of MFC.

  7. Performance of a microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for online monitoring in an integrated system combining microbial fuel cell and upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Hui; Yang, Guang; Wang, Jie; Ngo, Huu Hao; Guo, Wenshan; Zhang, Hongwei; Zhang, Xinbo

    2016-10-01

    A hybrid system integrating a microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based biosensor with upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) was investigated for real-time online monitoring of the internal operation of the UASB reactor. The features concerned were its rapidity and steadiness with a constant operation condition. In addition, the signal feedback mechanism was examined by the relationship between voltage and time point of changed COD concentration. The sensitivity of different concentrations was explored by comparing the signal feedback time point between the voltage and pH. Results showed that the electrical signal feedback was more sensitive than pH and the thresholds of sensitivity were S=3×10(-5)V/(mg/L) and S=8×10(-5)V/(mg/L) in different concentration ranges, respectively. Although only 0.94% of the influent COD was translated into electricity and applied for biosensing, this integrated system indicated great potential without additional COD consumption for real-time monitoring.

  8. Controlling accumulation of fermentation inhibitors in biorefinery recycle water using microbial fuel cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishnivetskaya Tatiana A

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial fuel cells (MFC and microbial electrolysis cells are electrical devices that treat water using microorganisms and convert soluble organic matter into electricity and hydrogen, respectively. Emerging cellulosic biorefineries are expected to use large amounts of water during production of ethanol. Pretreatment of cellulosic biomass results in production of fermentation inhibitors which accumulate in process water and make the water recycle process difficult. Use of MFCs to remove the inhibitory sugar and lignin degradation products from recycle water is investigated in this study. Results Use of an MFC to reduce the levels of furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, vanillic acid, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde and 4-hydroxyacetophenone while simultaneously producing electricity is demonstrated here. An integrated MFC design approach was used which resulted in high power densities for the MFC, reaching up to 3700 mW/m2 (356 W/m3 net anode volume and a coulombic efficiency of 69%. The exoelectrogenic microbial consortium enriched in the anode was characterized using a 16S rRNA clone library method. A unique exoelectrogenic microbial consortium dominated by δ-Proteobacteria (50%, along with β-Proteobacteria (28%, α-Proteobacteria (14%, γ-Proteobacteria (6% and others was identified. The consortium demonstrated broad substrate specificity, ability to handle high inhibitor concentrations (5 to 20 mM with near complete removal, while maintaining long-term stability with respect to power production. Conclusion Use of MFCs for removing fermentation inhibitors has implications for: 1 enabling higher ethanol yields at high biomass loading in cellulosic ethanol biorefineries, 2 improved water recycle and 3 electricity production up to 25% of total biorefinery power needs.

  9. Effects of ammonium concentration and charge exchange on ammonium recovery from high strength wastewater using a microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuntke, P.; Geleij, M.; Bruning, H.; Zeeman, G.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2011-01-01

    Ammonium recovery using a 2 chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was investigated at high ammonium concentration. Increasing the ammonium concentration (from 0.07 g to 4 g ammonium-nitrogen/L) by addition of ammonium chloride did not affect the performance of the MFC. The obtained current densities by

  10. Anaerobic microbial fuel cell treating combined industrial wastewater: Correlation of electricity generation with pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbasi, Umara; Jin, Wang; Pervez, Arshid; Bhatti, Zulfiqar Ahmad; Tariq, Madiha; Shaheen, Shahida; Iqbal, Akhtar; Mahmood, Qaisar

    2016-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a new technology that not only generates energy but treats wastewater as well. A dual chamber MFC was operated under laboratory conditions. Wastewater samples from vegetable oil industries, metal works, glass and marble industries, chemical industries and combined industrial effluents were collected and each was treated for 98h in MFC. The treatment efficiency for COD in MFC was in range of 85-90% at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 96h and had significant impact on wastewater treatment as well. The maximum voltage of 890mV was generated when vegetable oil industries discharge was treated with columbic efficiency of 5184.7C. The minimum voltage was produced by Glass House wastewater which was 520mV. There was positive significant co-relation between COD concentration and generated voltage. Further research should be focused on the organic contents of wastewater and various ionic species affecting voltage generation in MFC.

  11. Electrochemical decolorization of methyl orange powered by bioelectricity from single-chamber microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Baogang; Wang, Zhijun; Zhou, Xiang; Shi, Chunhong; Guo, Huaming; Feng, Chuanping

    2015-04-01

    Methyl orange (MO), a typical azo dye, is a well-known recalcitrant pollutant in dye wastewater. An aeration electrochemical system with single-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) as renewable power sources is proposed for MO decolorization. The enhanced color removal efficiency up to 90.4% within 360 min is observed with voltage across the aeration electrolytic reactor fixed at 700 mV. The results from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis indicate the destruction of MO, with generation of low molecular weight compounds such as benzene derivatives. Comparison experiments imply the indirect electrochemical oxidation of MO by generated H2O2 is mainly responsible for MO decolorization in present study. This work offers a cost-effective electrochemical method for enhancing electrochemical degradation of dyes with bioelectricity generated from MFCs.

  12. [Progress in electricity generation from biomass using microbial fuel cell MFC)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Yu-Jie; Wang, Xin; Li, He; Yang, Qiao; Qu, You-Peng; Shi, Xin-Xin; Liu, Jia; He, Wei-Hua; Xie, Ming-Li

    2010-10-01

    By applying bacteria as anodic catalyst, microbial fuel cell (MFC) can directly convert biomass energy into electrical energy, provided a new way for biomass utilization. Previous studies showed that the substrates and their concentration substantially affected performance of MFC. High power output was obtained when simple organic such as volatile fatty acids (VFA), alcohols or glucose was used as substrate. However, physical, chemical or even biological pretreatment methods were needed when substrate was complex organic. Addition of simple organic as co-substrate was also demonstrated to be an efficient way for refractory compounds degradation in MFC. Using biomass as substrates, MFC will be applied in area such as bioenergy recovery from wastewater, power supply in outfield and biosensors.

  13. Energy recovery from waste streams with microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng

    for in situ and real time monitoring of dissolved oxygen (DO) in environmental waters. The current density produced by the sensor increased linearly with DO level up to 8.8±0.3 mg/L. The sensor ability was further explored under different environmental conditions. The sensor can measure DO in different...... environmental waters with less deviations. To improve the voltage output of MFC from lake sediment, an innovative self-stacked submersible MFC was developed. The system successfully produced a maximum power density of 294 mW/m2 and had an open circuit voltage (OCV) of 1.12 V. In addition, voltage reversal...... factor for the applicability of the sensor. Temperature, pH, conductivity and inorganic solid content were significantly affecting the sensitivity of the sensor. The sensor showed good performance both with artificial and real groundwater. A submersible microbial fuel cell sensor was developed...

  14. A paper-based microbial fuel cell: instant battery for disposable diagnostic devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraiwan, Arwa; Mukherjee, Sayantika; Sundermier, Steven; Lee, Hyung-Sool; Choi, Seokheun

    2013-11-15

    We present a microfabricated paper-based microbial fuel cell (MFC) generating a maximum power of 5.5 μW/cm(2). The MFC features (1) a paper-based proton exchange membrane by infiltrating sulfonated sodium polystyrene sulfonate and (2) micro-fabricated paper chambers by patterning hydrophobic barriers of photoresist. Once inoculum and catholyte were added to the MFC, a current of 74 μA was generated immediately. This paper-based MFC has the advantages of ease of use, low production cost, and high portability. The voltage produced was increased by 1.9 × when two MFC devices were stacked in series, while operating lifetime was significantly enhanced in parallel.

  15. Graphene/carbon cloth anode for high-performance mediatorless microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing; Qiao, Yan; Guo, Chun Xian; Lim, Sierin; Song, Hao; Li, Chang Ming

    2012-06-01

    Graphene was electrochemically deposited on carbon cloth to fabricate an anode for a Pseudomonas aeruginosa mediatorless microbial fuel cell (MFC). The graphene modification improved power density and energy conversion efficiency by 2.7 and 3 times, respectively. The improvement is attributed to the high biocompatibility of graphene which promotes bacteria growth on the electrode surface that results in the creation of more direct electron transfer activation centers and stimulates excretion of mediating molecules for higher electron transfer rate. A parallel bioelectrocatalytic mechanism consisting of simultaneous direct electron transfer and cell-excreted mediator-enabled electron transfer was established in the P. aeruginosa-catalyzed MFC. This study does not only offer fundamental insights into MFC reactions, but also suggests a low cost manufacturing process to fabricate high power MFCs for practical applications.

  16. Mesoporous nitrogen-rich carbon materials as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Ahn, Yongtae

    2014-12-01

    The high cost of the catalyst material used for the oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes is one of the factors limiting practical applications of this technology. Mesoporous nitrogen-rich carbon (MNC), prepared at different temperatures, was examined as an oxygen reduction catalyst, and compared in performance to Pt in MFCs and electrochemical cells. MNC calcined at 800 °C produced a maximum power density of 979 ± 131 mW m-2 in MFCs, which was 37% higher than that produced using MNC calined at 600 °C (715 ± 152 mW m-2), and only 14% lower than that obtained with Pt (1143 ± 54 mW m-2). The extent of COD removal and coulombic efficiencies were the same for all cathode materials. These results show that MNC could be used as an alternative to Pt in MFCs. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Evaluation of multi-brush anode systems in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Lanas, Vanessa

    2013-11-01

    The packing density of anodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was examined here using four different graphite fiber brush anode configurations. The impact of anodes on performance was studied in terms of carbon fiber length (brush diameter), the number of brushes connected in parallel, and the wire current collector gage. MFCs with different numbers of brushes (one, three or six) set perpendicular to the cathode all produced similar power densities (1200±40mW/m2) and coulombic efficiencies (60%±5%). Reducing the number of brushes by either disconnecting or removing them reduced power, demonstrating the importance of anode projected area covering the cathode, and therefore the need to match electrode projected areas to maintain high performance. Multi-brush reactors had the same COD removal as single-brush systems (90%). The use of smaller Ti wire gages did not affect power generation, which will enable the use of less metal, reducing material costs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Carbon Nanofibers Modified Graphite Felt for High Performance Anode in High Substrate Concentration Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youliang Shen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon nanofibers modified graphite fibers (CNFs/GF composite electrode was prepared for anode in high substrate concentration microbial fuel cells. Electrochemical tests showed that the CNFs/GF anode generated a peak current density of 2.42 mA cm−2 at a low acetate concentration of 20 mM, which was 54% higher than that from bare GF. Increase of the acetate concentration to 80 mM, in which the peak current density of the CNFs/GF anode greatly increased and was up to 3.57 mA cm−2, was seven times as that of GF anode. Morphology characterization revealed that the biofilms in the CNFs/GF anode were much denser than those in the bare GF. This result revealed that the nanostructure in the anode not only enhanced current generation but also could tolerate high substrate concentration.

  19. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes as anode and air-cathode in single chamber microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amade, R.; Moreno, H. A.; Hussain, S.; Vila-Costa, M.; Bertran, E.

    2016-10-01

    Electrode optimization in microbial fuel cells is a key issue to improve the power output and cell performance. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) grown on low cost stainless-steel mesh present an attractive approach to increase the cell performance while avoiding the use of expensive Pt-based materials. In comparison with non-aligned carbon nanotubes (NACNTs), VACNTs increase the oxygen reduction reaction taking place at the cathode by a factor of two. In addition, vertical alignment also increases the power density up to 2.5 times with respect to NACNTs. VACNTs grown at the anode can further improve the cell performance by increasing the electrode surface area and thus the electron transfer between bacteria and the electrode. The maximum power density obtained using VACNTs was 14 mW/m2 and 160 mV output voltage.

  20. Cost-effective copper removal by electrosorption powered by microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jie; Zhou, Minghua; Hu, Youshuang; Yang, Weilu

    2016-03-01

    This work studied a cost-effective electrosorption that driven by microbial fuel cells (MFC-sorption) to remove Cu(2+) from wastewater without an external energy supply. The impact factors, adsorption isotherms and kinetics of the novel process were investigated. It indicated that a low electrolyte concentration and a high solution pH could enhance the Cu(2+) removal efficiency, while the adsorption capacity increased with the increase of numbers of MFCs in series and the initial Cu(2+) concentration. The adsorption isotherms study indicated that the monolayer adsorption in MFC-sorption was dominant. The kinetics study suggested the increase of initial Cu(2+) concentration could enhance the initial adsorption rate. The electrode characterizations verified the existence of Cu2O and Cu on the electrode surface of active carbon fibers (ACFs), suggesting that MFC-sorption was not only an adsorption process, but also a redox reaction process.

  1. POLYSULFONE COMPOSED OF POLYANILINE NANOPARTICLES AS NANOCOMPOSITE PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE IN MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Ghasemi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Proton exchange membranes play a critical role in the performance of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs but their high price was always a big deal for commercialization of MFCs. In the present study, doped and undoped polyaniline nanoparticles/polysulfone nanocomposites membranes as a new type of PEM, were fabricated and applied in the MFC and their performance was compared with Nafion 117 as a traditional and expensive PEM. The obtained results show that MFC working by undoped Pani/Ps generated 78.1 mW/m2 which is higher than doped Pani/Ps system with 62.5 mW/m2. However, Naion 117 generated the highest power than other types of membrane by 93 mW/m2. It means that undoped Pani/Ps can compete in power generation with Nafion 117 and this is an outlook toward commercialization of MFC.

  2. Microbial Fuel Cells%微生物燃料电池

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘宏芳; 郑碧娟

    2009-01-01

    微生物燃料电池(microbial fuel cells,MFCs)是一种利用微生物作为催化剂,将燃料中的化学能直接转化为电能的装置.本文首先介绍了MFCs的发展简史和基本原理,针对MFCs产电性能低的现状,分别从产电微生物、电池结构、质子交换膜(PEM)、电极以及电解液等方面着重综述了近几年有关提高MFCs产电性能的研究进展.最后介绍了关于MFCs的另一些有趣的研究方向:植物MFCs,生物阴极MFCs,以及污水脱氮和有毒废水处理.

  3. Spontaneous arsenic (III) oxidation with bioelectricity generation in single-chamber microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunlong; Zhang, Baogang; Cheng, Ming; Li, Yalong; Hao, Liting; Guo, Huaming

    2016-04-05

    Arsenic is one of the most toxic elements commonly found in groundwater. With initial concentration of 200μgL(-1), spontaneous As(III) oxidation is realized completely during 7 days operation in single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in the present study, with the maximum power density of 752.6±17mWm(-2). The product is less toxic and mobile As(V), which can be removed from aqueous solution more easily. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis indicates the existence of arsenic-resistant bacteria as Actinobacteria, Comamonas, Pseudomonas and arsenic-oxidizing bacteria as Enterobacter, with electrochemically active bacteria as Lactococcus, Enterobacter. They interact together and are responsible for As(III) oxidation and bioelectricity generation in MFCs. This study offers a potential attractive method for remediation of arsenic-polluted groundwater.

  4. Microbial fuel cells and osmotic membrane bioreactors have mutual benefits for wastewater treatment and energy production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Dianxun; Lu, Lu; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2016-07-01

    This study demonstrates that microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and osmotic membrane bioreactors (OMBRs) can be mutually beneficial when integrated together for wastewater treatment. When connecting MFCs with OMBRs, the solute buildup increased conductivity and buffer capacity, which greatly increased MFC power density from 3 W/m(3) up to 11.5 W/m(3). In turn, the MFCs conditioned and reduced sludge production and therefore reduced forward osmosis (FO) membrane fouling. The MFC-OMBR equipped with new thin-film composite (TFC) membrane showed excellent organic (>95%) and phosphorus removal (>99%) and therefore maintained effluent sCOD below 20 mg/L. However, the nitrogen removal was limited due to the negative surface charge of the thin-film composite membrane and solution chemistry, which led to higher flux of ammonium toward the OMBR draw solution. Further studies are needed to improve nitrogen removal, reduce fouling, and optimize system integration.

  5. Copper catalysis for enhancement of cobalt leaching and acid utilization efficiency in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaxuan; Shen, Jingya; Huang, Liping; Wu, Dan

    2013-11-15

    Enhancement of both cobalt leaching from LiCoO2 and acid utilization efficiency (AUE) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was successfully achieved by the addition of Cu(II). A dosage of 10mg/L Cu(II) improved both cobalt leaching up to 308% and AUE of 171% compared to the controls with no presence of Cu(II). The apparent activation energy of cobalt leaching catalyzed by Cu(II) in MFCs was only 11.8 kJ/mol. These results demonstrate cobalt leaching in MFCs using Cu(II) as a catalyst may be an effective strategy for cobalt recovery and recycle of spent Li-ion batteries, and the evidence of influence factors including solid/liquid ratio, temperature, and pH and solution conductivity can contribute to improving understanding of and optimizing cobalt leaching catalyzed by Cu(II) in MFCs.

  6. Electricity generation from carbon monoxide and syngas in a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Abid; Guiot, Serge R; Mehta, Punita; Raghavan, Vijaya; Tartakovsky, Boris

    2011-05-01

    Electricity generation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been a subject of significant research efforts. MFCs employ the ability of electricigenic bacteria to oxidize organic substrates using an electrode as an electron acceptor. While MFC application for electricity production from a variety of organic sources has been demonstrated, very little research on electricity production from carbon monoxide and synthesis gas (syngas) in an MFC has been reported. Although most of the syngas today is produced from non-renewable sources, syngas production from renewable biomass or poorly degradable organic matter makes energy generation from syngas a sustainable process, which combines energy production with the reprocessing of solid wastes. An MFC-based process of syngas conversion to electricity might offer a number of advantages such as high Coulombic efficiency and biocatalytic activity in the presence of carbon monoxide and sulfur components. This paper presents a discussion on microorganisms and reactor designs that can be used for operating an MFC on syngas.

  7. Effect of cathode electron acceptors on simultaneous anaerobic sulfide and nitrate removal in microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jing; Zheng, Ping; Mahmood, Qaisar

    2016-01-01

    The current investigation reports the effect of cathode electron acceptors on simultaneous sulfide and nitrate removal in two-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Potassium permanganate and potassium ferricyanide were common cathode electron acceptors and evaluated for substrate removal and electricity generation. The abiotic MFCs produced electricity through spontaneous electrochemical oxidation of sulfide. In comparison with abiotic MFC, the biotic MFC showed better ability for simultaneous nitrate and sulfide removal along with electricity generation. Keeping external resistance of 1,000 Ω, both MFCs showed good capacities for substrate removal where nitrogen and sulfate were the main end products. The steady voltage with potassium permanganate electrodes was nearly twice that of with potassium ferricyanide. Cyclic voltammetry curves confirmed that the potassium permanganate had higher catalytic activity than potassium ferricyanide. The potassium permanganate may be a suitable choice as cathode electron acceptor for enhanced electricity generation during simultaneous treatment of sulfide and nitrate in MFCs.

  8. Simultaneous anaerobic sulfide and nitrate removal coupled with electricity generation in Microbial Fuel Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jing; Zheng, Ping; Zhang, Jiqiang; Xie, Zuofu; Li, Wei; Sun, Peide

    2013-02-01

    Two-chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) using graphite rods as electrodes were operated for simultaneous anaerobic sulfide and nitrate removal coupled with electricity generation. The MFC showed good ability to remove substrates. When the influent sulfide and nitrate concentrations were 780 mg/L and 135.49 mg/L, respectively, the removal percentages of sulfide and nitrate were higher than 90% and the main end products were nitrogen and sulfate. The MFC also showed good ability to generate electricity, and the voltage went up with the rise of influent substrate concentrations. When the external resistance was 1000 Ω, its highest steady voltage was 71 mV. Based on the linear relationship between the electrons released by substrates and accepted by electrode, it was concluded that the electricity generation was coupled with the substrate conversion in the MFC.

  9. Optimization of enhanced bioelectrical reactor with electricity from microbial fuel cells for groundwater nitrate removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ye; Zhang, Baogang; Tian, Caixing; Feng, Chuanping; Wang, Zhijun; Cheng, Ming; Hu, Weiwu

    2016-01-01

    Factors influencing the performance of a continual-flow bioelectrical reactor (BER) intensified by microbial fuel cells for groundwater nitrate removal, including nitrate load, carbon source and hydraulic retention time (HRT), were investigated and optimized by response surface methodology (RSM). With the target of maximum nitrate removal and minimum intermediates accumulation, nitrate load (for nitrogen) of 60.70 mg/L, chemical oxygen demand (COD) of 849.55 mg/L and HRT of 3.92 h for the BER were performed. COD was the dominant factor influencing performance of the system. Experimental results indicated the undistorted simulation and reliable optimized values. These demonstrate that RSM is an effective method to evaluate and optimize the nitrate-reducing performance of the present system and can guide mathematical models development to further promote its practical applications.

  10. MICROBIAL FUEL CELL BASED POLYSTYRENE SULFONATED MEMBRANE AS PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mulijani

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cell (MFC represents a major bioelectrochemical system that converts biomass spontaneously into electricity through the activity of microorganisms. The MFC consists of anode and cathode compartments. Microorganisms in MFC liberate electrons while the electron donor is consumed. The produced electron is transmitted to the anode surface, but the generated protons must pass through the proton exchange membrane (PEM to reach the cathode compartment. PEM, as a key factor, affects electricity generation in MFCs. The study attempted to investigate if the sulfonated polystyrene (SPS membrane can be used as a PEM in the application on MFC. SPS membrane has been characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FTIR, scanning electron microscope (SEM and conductivity. The result of the conductivity (σ revealed that the membrane has a promising application for MFC.

  11. A viable electrode material for use in microbial fuel cells for tropical regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offei, Felix; Thygesen, Anders; Mensah, Moses;

    2016-01-01

    Electrode materials are critical for microbial fuel cells (MFC) since they influence the construction and operational costs. This study introduces a simple and efficient electrode material in the form of palm kernel shell activated carbon (AC) obtained in tropical regions. The novel introduction...... of this material is also targeted at introducing an inexpensive and durable electrode material, which can be produced in rural communities to improve the viability of MFCs. The maximum voltage and power density obtained (under 1000 Ω load) using an H-shaped MFC with AC as both anode and cathode electrode material...... was 0.66 V and 1.74 W/m3, respectively. The power generated by AC was as high as 86% of the value obtained with the extensively used carbon paper. Scanning electron microscopy and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of AC anode biofilms confirmed that electrogenic bacteria were...

  12. ACETONE REMOVAL AND BIOELECTRICITY GENERATION IN DUAL CHAMBER MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Rahimnejad

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic waste water contain organic compound can be oxidized in an anaerobic conditions in microbial fuel cell while biodegradation of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD takes place under anaerobic condition in anode compartment. The microorganisms for biological treatment of the organic matter were obtained from a UASFB bioreactor. In the treatment of waste water, ones COD was removed the current and power was generated and record. Also polarization curve was obtained. In cathode compartment ferocynide and potassium permanganate with several concentration were add for enhancement of proton oxidation. The performance of MFC for maximum current and power generation were obtained with 300 µM L-1 potassium permanganate as oxidizers agent. Maximum generated power and current densities were 22 mW/m2 and 70 mA/m2, respectively. Active microorganisms used acetone as electron donors and COD removal was 69% at the end of process.

  13. A review into the use of ceramics in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfield, Jonathan; Gajda, Iwona; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-09-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) offer great promise as a technology that can produce electricity whilst at the same time treat wastewater. Although significant progress has been made in recent years, the requirement for cheaper materials has prevented the technology from wider, out-of-the-lab, implementation. Recently, researchers have started using ceramics with encouraging results, suggesting that this inexpensive material might be the solution for propelling MFC technology towards real world applications. Studies have demonstrated that ceramics can provide stability, improve power and treatment efficiencies, create a better environment for the electro-active bacteria and contribute towards resource recovery. This review discusses progress to date using ceramics as (i) the structural material, (ii) the medium for ion exchange and (iii) the electrode for MFCs.

  14. Numerical Modeling of Microbial Fuel Cell Based on Redox Electron Mediator

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nanqi Ren

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the behavior of redox electron mediator and its impact to power generation of microbial fuel cell ( MFC ) , this study carries out the numerical modeling of a typical two⁃chamber MFC based on assumption of interfacial electron transfer via redox electron mediator and acetate as sole electron donor. The model simulates the development of cell voltage, current, substrate concentration, redox electron mediator concentration, polarization and power density output under defined conditions. The results demonstrate that the developed models can fit the experimental results well on a qualitative basis, and concentration of electron reduced mediator plays a dominant role in electron transfer process, and the mass transfer may constitute the limiting step when its concentration is at a relatively low level. This study not only provides a better understanding of electron redox mediator behavior during power generation, but also suggests a strategy to improve electron transfer in the anode of MFC.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Fang

    2009-11-01

    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. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Single chamber microbial fuel cell with spiral anode for dairy wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardanpour, Mohammad Mahdi; Nasr Esfahany, Mohsen; Behzad, Tayebeh; Sedaqatvand, Ramin

    2012-01-01

    This study reports on the fabrication of a novel annular single chamber microbial fuel cell (ASCMFC) with spiral anode. The stainless steel mesh anode with graphite coating was used as anode. Dairy wastewater, containing complex organic matter, was used as substrate. ASCMFC had been operated for 450 h and results indicated a high open circuit voltage (about 810 mV) compared with previously published results. The maximum power density of 20.2 W/m(3) obtained in this study is significantly greater than the power densities reported in previous studies. Besides, a maximum coulombic efficiency of 26.87% with 91% COD removal was achieved. Good bacterial adhesion on the spiral anode is clearly shown in SEM micrographs. High power density and a successful performance in wastewater treatment in ASCMFC suggest it as a promising alternative to conventional MFCs for power generation and wastewater treatment. ASCMFC performance as a power generator was characterized based on polarization behavior and cell potentials.

  17. Characteristics of electricity generation and biodegradation in tidal river sludge-used microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touch, Narong; Hibino, Tadashi; Nagatsu, Yoshiyuki; Tachiuchi, Kouhei

    2014-04-01

    The electricity generation behavior of microbial fuel cell (MFC) using the sludge collected from the riverbank of a tidal river, and the biodegradation of the sludge by the electricity generation are evaluated. Although the maximum current density (150-300 mA/m(2)) was higher than that of MFC using freshwater sediment (30 mA/m(2)), the output current was greatly restricted by the mass transfer limitation. However, our results also indicate that placing the anode in different locations in the sludge could reduce the mass transfer limitation. After approximately 3 months, the removal efficiency of organic carbon was approximately 10%, demonstrated that MFC could also enhance the biodegradation of the sludge by nearly 10-fold comparing with the natural biodegradation. We also found that the biodegradation could be identified by the behavior of oxygen consumption of the sludge. Importantly, the oxygen consumption of the sludge became higher along with the electricity generation.

  18. Carbon neutral electricity production by Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 in a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madiraju, Kartik S; Lyew, Darwin; Kok, Robert; Raghavan, Vijaya

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this work was to illustrate the use of photosynthetic microbes in a microbial fuel cell to produce electricity without the requirement of an external carbon source. This research here describes the use of a cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803, to produce electricity without any net CO(2) production in a two-chambered MFC. Conditions for optimum electricity production were determined through standardizing operating parameters. A maximum power density of 6.7mWm(-3)(anode chamber volume) was achieved under high intensity lighting (10,000lux). Light intensity and wavelength directly affected electricity production, indicating the pivotal role played by photosynthesis. The maximum removal of CO(2) was 625mmolm(-3) over 20h under high intensity light. The results presented here will contribute to the understanding of how cyanobacteria can be exploited for the direct conversion of CO(2) to electric current.

  19. Microbial fuel cell based biosensor for in situ monitoring of anaerobic digestion process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhidan; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Songping; Xing, Xin-Hui; Su, Zhiguo

    2011-11-01

    A wall-jet microbial fuel cell (MFC) was developed for the monitoring of anaerobic digestion (AD). This biofilm based MFC biosensor had a character of being portable, short hydraulic retention time (HRT) for sample flow through and convenient for continuous operation. The MFC was installed in the recirculation loop of an upflow anaerobic fixed-bed (UAFB) reactor in bench-scale where pH of the fermentation broth and biogas flow were monitored in real time. External disturbances to the AD were added on purpose by changing feedstock concentration, as well as process configuration. MFC signals had good correlations with online measurements (i.e. pH, gas flow rate) and offline analysis (i.e. COD) over 6-month operation. These results suggest that the MFC signal can reflect the dynamic variation of AD and can potentially be a valuable tool for monitoring and control of bioprocess.

  20. Multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms in seawater cathodic biofilms operating in sediment microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babauta, Jerome T; Hsu, Lewis; Atci, Erhan; Kagan, Jeff; Chadwick, Bart; Beyenal, Haluk

    2014-10-01

    In this study, multiple reaction mechanisms in cathodes of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were characterized by using cyclic voltammetry and microelectrode measurements of dissolved oxygen and pH. The cathodes were acclimated in SMFCs with sediment and seawater from San Diego Bay. Two limiting current regions were observed with onset potentials of approximately +400 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current I and -120 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current II. The appearance of two catalytic waves suggests that multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms influence cathodic performance. Microscale oxygen concentration measurements showed a zero surface concentration at the electrode surface for limiting current II but not for limiting current I, which allowed us to distinguish limiting current II as the conventional oxygen reduction reaction and limiting current I as a currently unidentified cathodic reaction mechanism. Microscale pH measurements further confirmed these results.

  1. Phosphorus recovery from artificial wastewater by microbial fuel cell and its effect on power generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirooka, K; Ichihashi, O

    2013-06-01

    The effects of ammonium (NH4) and magnesium (Mg) on the precipitation of phosphorus in artificial wastewater by an air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cell were investigated. When both NH4 and Mg were added to the wastewater, phosphorus was precipitated as struvite. Almost no precipitation occurred with the addition of only NH4, while phosphorus was precipitated as cattiite with the addition of only Mg. However, the amount of precipitate was less than that observed in experiments in which NH4 was also added. As the amounts of NH4 and Mg were increased, more precipitate was observed. Precipitated phosphorus on the cathode was recovered by dissolution in Milli-Q water and MES buffers. It was discovered that the formation of a precipitate reduced the performance of the cathode. Dissolution treatment caused the performance of the cathodes to increase to their initial level.

  2. Harvest and utilization of chemical energy in wastes by microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Min; Zhai, Lin-Feng; Li, Wen-Wei; Yu, Han-Qing

    2016-05-21

    Organic wastes are now increasingly viewed as a resource of energy that can be harvested by suitable biotechnologies. One promising technology is microbial fuel cells (MFC), which can generate electricity from the degradation of organic pollutants. While the environmental benefits of MFC in waste treatment have been recognized, their potential as an energy producer is not fully understood. Although progresses in material and engineering have greatly improved the power output from MFC, how to efficiently utilize the MFC's energy in real-world scenario remains a challenge. In this review, fundamental understandings on the energy-generating capacity of MFC from real waste treatment are provided and the challenges and opportunities are discussed. The limiting factors restricting the energy output and impairing the long-term reliability of MFC are also analyzed. Several energy storage and in situ utilization strategies for the management of MFC's energy are proposed, and future research needs for real-world application of this approach are explored.

  3. Electricity generation from food wastes and characteristics of organic matters in microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Tian, Yu; Zuo, Wei; Zhang, Jun; Pan, Xiaoyue; Li, Lipin; Su, Xinying

    2016-04-01

    The microbial fuel cell (MFC) was evaluated as an alternative way to recover electricity from canteen based food waste. Characteristics of the organics in food waste before and after the MFC treatment were analyzed to investigate how the organic matters were biodegraded and transformed during the MFC treatment. A maximum power density of 5.6W/m(3) and an average output voltage of 0.51V were obtained. During the MFC operation, the hydrophilic and acidic fractions were more readily degraded, compared to the neutral fractions. Additionally, aromatic compounds in the hydrophilic fraction were more preferentially removed than non-aromatic compounds. The MFC could easily remove the tryptophan protein-like substances in all fractions and aromatic proteins in hydrophilic and hydrophobic neutral fractions. Additionally, the hydrophobic amide-1 proteins and aliphatic components were readily hydrolyzed and biodegraded in the MFC. These findings may facilitate the pretreatment and posttreatment choices for MFC system fed with food waste.

  4. Cathodic reduction of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] coupled with electricity generation in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang; Huang, Liping; Zhang, Yifeng

    2008-11-01

    A novel approach to Cr(VI)-contaminated wastewater treatment was investigated using microbial fuel cell technologies in fed-batch mode. By using synthetic Cr(VI)-containing wastewater as catholyte and anaerobic microorganisms as anodic biocatalyst, Cr(VI) at 100 mg/l was completely removed during 150 h (initial pH 2). The maximum power density of 150 mW/m(2) (0.04 mA/cm(2)) and the maximum open circuit voltage of 0.91 V were generated with Cr(VI) at 200 mg/l as electron acceptor. This work verifies the possibility of simultaneous electricity production and cathodic Cr(VI) reduction.

  5. Need for optimizing catalyst loading for achieving affordable microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Inderjeet; Chandra, Amreesh

    2013-08-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is a promising technology for electricity production together with simultaneous water treatment. Catalysts play an important role in deciding the MFC performance. In most reports, effect of catalyst - both type and quantity is not optimized. In this paper, synthesis of nanorods of MnO2-catalyst particles for application in Pt-free MFCs is reported. The effect of catalyst loading i.e., weight ratio, with respect to conducting element and binder has been optimized by employing large number of combinations. Using simple theoretical model, it is shown that too high (or low) concentration of catalysts result in loss of MFC performance. The operation of MFC has been investigated using domestic wastewater as source of bio-waste for obtaining real world situation. Maximum power density of ∼61 mW/m(2) was obtained when weight ratio of catalyst and conducting species was 1:1. Suitable reasons are given to explain the outcomes.

  6. Nonactivated and Activated Biochar Derived from Bananas as Alternative Cathode Catalyst in Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haoran Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Nonactivated and activated biochars have been successfully prepared by bananas at different thermotreatment temperatures. The activated biochar generated at 900°C (Biochar-act900 exhibited improved oxygen reduction reaction (ORR and oxygen evolution reaction (OER performances in alkaline media, in terms of the onset potential and generated current density. Rotating disk electron result shows that the average of 2.65 electrons per oxygen molecule was transferred during ORR of Biochar-act900. The highest power density of 528.2 mW/m2 and the maximum stable voltage of 0.47 V were obtained by employing Biochar-act900 as cathode catalyst, which is comparable to the Pt/C cathode. Owning to these advantages, it is expected that the banana-derived biochar cathode can find application in microbial fuel cell systems.

  7. Nonactivated and activated biochar derived from bananas as alternative cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Haoran; Deng, Lifang; Qi, Yujie; Kobayashi, Noriyuki; Tang, Jiahuan

    2014-01-01

    Nonactivated and activated biochars have been successfully prepared by bananas at different thermotreatment temperatures. The activated biochar generated at 900°C (Biochar-act900) exhibited improved oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performances in alkaline media, in terms of the onset potential and generated current density. Rotating disk electron result shows that the average of 2.65 electrons per oxygen molecule was transferred during ORR of Biochar-act900. The highest power density of 528.2 mW/m(2) and the maximum stable voltage of 0.47 V were obtained by employing Biochar-act900 as cathode catalyst, which is comparable to the Pt/C cathode. Owning to these advantages, it is expected that the banana-derived biochar cathode can find application in microbial fuel cell systems.

  8. Long-term effects of the transient COD concentration on the performance of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateo, S; Gonzalez Del Campo, A; Lobato, J; Rodrigo, M; Cañizares, P; Fernandez-Morales, F J

    2016-07-08

    In this work, the long-term effects of transient chemical oxygen demands (COD) concentrations over the performance of a microbial fuel cell were studied. From the obtained results, it was observed that the repetitive change in the COD loading rate during 12 h conditioned the behavior of the system during periods of up to 7 days. The main modifications were the enhancement of the COD consumption rate and the exerted current. These enhancements yielded increasing Coulombic efficiencies (CEs) when working with COD concentrations of 300 mg/L, but constant CEs when working with COD concentrations from 900 to 1800 mg/L. This effect could be explained by the higher affinity for the substrate of Geobacter than that of the nonelectrogenic organisms such as Clostridia. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:883-890, 2016.

  9. Nitrogen doped carbon nanoparticles enhanced extracellular electron transfer for high-performance microbial fuel cells anode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yang-Yang; Guo, Chun Xian; Yong, Yang-Chun; Li, Chang Ming; Song, Hao

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen doped carbon nanoparticles (NDCN) were applied to modify the carbon cloth anodes of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) inoculated with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, one of the most well-studied exoelectrogens. Experimental results demonstrated that the use of NDCN increased anodic absorption of flavins (i.e., the soluble electron mediator secreted by S. oneidensis MR-1), facilitating shuttle-mediated extracellular electron transfer. In addition, we also found that NDCN enabled enhanced contact-based direct electron transfer via outer-membrane c-type cytochromes. Taken together, the performance of MFCs with the NDCN-modified anode was enormously enhanced, delivering a maximum power density 3.5 times' higher than that of the MFCs without the modification of carbon cloth anodes.

  10. Enhancement of bacterial denitrification for nitrate removal in groundwater with electrical stimulation from microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Baogang; Liu, Ye; Tong, Shuang; Zheng, Maosheng; Zhao, Yinxin; Tian, Caixing; Liu, Hengyuan; Feng, Chuanping

    2014-12-01

    Electricity generated from the microbial fuel cell (MFC) is applied to the bioelectrical reactor (BER) directly as electrical stimulation means for enhancement of bacterial denitrification to remove nitrate effectively from groundwater. With maximum power density of 502.5 mW m-2 and voltage outputs ranging from 500 mV to 700 mV, the nitrate removal is accelerated, with less intermediates accumulation, compared with control sets without electrical stimulation. Denitrification bacteria proliferations and activities are promoted as its number and Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) concentration increased one order of magnitude (3.5 × 107 in per milliliter biofilm solution) and about 1.5 folds, respectively. Effects of electricity from MFCs on enhancement of bacterial behaviors are demonstrated for the first time. These results indicate that MFCs can be applied in the in-situ bioremediation of nitrate polluted groundwater for efficiency improvement.

  11. Ni3Mo3C as anode catalyst for high-performance microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Li-Zhen; Zhao, Shao-Fei; Li, Wei-Shan

    2015-03-01

    Ni3Mo3C was prepared by a modified organic colloid method and explored as anode catalyst for high-performance microbial fuel cell (MFC) based on Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae). The prepared sample was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET). The activity of the sample as anode catalyst for MFC based on K. pneumoniae was investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and polarization curve measurement. The results show that the adding of nickel in Mo2C increases the BET surface area of Mo2C and improves the electrocatalytic activity of Mo2C towards the oxidation of microbial fermentation products. The power density of MFC with 3 mg cm(-2) Ni3Mo3C anode is far higher than that of the MFC with carbon felt as anode without any catalyst, which is 19 % higher than that of Mo2C anode and produced 62 % as much as that of Pt anode, indicating that Ni3Mo3C is comparative to noble metal platinum as anode electrocatalyst for MFCs by increasing the loading.

  12. Three-dimensional carbon nanotube-textile anode for high-performance microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xing; Hu, Liangbing; Pasta, Mauro; Wells, George F; Kong, Desheng; Criddle, Craig S; Cui, Yi

    2011-01-12

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) harness the metabolism of microorganisms, converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Anode performance is an important factor limiting the power density of MFCs for practical application. Improving the anode design is thus important for enhancing the MFC performance, but only a little development has been reported. Here, we describe a biocompatible, highly conductive, two-scale porous anode fabricated from a carbon nanotube-textile (CNT-textile) composite for high-performance MFCs. The macroscale porous structure of the intertwined CNT-textile fibers creates an open 3D space for efficient substrate transport and internal colonization by a diverse microflora, resulting in a 10-fold-larger anolyte-biofilm-anode interfacial area than the projective surface area of the CNT-textile. The conformally coated microscale porous CNT layer displays strong interaction with the microbial biofilm, facilitating electron transfer from exoelectrogens to the CNT-textile anode. An MFC equipped with a CNT-textile anode has a 10-fold-lower charge-transfer resistance and achieves considerably better performance than one equipped with a traditional carbon cloth anode: the maximum current density is 157% higher, the maximum power density is 68% higher, and the energy recovery is 141% greater.

  13. Bioaugmentation for Electricity Generation from Corn Stover Biomass Using Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Xin

    2009-08-01

    Corn stover is usually treated by an energy-intensive or expensive process to extract sugars for bioenergy production. However, it is possible to directly generate electricity from corn stover in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) through the addition of microbial consortia specifically acclimated for biomass breakdown. A mixed culture that was developed to have a high saccharification rate with corn stover was added to singlechamber, air-cathode MFCs acclimated for power production using glucose. The MFC produced a maximum power of 331 mW/ m 2 with the bioaugmented mixed culture and corn stover, compared to 510 mW/m2 using glucose. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed the communities continued to evolve on both the anode and corn stover biomass over 60 days, with several bacteria identified including Rhodopseudomonas palustris. The use of residual solids from the steam exploded corn stover produced 8% more power (406 mW/m2) than the raw corn stover. These results show that it is possible to directly generate electricity from waste corn stover in MFCs through bioaugmentation using naturally occurring bacteria. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

  14. In situ formation of graphene layers on graphite surfaces for efficient anodes of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jiahuan; Chen, Shanshan; Yuan, Yong; Cai, Xixi; Zhou, Shungui

    2015-09-15

    Graphene can be used to improve the performance of the anode in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) due to its good biocompatibility, high electrical conductivity and large surface area. However, the chemical production and modification of the graphene on the anode are environmentally hazardous because of the use of various harmful chemicals. This study reports a novel method based on the electrochemical exfoliation of a graphite plate (GP) for the in situ formation of graphene layers on the surface of a graphite electrode. When the resultant graphene-layer-based graphite plate electrode (GL/GP) was used as an anode in an MFC, a maximum power density of 0.67 ± 0.034 W/m(2) was achieved. This value corresponds to 1.72-, 1.56- and 1.26-times the maximum power densities of the original GP, exfoliated-graphene-modified GP (EG/GP) and chemically-reduced-graphene-modified GP (rGO/GP) anodes, respectively. Electrochemical measurements revealed that the high performance of the GL/GP anode was attributable to its macroporous structure, improved electron transfer and high electrochemical capacitance. The results demonstrated that the proposed method is a facile and environmentally friendly synthesis technique for the fabrication of high-performance graphene-based electrodes for use in microbial energy harvesting.

  15. Three-dimensional porous carbon nanotube sponges for high-performance anodes of microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbay, Celal; Yang, Gang; de Figueiredo, Paul; Sadr, Reza; Yu, Choongho; Han, Arum

    2015-12-01

    Highly-porous, light-weight, and inexpensive three-dimensional (3D) sponges consisting of interconnected carbon nanotubes (CNTs) without base materials are synthesized with a facile and scalable one-step chemical vapor deposition process as anode of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The MFCs generates higher power densities of 2150 W m-3 (per anode volume) or 170 W m-3 (per anode chamber volume), comparable to those of commercial 3D carbon felt electrodes under the same conditions. The high performances are due to excellent charge transfer between CNTs and microbes owing to 13 times lower charge transfer resistance compared to that of carbon felt. The material cost of producing these CNT sponge estimates to be ∼0.1/gCNT, significantly lower than that of other methods. In addition, the high production rate of about 3.6 g h-1 compared to typical production rate of 0.02 g h-1 of other CNT-based materials makes this process economically viable. The one-step synthesis method allowing self-assembly of 3D CNT sponges as they grow is low cost and scalable, making this a promising method for manufacturing high-performance anodes of MFCs, with broad applicability to microbial electrochemical systems in general.

  16. Acetate is a superior substrate for microbial fuel cell initiation preceding bioethanol effluent utilization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Guotao; Thygesen, Anders; Meyer, Anne S.

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed cell voltage development, electricity recovery, and microbial community composition in response to initial substrate including acetate, xylose, acetate/xylose 1:1 mixture (ace/xyl), and bioethanol effluent (BE)during microbial fuel cell (MFC) operation at 1000Ω external...... resistance. The BE mainly contained 20.5 g/L xylose, 1.8 g/Larabinose, and 2.5 g/L propionic acid. The MFCs initially fedwith acetate showed shorter initiation time (1 day), higheraverage cell voltage (634±9 mV), and higher coulombic efficiency(31.5±0.5 %) than those initially fed with ace/xyl orxylose....... However, BE-initiated MFCs only generated 162±1 mV. The acetate-initiated MFCs exhibited longer adaptation time (21 h) and lower cell voltage (645±10 mV) when the substrate was switched to xylose, whereas substrate switching to BE produced the highest voltage (656 mV), maximumpower density (362±27 mW/m2...

  17. Effect of C/N ratio and salinity on power generation in compost microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Md Khudzari, Jauharah; Tartakovsky, Boris; Raghavan, G S Vijaya

    2016-02-01

    In this work, compost Microbial Fuel Cells (cMFCs) were used to generate electricity from a mix of fruit and vegetable wastes, and soil with different C/N ratios and salinities. Experiments were carried out in 500mL cMFCs equipped with carbon felt anodes and manganese dioxide cathodes. The cMFCs were loaded with fresh compost and operated at 20-23°C for up to 97days. The low C/N ratio (C/N 24) had a greater power production with a maximum power density of 5.29mW/m(2) (71.43mW/m(3)), indicating a more favorable condition for microbial growth. High-saline cMFCs produced lower power, suggesting that their level of salinity (10g/L of NaCl) inhibited electricigenic microorganisms. The closed-circuit cMFC showed an improved degradation of organic matter by 6% to 8% compared to the control MFC operated in an open circuit mode (no external resistor attached).

  18. Community structure dynamics during startup in microbial fuel cells - The effect of phosphate concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanuka-Golub, Keren; Reshef, Leah; Rishpon, Judith; Gophna, Uri

    2016-07-01

    For microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to become a cost-effective wastewater treatment technology, they must produce a stable electro-active microbial community quickly and operate under realistic wastewater nutrient conditions. The composition of the anodic-biofilm and planktonic-cells communities was followed temporally for MFCs operated under typical laboratory phosphate concentrations (134mgL(-1)P) versus wastewater phosphate concentrations (16mgL(-1)P). A stable peak voltage was attained two-fold faster in MFCs operating under lower phosphate concentration. All anodic-biofilms were composed of well-known exoelectrogenic bacterial families; however, MFCs showing faster startup and a stable voltage had a Desulfuromonadaceae-dominated-biofilm, while biofilms co-dominated by Desulfuromonadaceae and Geobacteraceae characterized slower or less stable MFCs. Interestingly,planktonic-cell concentrations of these bacteria followed a similar trend as the anodic-biofilm and could therefore serve as a biomarker for its formation. These results demonstrate that wastewater-phosphate concentrations do not compromise MFCs efficiency, and considerably speed up startup times.

  19. Treating refinery wastewaters in microbial fuel cells using separator electrode assembly or spaced electrode configurations

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Fang

    2014-01-01

    The effectiveness of refinery wastewater (RW) treatment using air-cathode, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was examined relative to previous tests based on completely anaerobic microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). MFCs were configured with separator electrode assembly (SEA) or spaced electrode (SPA) configurations to measure power production and relative impacts of oxygen crossover on organics removal. The SEA configuration produced a higher maximum power density (280±6mW/m2; 16.3±0.4W/m3) than the SPA arrangement (255±2mW/m2) due to lower internal resistance. Power production in both configurations was lower than that obtained with the domestic wastewater (positive control) due to less favorable (more positive) anode potentials, indicating poorer biodegradability of the RW. MFCs with RW achieved up to 84% total COD removal, 73% soluble COD removal and 92% HBOD removal. These removals were higher than those previously obtained in mini-MEC tests, as oxygen crossover from the cathode enhanced degradation in MFCs compared to MECs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Immobilization of anode-attached microbes in a microbial fuel cell.

    KAUST Repository

    Wagner, Rachel C

    2012-01-03

    Current-generating (exoelectrogenic) bacteria in bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) may not be culturable using standard in vitro agar-plating techniques, making isolation of new microbes a challenge. More in vivo like conditions are needed where bacteria can be grown and directly isolated on an electrode. While colonies can be developed from single cells on an electrode, the cells must be immobilized after being placed on the surface. Here we present a proof-of-concept immobilization approach that allows exoelectrogenic activity of cells on an electrode based on applying a layer of latex to hold bacteria on surfaces. The effectiveness of this procedure to immobilize particles was first demonstrated using fluorescent microspheres as bacterial analogs. The latex coating was then shown to not substantially affect the exoelectrogenic activity of well-developed anode biofilms in two different systems. A single layer of airbrushed coating did not reduce the voltage produced by a biofilm in a microbial fuel cell (MFC), and more easily applied dip-and-blot coating reduced voltage by only 11% in a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). This latex immobilization procedure will enable future testing of single cells for exoelectrogenic activity on electrodes in BESs.

  1. Effect of nitrogen addition on the performance of microbial fuel cell anodes

    KAUST Repository

    Saito, Tomonori

    2011-01-01

    Carbon cloth anodes were modified with 4(N,N-dimethylamino)benzene diazonium tetrafluoroborate to increase nitrogen-containing functional groups at the anode surface in order to test whether the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) could be improved by controllably modifying the anode surface chemistry. Anodes with the lowest extent of functionalization, based on a nitrogen/carbon ratio of 0.7 as measured by XPS, achieved the highest power density of 938mW/m2. This power density was 24% greater than an untreated anode, and similar to that obtained with an ammonia gas treatment previously shown to increase power. Increasing the nitrogen/carbon ratio to 3.8, however, decreased the power density to 707mW/m2. These results demonstrate that a small amount of nitrogen functionalization on the carbon cloth material is sufficient to enhance MFC performance, likely as a result of promoting bacterial adhesion to the surface without adversely affecting microbial viability or electron transfer to the surface. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Electricity generation using white and red wine lees in air cathode microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepe Sciarria, Tommy; Merlino, Giuseppe; Scaglia, Barbara; D'Epifanio, Alessandra; Mecheri, Barbara; Borin, Sara; Licoccia, Silvia; Adani, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a useful biotechnology to produce electrical energy from different organic substrates. This work reports for the first time results of the application of single chamber MFCs to generate electrical energy from diluted white wine (WWL) and red wine (RWL) lees. Power obtained was of 8.2 W m-3 (262 mW m-2; 500 Ω) and of 3.1 W m-3 (111 mW m-2; 500Ω) using white and red wine lees, respectively. Biological processes lead to a reduction of chemical oxygen (TCOD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD5) of 27% and 83% for RWL and of 90% and 95% for WWL, respectively. These results depended on the degradability of organic compounds contained, as suggest by BOD5/TCOD of WWL (0.93) vs BOD5/TCOD of RWL (0.33), and to the high presence of polyphenols in RWL that inhibited the process. Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 15 ± 0%, for WWL, was in line with those reported in the literature for other substrates, i.e. CE of 14.9 ± 11.3%. Different substrates led to different microbial consortia, particularly at the anode. Bacterial species responsible for the generation of electricity, were physically connected to the electrode, where the direct electron transfer took place.

  3. Bioaugmentation for electricity generation from corn stover biomass using microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Feng, Yujie; Wang, Heming; Qu, Youpeng; Yu, Yanling; Ren, Nanqi; Li, Nan; Wang, Elle; Lee, He; Logan, Bruce E

    2009-08-01

    Corn stover is usually treated by an energy-intensive or expensive process to extract sugars for bioenergy production. However, it is possible to directly generate electricity from corn stover in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) through the addition of microbial consortia specifically acclimated for biomass breakdown. A mixed culture that was developed to have a high saccharification rate with corn stover was added to single-chamber, air-cathode MFCs acclimated for power production using glucose. The MFC produced a maximum power of 331 mW/m2 with the bioaugmented mixed culture and corn stover, compared to 510 mW/m2 using glucose. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed the communities continued to evolve on both the anode and corn stover biomass over 60 days, with several bacteria identified including Rhodopseudomonas palustris. The use of residual solids from the steam exploded corn stover produced 8% more power (406 mW/m2) than the raw corn stover. These results show that it is possible to directly generate electricity from waste corn stover in MFCs through bioaugmentation using naturally occurring bacteria.

  4. Evaluation of electricity production from alkaline pretreated sludge using two-chamber microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Benyi; Yang, Fang; Liu, Junxin

    2013-06-15

    Electricity production from alkaline pretreated sludge was evaluated using a two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). The electricity production was found to be stable over a long period of time (approximately 17 d) with voltage outputs and power densities of 0.47-0.52 V and 46.80-55.88 mW/m(2), respectively. The anode resistance was the main internal resistance (73.2%) of MFC in the stable stage. Most soluble organic matters (proteins and carbohydrates) in the anode chamber were first degraded and converted into volatile fatty acids (0-15 d), which were then degraded and converted into electricity and methane (15-29 d). The insoluble organics were solubilized thereby decreasing the sludge concentration and reducing the sludge mass. Methane was produced in the anode chamber owing to the growth of methanogens, which did not obviously affect the electricity production. The change in humic-like substances displayed a positive correlation with the electricity production of the MFC. Microbial analysis showed that methanogens and electricity-producing bacteria co-existed mostly on the surface as well as inside the anode. Decreasing the anode resistance and increasing the anode utilization could enhance the electricity production.

  5. Examination of microbial fuel cell start-up times with domestic wastewater and additional amendments

    KAUST Repository

    Liu, Guangli

    2011-08-01

    Rapid startup of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and other bioreactors is desirable when treating wastewaters. The startup time with unamended wastewater (118h) was similar to that obtained by adding acetate or fumarate (110-115h), and less than that with glucose (181h) or Fe(III) (353h). Initial current production took longer when phosphate buffer was added, with startup times increasing with concentration from 149h (25mM) to 251h (50mM) and 526h (100mM). Microbial communities that developed in the reactors contained Betaproteobacteria, Acetoanaerobium noterae, and Chlorobium sp. Anode biomass densities ranged from 200 to 600μg/cm2 for all amendments except Fe(Sh{cyrillic}) (1650μg/cm2). Wastewater produced 91mW/m2, with the other MFCs producing 50mW/m2 (fumarate) to 103mW/m2 (Fe(III)) when amendments were removed. These experiments show that wastewater alone is sufficient to acclimate the reactor without the need for additional chemical amendments. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Performance of Klebsiella oxytoca to generate electricity from POME in microbial fuel cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Islam Md. Amirul

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study is aimed to evaluate the electricity generation from microbial fuel cell (MFC and to analyze the microbial community structure of city wastewater and anaerobic sludge to enhance the MFC performance. MFCs, enriched with palm oil mill effluent (POME were employed to harvest electricity by innoculating of Klebsiella oxytoca, collected from city wastewater and other microbes from anaerobic sludge (AS. The MFC showed maximum power density of 207.28 mW/m3 with continuous feeding of POME using microbes from AS. Subsequent replacement with Klebsiella oxytoca resulted maximum power density of 1236 mW/m3 by utilizing complex substrate POME which was six times higher as compared to MFC operated with AS. Based on Biolog gene III analysis, relatively higher abundance of Klebsiella oxytoca was detected in the city wastewater. Predominant microorganisms such as Gammaproteobacteria, Azospiraoryzae, Acetobacterperoxydans and Solimonasvariicoloris were isolated from palm oil anaerobic sludge as well as from biofilm of MFC. Enriched electrochemically active bacteria Klebsiella oxytoca showed better performance to generate electricity from complex POME substrates compare to AS. These results demonstrate that the power output of MFCs can be increased significantly using Klebsiella oxytoca.

  7. Increased electrical output when a bacterial ABTS oxidizer is used in a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, William J; Manter, Daniel K

    2011-02-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a technology that provides electrical energy from the microbial oxidation of organic compounds. Most MFCs use oxygen as the oxidant in the cathode chamber. This study examined the formation in culture of an unidentified bacterial oxidant and investigated the performance of this oxidant in a two-chambered MFC with a proton exchange membrane and an uncoated carbon cathode. DNA, FAME profile and characterization studies identified the microorganism that produced the oxidant as Burkholderia cenocepacia. The oxidant was produced by log phase cells, oxidized the dye 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), had a mass below 1 kD, was heat stable (121°C) and was soluble in ethanol. In a MFC with a 1000 Ω load and ABTS as a mediator, the oxidizer increased cell voltage 11 times higher than atmospheric oxygen and 2.9 times higher than that observed with ferricyanide in the cathode chamber. No increase in cell voltage was observed when no mediator was present. Organisms that produce and release oxidizers into the media may prove useful as bio-cathodes by improving the electrical output of MFCs.

  8. Carbon nanotube-coated macroporous sponge for microbial fuel cell electrodes

    KAUST Repository

    Xie, Xing

    2012-01-01

    The materials that are used to make electrodes and their internal structures significantly affect microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance. In this study, we describe a carbon nanotube (CNT)-sponge composite prepared by coating a sponge with CNTs. Compared to the CNT-coated textile electrodes evaluated in prior studies, CNT-sponge electrodes had lower internal resistance, greater stability, more tunable and uniform macroporous structure (pores up to 1 mm in diameter), and improved mechanical properties. The CNT-sponge composite also provided a three-dimensional scaffold that was favorable for microbial colonization and catalytic decoration. Using a batch-fed H-shaped MFC outfitted with CNT-sponge electrodes, an areal power density of 1.24 W m -2 was achieved when treating domestic wastewater. The maximum volumetric power density of a continuously fed plate-shaped MFC was 182 W m -3. To our knowledge, these are the highest values obtained to date for MFCs fed domestic wastewater: 2.5 times the previously reported maximum areal power density and 12 times the previously reported maximum volumetric power density. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  9. Three-Dimensional Carbon Nanotube−Textile Anode for High-Performance Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Xie, Xing

    2011-01-12

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) harness the metabolism of microorganisms, converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Anode performance is an important factor limiting the power density of MFCs for practical application. Improving the anode design is thus important for enhancing the MFC performance, but only a little development has been reported. Here, we describe a biocompatible, highly conductive, two-scale porous anode fabricated from a carbon nanotube-textile (CNT-textile) composite for high-performance MFCs. The macroscale porous structure of the intertwined CNT-textile fibers creates an open 3D space for efficient substrate transport and internal colonization by a diverse microflora, resulting in a 10-fold-larger anolyte-biofilm-anode interfacial area than the projective surface area of the CNT-textile. The conformally coated microscale porous CNT layer displays strong interaction with the microbial biofilm, facilitating electron transfer from exoelectrogens to the CNT-textile anode. An MFC equipped with a CNT-textile anode has a 10-fold-lower charge-transfer resistance and achieves considerably better performance than one equipped with a traditional carbon cloth anode: the maximum current density is 157% higher, the maximum power density is 68% higher, and the energy recovery is 141% greater. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  10. A rapid selection strategy for an anodophilic consortium for microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Aijie

    2010-07-01

    A rapid selection method was developed to enrich for a stable and efficient anodophilic consortium (AC) for microbial fuel cells (MFCs). A biofilm sample from a microbial electrolysis cell was serially diluted up to 10-9 in anaerobic phosphate buffer solution and incubated in an Fe(III)-acetate medium, and an Fe(III)-reducing AC was obtained for dilutions up to 10-6. The activity of MFC inoculated with the enrichment AC was compared with those inoculated with original biofilm or activated sludge. The power densities and Coulombic efficiencies of the AC (226 mW/m2, 34%) were higher than those of the original biofilm (209 mW/m2, 23%) and activated sludge (192 mW/m2, 19%). The start-up period of the AC (60 h) was also shorter than those obtained with the other inocula (biofilm, 95 h; activated sludge, 300 h). This indicated that such a strategy is highly efficient for obtaining an anodophilic consortium for improving the performance of an MFC. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Biodiesel biorefinery: opportunities and challenges for microbial production of fuels and chemicals from glycerol waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida João R M

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The considerable increase in biodiesel production worldwide in the last 5 years resulted in a stoichiometric increased coproduction of crude glycerol. As an excess of crude glycerol has been produced, its value on market was reduced and it is becoming a “waste-stream” instead of a valuable “coproduct”. The development of biorefineries, i.e. production of chemicals and power integrated with conversion processes of biomass into biofuels, has been singled out as a way to achieve economically viable production chains, valorize residues and coproducts, and reduce industrial waste disposal. In this sense, several alternatives aimed at the use of crude glycerol to produce fuels and chemicals by microbial fermentation have been evaluated. This review summarizes different strategies employed to produce biofuels and chemicals (1,3-propanediol, 2,3-butanediol, ethanol, n-butanol, organic acids, polyols and others by microbial fermentation of glycerol. Initially, the industrial use of each chemical is briefly presented; then we systematically summarize and discuss the different strategies to produce each chemical, including selection and genetic engineering of producers, and optimization of process conditions to improve yield and productivity. Finally, the impact of the developments obtained until now are placed in perspective and opportunities and challenges for using crude glycerol to the development of biodiesel-based biorefineries are considered. In conclusion, the microbial fermentation of glycerol represents a remarkable alternative to add value to the biodiesel production chain helping the development of biorefineries, which will allow this biofuel to be more competitive.

  12. Preliminary evaluation of a microbial fuel cell treating artificial dialysis wastewater using graphene oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Yuko; Yoshida, Naoko

    2016-02-01

    Artificial dialysis wastewater (ADWW) generally contains 800-2,200 mg L-1 of organic matter. Prior to its discharge to the sewage system, ADWW must be treated in order to reduce organic matter to less than 600 mg L-1. This study assesses the applicability of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to the reduction of organic matter in ADWW as an alternative pre-treatment system to aeration. In the MFC, conductive floccular aggregates microbially produced from graphene oxide (GO-flocs) were applied as an anode material in the MFC. The GO-flocs were obtained by anaerobic incubation of graphene oxide (GO) with microorganisms in ADWW at 28 °C for a minimum of 10 days. During incubation, GO in the mixture was transformed into black conductive floccular aggregates having 0.12 mS cm-1, suggesting the microbial reduction of GO to the reduced form. The produced GO-flocs were then used as the anode material in a cylindrical MFC, which was filled with ADWW and covered with a floating, platinum (Pt)-coated carbon cathode. The MFC was polarized via an external resistance of 10 Ω and applied for 120 days by replacing half of the supernatant of the MFC with fresh ADWW, every 6-9 days. As a result, the MFC achieved a 128 mg L-1 d-1 chemical oxygen demand (CODCr) removal rate. For example, the MFC contained 1,500 mg-CODCr L-1 just after replacement, with this concentration being reduced to 1,000 mg-CODCr L-1 after 6-9 days of incubation. At the same time, the MFC showed an average power density of 28 mW m-2 and a maximum power density of 291 mW m-2. These results suggest that a MFC packed with GO-flocs can be used as an alternative biotreatment system, replacing the energy-intensive aeration process.

  13. The power of glove: Soft microbial fuel cell for low-power electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfield, Jonathan; Chambers, Lily D.; Stinchcombe, Andrew; Rossiter, Jonathan; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2014-03-01

    A novel, soft microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been constructed using the finger-piece of a standard laboratory natural rubber latex glove. The natural rubber serves as structural and proton exchange material whilst untreated carbon veil is used for the anode. A soft, conductive, synthetic latex cathode is developed that coats the outside of the glove. This inexpensive, lightweight reactor can without any external power supply, start up and energise a power management system (PMS), which steps-up the MFC output (0.06-0.17 V) to practical levels for operating electronic devices (>3 V). The MFC is able to operate for up to 4 days on just 2 mL of feedstock (synthetic tryptone yeast extract) without any cathode hydration. The MFC responds immediately to changes in fuel-type when the introduction of urine accelerates the cycling times (35 vs. 50 min for charge/discharge) of the MFC and PMS. Following starvation periods of up to 60 h at 0 mV the MFC is able to cold start the PMS simply with the addition of 2 mL fresh feedstock. These findings demonstrate that cheap MFCs can be developed as sole power sources and in conjunction with advancements in ultra-low power electronics, can practically operate small electrical devices.

  14. Comprehensive Study on Ceramic Membranes for Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternak, Grzegorz; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-08

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) made with different types of ceramic membranes were investigated to find a low-cost alternative to commercially available proton exchange membranes. The MFCs operated with fresh human urine as the fuel. Pyrophyllite and earthenware produced the best performance to reach power densities of 6.93 and 6.85 W m(-3), respectively, whereas mullite and alumina achieved power densities of 4.98 and 2.60 W m(-3), respectively. The results indicate the dependence of bio-film growth and activity on the type of ceramic membrane applied. The most favourable conditions were created in earthenware MFCs. The performance of the ceramic membranes was related to their physical and chemical properties determined by environmental scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The cost of mullite, earthenware, pyrophyllite and alumina was estimated to be 13.61, 4.14, 387.96 and 177.03 GBP m(-2), respectively. The results indicate that earthenware and mullite are good substitutes for commercially available proton exchange membranes, which makes the MFC technology accessible in developing countries.

  15. Performance of Cassava Starch as a Proton Exchange Membrane in a Dual Chambered Microbial Fuel Cell.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Livinus A. Obasi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This research work shows the feasibility of power generation in a mediatorless dual chambered microbial fuel cell, utilizing cassava starch as the proton exchange membrane (PEM. The study employed swine house effluent (a serious environmental threat as the substrate (fuel (pH, 7.2, BOD: 1200mg/l, COD: 3800mg/l in the anode chamber prepared with a phosphate buffer solution (K2HPO4+KH2PO4, potassium ferry cyanide solution served as the oxygen acceptor in the cathode chamber using graphite electrodes, the cell operating at room temperature (27 ± 30C. The PEM (gelatinized cassava starch was prepared with varying degrees of modifications for three cells, ranging from the untreated pure starch (A, starch treated with 5.9% sodium chloride (B and starch modified with sodium alginate (a gum and activated carbon (C. The open circuit voltages (OCV and powerperformances of the three cells were monitored for ten days. Each of the cells was inoculated with the adopted consortium in soil solution obtained from mangrove forest. The maximum power outputs from the cells were 945.69mW/m2, 1068.54 mW/m2 and 570.83 mW/m2 for A, B and C respectively.

  16. Archaea-based microbial fuel cell operating at high ionic strength conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Sacco, Natalia; Mauas, Pablo J D; Cortón, Eduardo

    2011-11-01

    In this work, two archaea microorganisms (Haloferax volcanii and Natrialba magadii) used as biocatalyst at a microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode were evaluated. Both archaea are able to grow at high salt concentrations. By increasing the media conductivity, the internal resistance was diminished, improving the MFC's performance. Without any added redox mediator, maximum power (P (max)) and current at P (max) were 11.87/4.57/0.12 μW cm(-2) and 49.67/22.03/0.59 μA cm(-2) for H. volcanii, N. magadii and E. coli, respectively. When neutral red was used as the redox mediator, P (max) was 50.98 and 5.39 μW cm(-2) for H. volcanii and N. magadii, respectively. In this paper, an archaea MFC is described and compared with other MFC systems; the high salt concentration assayed here, comparable with that used in Pt-catalyzed alkaline hydrogen fuel cells, will open new options when MFC scaling up is the objective necessary for practical applications.

  17. A stackable, two-chambered, paper-based microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraiwan, Arwa; Choi, Seokheun

    2016-09-15

    We developed a stackable and integrable paper-based microbial fuel cell (MFC) for potentially powering on-chip paper-based devices. Four MFCs were prepared on a T-shaped filter paper which was eventually folded three times to connect these MFCs in series. Each MFC was fabricated by sandwiching multifunctional paper layers for two-chambered fuel cell configuration. One drop of bacteria-containing anolyte into the anodic inlet and another drop of potassium ferricyanide for cathodic reaction flowed through patterned fluidic pathways within the paper matrix, both vertically and horizontally, reaching each of the four MFCs and filling the reservoir of each device. Bacterial respiration then transferred electrons to the anode, which traveled across an external load to the cathode where they combined with protons. The MFC stack connected in series generated a high power density (1.2μW/cm(2)), which is two orders of magnitude higher than the previous report on the paper-based MFC stack. This work will represent the fusion of the art of origami and paper-based MFC technology, which could provide a paradigm shift for the architecture and design of paper-based batteries.

  18. Effects of furan derivatives and phenolic compounds on electricity generation in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Catal, Tunc [Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, 116 Gilmore Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, 102 97331, Corvallis, OR (United States); Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul Technical University, 34469-Maslak, Istanbul (Turkey); Fan, Yanzhen; Liu, Hong [Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, 116 Gilmore Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Li, Kaichang [Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, 102 97331, Corvallis, OR (United States); Bermek, Hakan [Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul Technical University, 34469-Maslak, Istanbul (Turkey)

    2008-05-15

    Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive fuel source for MFCs due to its renewable nature and ready availability. Furan derivatives and phenolic compounds could be potentially formed during the pre-treatment process of lignocellulosic biomass. In this study, voltage generation from these compounds and the effects of these compounds on voltage generation from glucose in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were examined. Except for 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (5-HMF), all the other compounds tested were unable to be utilized directly for electricity production in MFCs in the absence of other electron donors. One furan derivate, 5-HMF and two phenolic compounds, trans-cinnamic acid and 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid did not affect electricity generation from glucose at a concentration up to 10 mM. Four phenolic compounds, including syringaldeyhde, vanillin, trans-4-hydroxy-3-methoxy, and 4-hydroxy cinnamic acids inhibited electricity generation at concentrations above 5 mM. Other compounds, including 2-furaldehyde, benzyl alcohol and acetophenone, inhibited the electricity generation even at concentrations less than 0.2 mM. This study suggests that effective electricity generation from the hydrolysates of lignocellulosic biomass in MFCs may require the employment of the hydrolysis methods with low furan derivatives and phenolic compounds production, or the removal of some strong inhibitors prior to the MFC operation, or the improvement of bacterial tolerance against these compounds through the enrichment of new bacterial cultures or genetic modification of the bacterial strains. (author)

  19. Effects of furan derivatives and phenolic compounds on electricity generation in microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catal, Tunc; Fan, Yanzhen; Li, Kaichang; Bermek, Hakan; Liu, Hong

    Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive fuel source for MFCs due to its renewable nature and ready availability. Furan derivatives and phenolic compounds could be potentially formed during the pre-treatment process of lignocellulosic biomass. In this study, voltage generation from these compounds and the effects of these compounds on voltage generation from glucose in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were examined. Except for 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (5-HMF), all the other compounds tested were unable to be utilized directly for electricity production in MFCs in the absence of other electron donors. One furan derivate, 5-HMF and two phenolic compounds, trans-cinnamic acid and 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid did not affect electricity generation from glucose at a concentration up to 10 mM. Four phenolic compounds, including syringaldeyhde, vanillin, trans-4-hydroxy-3-methoxy, and 4-hydroxy cinnamic acids inhibited electricity generation at concentrations above 5 mM. Other compounds, including 2-furaldehyde, benzyl alcohol and acetophenone, inhibited the electricity generation even at concentrations less than 0.2 mM. This study suggests that effective electricity generation from the hydrolysates of lignocellulosic biomass in MFCs may require the employment of the hydrolysis methods with low furan derivatives and phenolic compounds production, or the removal of some strong inhibitors prior to the MFC operation, or the improvement of bacterial tolerance against these compounds through the enrichment of new bacterial cultures or genetic modification of the bacterial strains.

  20. Marine microbial fuel cell: Use of stainless steel electrodes as anode and cathode materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dumas, C.; Basseguy, R.; Etcheverry, L.; Bergel, A. [Laboratoire de Genie Chimique, CNRS-INPT, Toulouse Cedex (France); Mollica, A. [CNR-ISMAR, Genoa (Italy); Feron, D. [SCCME, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    2007-12-01

    Numerous biocorrosion studies have stated that biofilms formed in aerobic seawater induce an efficient catalysis of the oxygen reduction on stainless steels. This property was implemented here for the first time in a marine microbial fuel cell (MFC). A prototype was designed with a stainless steel anode embedded in marine sediments coupled to a stainless steel cathode in the overlying seawater. Recording current/potential curves during the progress of the experiment confirmed that the cathode progressively acquired effective catalytic properties. The maximal power density produced of 4 mW m{sup -2} was lower than those reported previously with marine MFC using graphite electrodes. Decoupling anode and cathode showed that the cathode suffered practical problems related to implementation in the sea, which may found easy technical solutions. A laboratory fuel cell based on the same principle demonstrated that the biofilm-covered stainless steel cathode was able to supply current density up to 140 mA m{sup -2} at +0.05 V versus Ag/AgCl. The power density of 23 mW m{sup -2} was in this case limited by the anode. These first tests presented the biofilm-covered stainless steel cathodes as very promising candidates to be implemented in marine MFC. The suitability of stainless steel as anode has to be further investigated. (author)

  1. Power output and columbic efficiencies from biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens comparable to mixed community microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevin, K P; Richter, H; Covalla, S F; Johnson, J P; Woodard, T L; Orloff, A L; Jia, H; Zhang, M; Lovley, D R

    2008-10-01

    It has been previously noted that mixed communities typically produce more power in microbial fuel cells than pure cultures. If true, this has important implications for the design of microbial fuel cells and for studying the process of electron transfer on anode biofilms. To further evaluate this, Geobacter sulfurreducens was grown with acetate as fuel in a continuous flow 'ministack' system in which the carbon cloth anode and cathode were positioned in close proximity, and the cation-selective membrane surface area was maximized in order to overcome some of the electrochemical limitations that were inherent in fuel cells previously employed for the study of pure cultures. Reducing the size of the anode in order to eliminate cathode limitation resulted in maximum current and power densities per m(2) of anode surface of 4.56 A m(-2) and 1.88 W m(-2) respectively. Electron recovery as current from acetate oxidation was c. 100% when oxygen diffusion into the system was minimized. This performance is comparable to the highest levels previously reported for mixed communities in similar microbial fuel cells and slightly higher than the power output of an anaerobic sludge inoculum in the same ministack system. Minimizing the volume of the anode chamber yielded a volumetric power density of 2.15 kW m(-3), which is the highest power density per volume yet reported for a microbial fuel cell. Geobacter sulfurreducens formed relatively uniform biofilms 3-18 mum thick on the carbon cloth anodes. When graphite sticks served as the anode, the current density (3.10 A m(-2)) was somewhat less than with the carbon cloth anodes, but the biofilms were thicker (c. 50 mum) with a more complex pillar and channel structure. These results suggest that the previously observed disparity in power production in pure and mixed culture microbial fuel cell systems can be attributed more to differences in the fuel cell designs than to any inherent superior capability of mixed cultures to produce

  2. Anode modification with formic acid: A simple and effective method to improve the power generation of microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Weifeng; Cheng, Shaoan, E-mail: shaoancheng@zju.edu.cn; Guo, Jian

    2014-11-30

    Highlights: • Carbon cloth anode is modified with formic acid by a simple and reliable approach. • The modification significantly enhances the power output of microbial fuel cells. • The modified anode surface favors the bacterial attachment and growth on anode. • The electron transfer rate of anode is promoted. - Abstract: The physicochemical properties of anode material directly affect the anodic biofilm formation and electron transfer, thus are critical for the power generation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this work, carbon cloth anode was modified with formic acid to enhance the power production of MFCs. Formic acid modification of anode increased the maximum power density of a single-chamber air-cathode MFC by 38.1% (from 611.5 ± 6 mW/m{sup 2} to 877.9 ± 5 mW/m{sup 2}). The modification generated a cleaner electrode surface and a reduced content of oxygen and nitrogen groups on the anode. The surface changes facilitated bacterial growth on the anode and resulted in an optimized microbial community. Thus, the electron transfer rate on the modified anodes was enhanced remarkably, contributing to a higher power output of MFCs. Anode modification with formic acid could be an effective and simple method for improving the power generation of MFCs. The modification method holds a huge potential for large scale applications and is valuable for the scale-up and commercialization of microbial fuel cells.

  3. A microbial fuel cell in contaminated ground delineated by electrical self-potential and normalized induced polarization data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, R.; Kulessa, B.; Ferguson, A. S.; Larkin, M. J.; Kulakov, L. A.; Kalin, R. M.

    2010-09-01

    There is a growing interest in the use of geophysical methods to aid investigation and monitoring of complex biogeochemical environments, for example delineation of contaminants and microbial activity related to land contamination. We combined geophysical monitoring with chemical and microbiological analysis to create a conceptual biogeochemical model of processes around a contaminant plume within a manufactured gas plant site. Self-potential, induced polarization and electrical resistivity techniques were used to monitor the plume. We propose that an exceptionally strong (>800 mV peak to peak) dipolar SP anomaly represents a microbial fuel cell operating in the subsurface. The electromagnetic and electrical geophysical data delineated a shallow aerobic perched water body containing conductive gasworks waste which acts as the abiotic cathode of microbial fuel cell. This is separated from the plume below by a thin clay layer across the site. Microbiological evidence suggests that degradation of organic contaminants in the plume is dominated by the presence of ammonium and its subsequent degradation. We propose that the degradation of contaminants by microbial communities at the edge of the plume provides a source of electrons and acts as the anode of the fuel cell. We hypothesize that ions and electrons are transferred through the clay layer that was punctured during the trial pitting phase of the investigation. This is inferred to act as an electronic conductor connecting the biologically mediated anode to the abiotic cathode. Integrated electrical geophysical techniques appear well suited to act as rapid, low cost sustainable tools to monitor biodegradation.

  4. Evaluation of microbial triglyceride oil purification requirements for the CelTherm process: an efficient biochemical pathway to renewable fuels and chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnen, Michael; Seames, Wayne; Kubatova, Alena; Menon, Suresh; Alisala, Kashinatham; Hash, Sara

    2014-10-01

    CelTherm is a biochemical process to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. The present study's objective was to determine the level of treatment/purity of the microbial triacylglyceride oil (TAG) necessary to facilitate fuel production. After a unique microbe aerobically synthesizes TAG from biomass-derived sugars, the microbes were harvested and dried then crude TAG was chemically extracted from the residual biomass. Some TAGs were further purified to hydrotreating process requirements. Both grades were then noncatalytically cracked into a petroleum-like intermediate characterized by gas chromatography. Experiments were repeated using refined soybean oil for comparison to previous studies. The products from crude microbial TAG cracking were then further refined into a jet fuel product. Fuel tests indicate that this jet fuel corresponds to specifications for JP-8 military turbine fuel. It was thus concluded that the crude microbial TAG is a suitable feedstock with no further purification required, demonstrating CelTherm's commercial potential.

  5. Electricity generation and microbial community structure of air-cathode microbial fuel cells powered with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste and inoculated with different seeds

    KAUST Repository

    El-Chakhtoura, Joline

    2014-08-01

    The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), normally exceeding 60% of the waste stream in developing countries, could constitute a valuable source of feed for microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study tested the start-up of two sets of OFMSW-fed air-cathode MFCs inoculated with wastewater sludge or cattle manure. The maximum power density obtained was 123±41mWm-2 in the manure-seeded MFCs and 116±29mWm-2 in the wastewater-seeded MFCs. Coulombic efficiencies ranged between 24±5% (manure-seeded MFCs) and 23±2% (wastewater-seeded MFCs). Chemical oxygen demand removal was >86% in all the MFCs and carbohydrate removal >98%. Microbial community analysis using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing demonstrated the dominance of the phylum Firmicutes (67%) on the anode suggesting the possible role of members of this phylum in electricity generation. Principal coordinate analysis showed that the microbial community structure in replicate MFCs converged regardless of the inoculum source. This study demonstrates efficient electricity production coupled with organic treatment in OFMSW-fueled MFCs inoculated with manure or wastewater. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. High power density microbial fuel cell with flexible 3D graphene-nickel foam as anode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hanyu; Wang, Gongming; Ling, Yichuan; Qian, Fang; Song, Yang; Lu, Xihong; Chen, Shaowei; Tong, Yexiang; Li, Yat

    2013-10-01

    The structure and electrical conductivity of anode play a significant role in the power generation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, we developed a three-dimensional (3D) reduced graphene oxide-nickel (denoted as rGO-Ni) foam as an anode for MFC through controlled deposition of rGO sheets onto the nickel foam substrate. The loading amount of rGO sheets and electrode surface area can be controlled by the number of rGO loading cycles. 3D rGO-Ni foam anode provides not only a large accessible surface area for microbial colonization and electron mediators, but also a uniform macro-porous scaffold for effective mass diffusion of the culture medium. Significantly, at a steady state of the power generation, the MFC device with flexible rGO-Ni electrodes produced an optimal volumetric power density of 661 W m-3 calculated based on the volume of anode material, or 27 W m-3 based on the volume of the anode chamber. These values are substantially higher than that of plain nickel foam, and other conventional carbon based electrodes (e.g., carbon cloth, carbon felt, and carbon paper) measured in the same conditions. To our knowledge, this is the highest volumetric power density reported for mL-scale MFC device with a pure strain of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. We also demonstrated that the MFC device can be operated effectively in a batch-mode at least for a week. These new 3D rGO-Ni electrodes show great promise for improving the power generation of MFC devices.The structure and electrical conductivity of anode play a significant role in the power generation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, we developed a three-dimensional (3D) reduced graphene oxide-nickel (denoted as rGO-Ni) foam as an anode for MFC through controlled deposition of rGO sheets onto the nickel foam substrate. The loading amount of rGO sheets and electrode surface area can be controlled by the number of rGO loading cycles. 3D rGO-Ni foam anode provides not only a large accessible

  7. Cathode Assessment for Maximizing Current Generation in Microbial Fuel Cells Utilizing Bioethanol Effluent as Substrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guotao Sun

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Implementation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs for electricity production requires effective current generation from waste products via robust cathode reduction. Three cathode types using dissolved oxygen cathodes (DOCs, ferricyanide cathodes (FeCs and air cathodes (AiCs were therefore assessed using bioethanol effluent, containing 20.5 g/L xylose, 1.8 g/L arabinose and 2.5 g/L propionic acid. In each set-up the anode and cathode had an electrode surface area of 88 cm2, which was used for calculation of the current density. Electricity generation was evaluated by quantifying current responses to substrate loading rates and external resistance. At the lowest external resistance of 27 Ω and highest substrate loading rate of 2 g chemical oxygen demand (COD per L·day, FeC-MFC generated highest average current density (1630 mA/m2 followed by AiC-MFC (802 mA/m2 and DOC-MFC (184 mA/m2. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS was used to determine the impedance of the cathodes. It was thereby confirmed that the FeC-MFC produced the highest current density with the lowest internal resistance for the cathode. However, in a setup using bioethanol effluent, the AiC-MFC was concluded to be the most sustainable option since it does not require ferricyanide. The data offer a new add-on option to the straw biorefinery by using bioethanol effluent for microbial electricity production.

  8. Denitrifying bacterial communities affect current production and nitrous oxide accumulation in a microbial fuel cell.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariadna Vilar-Sanz

    Full Text Available The biocathodic reduction of nitrate in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs is an alternative to remove nitrogen in low carbon to nitrogen wastewater and relies entirely on microbial activity. In this paper the community composition of denitrifiers in the cathode of a MFC is analysed in relation to added electron acceptors (nitrate and nitrite and organic matter in the cathode. Nitrate reducers and nitrite reducers were highly affected by the operational conditions and displayed high diversity. The number of retrieved species-level Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs for narG, napA, nirS and nirK genes was 11, 10, 31 and 22, respectively. In contrast, nitrous oxide reducers remained virtually unchanged at all conditions. About 90% of the retrieved nosZ sequences grouped in a single OTU with a high similarity with Oligotropha carboxidovorans nosZ gene. nirS-containing denitrifiers were dominant at all conditions and accounted for a significant amount of the total bacterial density. Current production decreased from 15.0 A · m(-3 NCC (Net Cathodic Compartment, when nitrate was used as an electron acceptor, to 14.1 A · m(-3 NCC in the case of nitrite. Contrarily, nitrous oxide (N2O accumulation in the MFC was higher when nitrite was used as the main electron acceptor and accounted for 70% of gaseous nitrogen. Relative abundance of nitrite to nitrous oxide reducers, calculated as (qnirS+qnirK/qnosZ, correlated positively with N2O emissions. Collectively, data indicate that bacteria catalysing the initial denitrification steps in a MFC are highly influenced by main electron acceptors and have a major influence on current production and N2O accumulation.

  9. Taxonomic and functional metagenomic analysis of anodic communities in two pilot-scale microbial fuel cells treating different industrial wastewaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiseleva, Larisa; Garushyants, Sofya K; Ma, Hongwu; Simpson, David J W; Fedorovich, Viatcheslav; Cohen, Michael F; Goryanin, Igor

    2015-10-06

    The combined processes of microbial biodegradation accompanied by extracellular electron transfer make microbial fuel cells (MFCs) a promising new technology for cost-effective and sustainable wastewater treatment. Although a number of microbial species that build biofilms on the anode surfaces of operating MFCs have been identified, studies on the metagenomics of entire electrogenic communities are limited. Here we present the results of whole-genome metagenomic analysis of electrochemically active robust anodic microbial communities, and their anaerobic digester (AD) sludge inocula, from two pilot-scale MFC bioreactors fed with different distillery wastewaters operated under ambient conditions in distinct climatic zones. Taxonomic analysis showed that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were abundant in AD sludge from distinct climatic zones, and constituted the dominant core of the MFC microbiomes. Functional analysis revealed species involved in degradation of organic compounds commonly present in food industry wastewaters. Also, accumulation of methanogenic Archaea was observed in the electrogenic biofilms, suggesting a possibility for simultaneous electricity and biogas recovery from one integrated wastewater treatment system. Finally, we found a range of species within the anode communities possessing the capacity for extracellular electron transfer, both via direct contact and electron shuttles, and show differential distribution of bacterial groups on the carbon cloth and activated carbon granules of the anode surface. Overall, this study provides insights into structural shifts that occur in the transition from an AD sludge to an MFC microbial community and the metabolic potential of electrochemically active microbial populations with wastewater-treating MFCs.

  10. Submersible microbial fuel cell sensor for monitoring microbial activity and BOD in groundwater: focusing on impact of anodic biofilm on sensor applicability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Angelidaki, Irini

    2011-10-01

    A sensor, based on a submersible microbial fuel cell (SUMFC), was developed for in situ monitoring of microbial activity and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in groundwater. Presence or absence of a biofilm on the anode was a decisive factor for the applicability of the sensor. Fresh anode was required for application of the sensor for microbial activity measurement, while biofilm-colonized anode was needed for utilizing the sensor for BOD content measurement. The current density of SUMFC sensor equipped with a biofilm-colonized anode showed linear relationship with BOD content, to up to 250 mg/L (∼233 ± 1 mA/m(2)), with a response time of BOD was observed. It was found that temperature, pH, conductivity, and inorganic solid content were significantly affecting the sensitivity of the sensor. Lastly, the sensor was tested with real contaminated groundwater, where the microbial activity and BOD content could be detected in BOD concentration measured by SUMFC sensor fitted well with the one measured by the standard methods, with deviations ranging from 15% to 22% and 6% to 16%, respectively. The SUMFC sensor provides a new way for in situ and quantitative monitoring contaminants content and biological activity during bioremediation process in variety of anoxic aquifers.

  11. Electrochemical evaluation of Ti/TiO{sub 2}-polyaniline anodes for microbial fuel cells using hypersaline microbial consortia for synthetic-wastewater treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benetton, X.D.; Navarro-Avila, S.G. [Univ. Autonoma de Yucatan, Yucatan (Mexico). Biotecnologia y Bioingenieria; Carrera-Figueiras, C. [Univ. Autonoma de Yucatan, Yucatan (Mexico). Quimica Fundamental y Aplicada

    2010-07-01

    This paper described the development of a titanium (Ti/TiO{sub 2}) polyaniline composite electrode. The electrode was designed for use with a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that generated electricity through the microbial biodegradation of organic compounds. A modified NBAF medium was used with a 20 mM acetate as an electron donor and 53 mM fumarate as an electron acceptor for a period of 96 hours at 37 degrees C. Strains were cultured under strict anaerobic conditions. Two microbial cultures were used: (1) pure cultures of Geobacter sulfur-reducens; and (2) an uncharacterized stable microbial consortia isolated from hypersaline swamp sediments. The anodes were made with an emeraldine form of PANI deposited over Ti/TiO{sub 2} electrodes. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) monitoring was used to determine the open circuit potential of the MFC. Negative real impedances were obtained and reproduced in all systems studied with the Ti/TiO{sub 2}-PANI anodes. The highest power density was obtained using the Geobacter sulfur-reducens culture. Further research is needed to study the mechanisms that contribute to the occurrence of negative real impedances. 23 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  12. Microbial development in distillers wet grains produced during fuel ethanol production from corn (Zea mays).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehman, R Michael; Rosentrater, Kurt A

    2007-09-01

    Distillers grains are coproduced with ethanol and carbon dioxide during the production of fuel ethanol from the dry milling and fermentation of corn grain, yet there is little basic microbiological information on these materials. We undertook a replicated field study of the microbiology of distillers wet grains (DWG) over a 9 day period following their production at an industrial fuel ethanol plant. Freshly produced DWG had a pH of about 4.4, a moisture content of about 53.5% (wet mass basis), and 4 x 10(5) total yeast cells/g dry mass, of which about 0.1% were viable. Total bacterial cells were initially below detection limits (ca. 10(6) cells/g dry mass) and then were estimated to be approximately 5 x 10(7) cells/g dry mass during the first 4 days following production. Culturable aerobic heterotrophic organisms (fungi plus bacteria) ranged between 10(4) and 10(5) CFU/g dry mass during the initial 4 day period, and lactic acid bacteria increased from 36 to 10(3) CFU/g dry mass over this same period. At 9 days, total viable bacteria and yeasts and (or) molds topped 10(8) CFU/g dry mass and lactic acid bacteria approached 10(6) CFU/g dry mass. Community phospholipid fatty acid analysis indicated a stable microbial community over the first 4 days of storage. Thirteen morphologically distinct isolates were recovered, of which 10 were yeasts and molds from 6 different genera, 2 were strains of the lactic-acid-producing Pediococcus pentosaceus and only one was an aerobic heterotrophic bacteria, Micrococcus luteus. The microbiology of DWG is fundamental to the assessment of spoilage, deleterious effects (e.g., toxins), or beneficial effects (e.g., probiotics) in its use as feed or in alternative applications.

  13. Invention patent review of Microbial Fuel Cell%微生物燃料电池的专利技术综述

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨婷

    2015-01-01

    检索了微生物燃料电池在中国的发明专利文献,综述了微生物燃料电池在废水处理中的应用及与现有技术中其他水处理技术耦合的专利进展,并对其实际应用的前景进行了展望。%lnvention patents in Microbial Fuel Cel (MFC) in China were searched. The progress in patents including in Microbial Fuel Cel applications in waste water was reviewed, as wel as the previous treatment technology of waste water with a microbial fuel cel . Practical applications of the Microbial Fuel Cel was prospected.

  14. Surface Area Expansion of Electrodes with Grass-like Nanostructures to Enhance Electricity Generation in Microbial Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al Atraktchi, Fatima Al-Zahraa; Zhang, Yifeng; Noori, Jafar Safaa;

    2012-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have applications possibilities for wastewater treatment, biotransformation, and biosensor, but the development of highly efficient electrode materials is critical for enhancing the power generation. Two types of electrodes modified with nanoparticles or grass-like nan......Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have applications possibilities for wastewater treatment, biotransformation, and biosensor, but the development of highly efficient electrode materials is critical for enhancing the power generation. Two types of electrodes modified with nanoparticles or grass...... of plain silicium showed a maximum power density of 86.0 mW/m2. Further expanding the surface area of carbon paper electrodes with gold nanoparticles resulted in a maximum stable power density of 346.9 mW/m2 which is 2.9 times higher than that achieved with conventional carbon paper. These results show...... that fabrication of electrodes with nanograss could be an efficient way to increase the power generation....

  15. Utility of Ochrobactrum anthropi YC152 in a Microbial Fuel Cell as an Early Warning Device for Hexavalent Chromium Determination

    OpenAIRE

    Guey-Horng Wang; Chiu-Yu Cheng; Man-Hai Liu; Tzu-Yu Chen; Min-Chi Hsieh; Ying-Chien Chung

    2016-01-01

    Fast hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) determination is important for environmental risk and health-related considerations. We used a microbial fuel cell-based biosensor inoculated with a facultatively anaerobic, Cr(VI)-reducing, and exoelectrogenic Ochrobactrum anthropi YC152 to determine the Cr(VI) concentration in water. The results indicated that O. anthropi YC152 exhibited high adaptability to pH, temperature, salinity, and water quality under anaerobic conditions. The stable performance of t...

  16. High catalytic activity and pollutants resistivity using Fe-AAPyr cathode catalyst for microbial fuel cell application

    OpenAIRE

    Carlo Santoro; Alexey Serov; Claudia W. Narvaez Villarrubia; Sarah Stariha; Sofia Babanova; Kateryna Artyushkova; Schuler, Andrew J.; Plamen Atanassov

    2015-01-01

    For the first time, a new generation of innovative non-platinum group metal catalysts based on iron and aminoantipyrine as precursor (Fe-AAPyr) has been utilized in a membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC) running on wastewater. Fe-AAPyr was used as an oxygen reduction catalyst in a passive gas-diffusion cathode and implemented in SCMFC design. This catalyst demonstrated better performance than platinum (Pt) during screening in “clean” conditions (PBS), and no degradation in ...

  17. Study of azo dye decolorization and determination of cathode microorganism profile in air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumru, Mert; Eren, Hilal; Catal, Tunc; Bermek, Hakan; Akarsubaşi, Alper Tunga

    2012-09-01

    Five textile azo dyes, as part of an artificial mixture, were treated in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells while simultaneously utilizing acetate for electricity production. Remazol Black, Remazol Brilliant Blue, Remazol Turquoise Blue, Reactive Yellow and Reactive Red at concentrations of 40 or 80 mg L(-1) were decolorized to a similar extent, at averages of 78, 95, 53, 93 and 74%, respectively, in 24 hours. During the process of decolorization, electricity generation from acetate oxidation continued. Power densities obtained in the presence of textile dyes ranged from 347 to 521 mW m(-2) at the current density range of 0.071 - 0.086 mA cm(-2). Microbial community analyses of cathode biofilm exhibited dynamic changes in abundant species following dye decolorization. Upon the addition of the first dye, a major change (63%) in microbial diversity was observed; however, subsequent addition of other dyes did not affect the community profile significantly. Actinobacteria, Aquamicrobium, Mesorhizobium, Ochrobactrum, Thauera, Paracoccus, Achromobacter and Chelatacoccus affiliated phylotypes were the major phylotypes detected. Our results demonstrate that microbial fuel cells could be a promising alternative for treatment of textile wastewaters and an active bacterial community can rapidly be established for simultaneous azo dye decolorization and sustainable electricity generation.

  18. Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almatouq, Abdullah; Babatunde, Akintunde O

    2016-03-29

    This study investigated the mechanism and key factors influencing concurrent phosphorus (P) recovery and energy generation in microbial fuel cells (MFC) during wastewater treatment. Using a mediator-less dual chamber microbial fuel cell operated for 120 days; P was shown to precipitate as struvite when ammonium and magnesium chloride solutions were added to the cathode chamber. Monitoring data for chemical oxygen demand (COD), pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and aeration flow rate showed that a maximum 38% P recovery was achieved; and this corresponds to 1.5 g/L, pH > 8, -550 ± 10 mV and 50 mL/min respectively, for COD, pH(cathode), ORP and cathode aeration flow rate. More importantly, COD and aeration flow rate were shown to be the key influencing factors for the P recovery and energy generation. Results further show that the maximum P recovery corresponds to 72 mW/m² power density. However, the energy generated at maximum P recovery was not the optimum; this shows that whilst P recovery and energy generation can be concurrently achieved in a microbial fuel cell, neither can be at the optimal value.

  19. Microbial fuel cell coupled to biohydrogen reactor: a feasible technology to increase energy yield from cheese whey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenzel, J; Fuentes, L; Cabezas, A; Etchebehere, C

    2017-02-20

    An important pollutant produced during the cheese making process is cheese whey which is a liquid by-product with high content of organic matter, composed mainly by lactose and proteins. Hydrogen can be produced from cheese whey by dark fermentation but, organic matter is not completely removed producing an effluent rich in volatile fatty acids. Here we demonstrate that this effluent can be further used to produce energy in microbial fuel cells. Moreover, current production was not feasible when using raw cheese whey directly to feed the microbial fuel cell. A maximal power density of 439 mW/m(2) was obtained from the reactor effluent which was 1000 times more than when using raw cheese whey as substrate. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing showed that potential electroactive populations (Geobacter, Pseudomonas and Thauera) were enriched on anodes of MFCs fed with reactor effluent while fermentative populations (Clostridium and Lactobacillus) were predominant on the MFC anode fed directly with raw cheese whey. This result was further demonstrated using culture techniques. A total of 45 strains were isolated belonging to 10 different genera including known electrogenic populations like Geobacter (in MFC with reactor effluent) and known fermentative populations like Lactobacillus (in MFC with cheese whey). Our results show that microbial fuel cells are an attractive technology to gain extra energy from cheese whey as a second stage process during raw cheese whey treatment by dark fermentation process.

  20. Bioelectricity production from food waste leachate using microbial fuel cells: effect of NaCl and pH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao Min; Cheng, Ka Yu; Wong, Jonathan W C

    2013-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells are a promising technology for simultaneous treatment and energy recovery from food waste leachate. This study evaluates the effects of NaCl (0-150 mM) and pH on the treatment of food waste leachate using microbial fuel cells. The food waste leachate amended with 100mM NaCl enabled the highest maximum power density (1000 mW/m(3)) and lowest internal resistance (371Ω). Increasing the anodic pH gradually from acidic to alkaline conditions (pH 4-9) resulted in a gradual increase in maximum power density to 9956 mW/m(3) and decrease in internal cell resistance to 35.3Ω. The coulombic efficiency obtained under acidic conditions was only 17.8%, but increased significantly to 60.0% and 63.4% in the neutral and alkaline pH's MFCs, respectively. Maintaining a narrow pH window (6.3-7.6) was essential for efficient bioelectricity production and COD removal using microbial fuel cells for the treatment of food waste leachate.

  1. Stability and reliability of anodic biofilms under different feedstock conditions: Towards microbial fuel cell sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiseon You

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Stability and reliability of microbial fuel cell anodic biofilms, consisting of mixed cultures, were investigated in a continuously fed system. Two groups of anodic biofilm matured with different substrates, acetate and casein for 20–25 days, reached steady states and produced 80–87 μW and 20–29 μW consistently for 3 weeks, respectively. When the substrates were swapped, the casein-enriched group showed faster response to acetate and higher power output, compared to the acetate-enriched group. Also when the substrates were switched back to their original groups, the power output of both groups returned to the previous levels more quickly than when the substrates were swapped the first time. During the substrate change, both MFC groups showed stable power output once they reached their steady states and the output of each group with different substrates was reproducible within the same group. Community level physiological profiling also revealed the possibility of manipulating anodic biofilm metabolisms through exposure to different feedstock conditions.

  2. Detecting recalcitrant organic chemicals in water with microbial fuel cells and artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Scott T; Sylvander, Marc; Kheperu, Mekhakhem; Racz, LeeAnn; Harper, Willie F

    2014-11-01

    This study integrates artificial neural network (ANN) processing with microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based biosensing in the detection of three organic pollutants: aldicarb, dimethyl-methylphosphonate (DMMP), and bisphenol-A (BPA). Overall, the use of the ANN proved to be more reliable than direct correlations for the determination of both chemical concentration and type. The ANN output matched the appropriate chemical concentration and type for three different concentrations and throughout a wide range of stepwise tests. Additionally, chemicals dissolved in the acetate-based feed medium (FM) were accurately identified by the ANN even though the acetate masked the pollutants' effects on electrical current. The ANN also accurately revealed the identity of chemical mixtures. This study is the first to incorporate ANN modeling with MFC-based biosensing for the detection and quantification of organic pollutants that are not readily biodegradable. Furthermore, this work provides insight into the flexibility of MFC-based biosensing as it pertains to limits of detection and its applicability to scenarios where mixtures of pollutants and unique solvents are involved. This research effort is expected to serve as a guide for future MFC-based biosensing efforts.

  3. Anodic Fenton process assisted by a microbial fuel cell for enhanced degradation of organic pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xian-Wei; Sun, Xue-Fei; Li, Dao-Bo; Li, Wen-Wei; Huang, Yu-Xi; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Yu, Han-Qing

    2012-09-15

    The electro-Fenton process is efficient for degradation of organic pollutants, but it suffers from the high operating costs due to the need of power investment. Here, a new anodic Fenton system is developed for energy-saving and efficient treatment of organic pollutants by incorporating microbial fuel cell (MFC) into an anodic Fenton process. This system is composed of an anodic Fenton reactor and a two-chamber air-cathode MFC. The power generated from a two-chamber MFC is used to drive the anodic Fenton process for Acid Orange 7 (AO7) degradation through accelerating in situ generation of Fe(2+) from sacrificial iron. The kinetic results show that the MFC-assisted anodic Fenton process system had a significantly higher pseudo-first-order rate constant than those for the chemical Fenton methods. The electrochemical analysis reveals that AO7 did not hinder the corrosion of iron. The anodic Fenton process was influenced by the MFC performance. It was also found that increasing dissolved oxygen in the cathode improved the MFC power density, which in turn enhanced the AO7 degradation rate. These clearly demonstrate that the anodic Fenton process could be integrated with MFC to develop a self-sustained system for cost-effective and energy-saving electrochemical wastewater treatment.

  4. Microbial fuel cell driving electrokinetic remediation of toxic metal contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habibul, Nuzahat; Hu, Yi; Sheng, Guo-Ping

    2016-11-15

    An investigation of the feasibility of in-situ electrokinetic remediation for toxic metal contaminated soil driven by microbial fuel cell (MFC) is presented. Results revealed that the weak electricity generated from MFC could power the electrokinetic remediation effectively. The metal removal efficiency and its influence on soil physiological properties were also investigated. With the electricity generated through the oxidation of organics in soils by microorganisms, the metals in the soils would mitigate from the anode to the cathode. The concentrations of Cd and Pb in the soils increased gradually through the anode to the cathode regions after remediation. After about 143days and 108 days' operation, the removal efficiencies of 31.0% and 44.1% for Cd and Pb at the anode region could be achieved, respectively. Soil properties such as pH and soil conductivity were also significantly redistributed from the anode to the cathode regions. The study shows that the MFC driving electrokinetic remediation technology is cost-effective and environmental friendly, with a promising application in soil remediation.

  5. Simultaneous production of bioelectricity and treatment of membrane concentrate in multitube microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koroglu, Emre Oguz; Cetinkaya, Afsin Y; Ozkaya, Bestami; Demir, Ahmet

    2016-11-01

    The performance of upflow multitube microbial fuel cell (UM(2)FC) from membrane concentrate of domestic wastewater (50% concentrate or a volume to concentration ratio of 2) has been investigated in a laboratory test. The test found that the UM(2)FC with the tin-coated copper mesh and coil spring under different hydraulic retention times (HRTs) produced maximum electricity of 916 ± 200 mW/m(3) (61 mW/m(2)) at an HRT of 0.75 day with a 78% soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) removal efficiency and 3% and 20% Coulombic efficiencies (CEs). The whole-cell resistance as calculated from the Nyquist plot and equivalent circuit were approximately 134 and 255 Ω for HRTs of 0.5 and 0.75 days, respectively. Considering HRT, the current increase with longer HRT could be due to longer contact time between organic material and biofilm, which results in a higher electrical efficiency. The results showed that UM(2)FC could represent an effective system for simultaneous membrane concentrate treatment and electricity production after further improvements on MFC and operating conditions.

  6. No enhancement of cyanobacterial bloom biomass decomposition by sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) at different temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Tian-Ran; Song, Na; Chen, Mo; Yan, Zai-Sheng; Jiang, He-Long

    2016-11-01

    The sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) has potential application to control the degradation of decayed cyanobacterial bloom biomass (CBB) in sediment in eutrophic lakes. In this study, temperatures from 4 to 35 °C were investigated herein as the major impact on SMFC performance in CBB-amended sediment. Under low temperature conditions, the SMFC could still operate, and produced a maximum power density of 4.09 mW m(-2) at 4 °C. Coupled with the high substrate utilization, high output voltage was generated in SMFCs at high temperatures. The application of SMFC affected the anaerobic fermentation progress and was detrimental to the growth of methanogens. At the same time, organic matter of sediments in SMFC became more humified. As a result, the fermentation of CBB was not accelerated with the SMFC application, and the removal efficiency of the total organic matter was inhibited by 5% compared to the control. Thus, SMFC could operate well year round in sediments with a temperature ranging from 4 to 35 °C, and also exhibit practical value by inhibiting quick CBB decomposition in sediments in summer against the pollution of algae organic matter.

  7. Controlling the occurrence of power overshoot by adapting microbial fuel cells to high anode potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiuping; Tokash, Justin C; Hong, Yiying; Logan, Bruce E

    2013-04-01

    Power density curves for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) often show power overshoot, resulting in inaccurate estimation of MFC performance at high current densities. The reasons for power overshoot are not well understood, but biofilm acclimation and development are known factors. In order to better explore the reasons for power overshoot, exoelectrogenic biofilms were developed at four different anode potentials (-0.46 V, -0.24 V, 0 V, and 0.50 V vs. Ag/AgCl), and then the properties of the biofilms were examined using polarization tests and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The maximum power density of the MFCs was 1200±100 mW/m(2). Power overshoot was observed in MFCs incubated at -0.46 V, but not those acclimated at more positive potentials, indicating that bacterial activity was significantly influenced by the anode acclimation potential. CV results further indicated that power overshoot of MFCs incubated at the lowest anode potential was associated with a decreasing electroactivity of the anodic biofilm in the high potential region, which resulted from a lack of sufficient electron transfer components to shuttle electrons at rates needed for these more positive potentials.

  8. Intelligent energy harvesting scheme for microbial fuel cells: Maximum power point tracking and voltage overshoot avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaraj, Muhannad; Radenkovic, Miloje; Park, Jae-Do

    2017-02-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are renewable and sustainable energy sources that can be used for various applications. The MFC output power depends on its biochemical conditions as well as the terminal operating points in terms of output voltage and current. There exists one operating point that gives the maximum possible power from the MFC, maximum power point (MPP), for a given operating condition. However, this MPP may vary and needs to be tracked in order to maintain the maximum power extraction from the MFC. Furthermore, MFC reactors often develop voltage overshoots that cause drastic drops in the terminal voltage, current, and the output power. When the voltage overshoot happens, an additional control measure is necessary as conventional MPPT algorithms will fail because of the change in the voltage-current relationship. In this paper, the extremum seeking (ES) algorithm was used to track the varying MPP and a voltage overshoot avoidance (VOA) algorithm is developed to manage the voltage overshoot conditions. The proposed ES-MPPT with VOA algorithm was able to extract 197.2 mJ during 10-min operation avoiding voltage overshoot, while the ES MPPT-only scheme stopped harvesting after only 18.75 mJ because of the voltage overshoot happened at 0.4 min.

  9. A high power density miniaturized microbial fuel cell having carbon nanotube anodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Hao; Pyo, Soonjae; Lee, Jae-Ik; Park, Tae-Jin; Gittleson, Forrest S.; Leung, Frederick C. C.; Kim, Jongbaeg; Taylor, André D.; Lee, Hyung-Sool; Chae, Junseok

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising technology capable of directly converting the abundant biomass on the planet into electricity. Prior studies have adopted a variety of nanostructured materials with high surface area to volume ratio (SAV), yet the current and power density of these nanostructured materials do not deliver a significant leap over conventional MFCs. This study presents a novel approach to implement a miniaturized MFC with a high SAV of 4000 m-1 using three different CNT-based electrode materials: Vertically Aligned CNT (VACNT), Randomly Aligned CNT (RACNT), and Spin-Spray Layer-by-Layer (SSLbL) CNT. These CNT-based electrodes show unique biofilm morphology and thickness. The study of performance parameters of miniaturized MFCs with these CNT-electrodes are conducted with respect to a control bare gold electrode. The results show that CNT-based materials attract more exoelectrogens, Geobacter sp., than bare gold, yielding thicker biofilm formation. Among CNT-based electrodes, low sheet resistance electrodes result in thick biofilm generation and high current/power density. The miniaturized MFC having an SSLbL CNT anode exhibits a high volumetric power density of 3320 W m-3. This research may help lay the foundation for future research involving the optimization of MFCS with 2D and 3D nanostructured electrodes.

  10. Maintenance of Geobacter-dominated biofilms in microbial fuel cells treating synthetic wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commault, Audrey S; Lear, Gavin; Weld, Richard J

    2015-12-01

    Geobacter-dominated biofilms can be selected under stringent conditions that limit the growth of competing bacteria. However, in many practical applications, such stringent conditions cannot be maintained and the efficacy and stability of these artificial biofilms may be challenged. In this work, biofilms were selected on low-potential anodes (-0.36 V vs Ag/AgCl, i.e. -0.08 V vs SHE) in minimal acetate or ethanol media. Selection conditions were then relaxed by transferring the biofilms to synthetic wastewater supplemented with soil as a source of competing bacteria. We tracked community succession and functional changes in these biofilms. The Geobacter-dominated biofilms showed stability in their community composition and electrochemical properties, with Geobacter sp. being still electrically active after six weeks in synthetic wastewater with power densities of 100±19 mW·m(-2) (against 74±14 mW·m(-2) at week 0) for all treatments. After six weeks, the ethanol-selected biofilms, despite their high taxon richness and their efficiency at removing the chemical oxygen demand (0.8 g·L(-1) removed against the initial 1.3 g·L(-1) injected), were the least stable in terms of community structure. These findings have important implications for environmental microbial fuel cells based on Geobacter-dominated biofilms and suggest that they could be stable in challenging environments.

  11. Highly efficient sulfonated polybenzimidazole as a proton exchange membrane for microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singha, Shuvra; Jana, Tushar; Modestra, J. Annie; Naresh Kumar, A.; Mohan, S. Venkata

    2016-06-01

    Although microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a promising bio-energy technology with a dual advantage (i.e., electricity production and waste-water treatment), their low power densities and high installation costs are major impediments. To address these bottlenecks and replace highly expensive Nafion, which is a proton exchange membrane (PEM), the current study focuses for the first time on membranes made from an easily synthesizable and more economical oxy-polybenzimidazole (OPBI) and its sulfonated analogue (S-OPBI) as alternate PEMs in single-chambered MFCs. The S-OPBI membrane exhibits better properties, with high water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC) and proton conductivity and a comparatively smaller degree of swelling compared to Nafion. The membrane morphology is characterized by atomic force microscopy, and the bright and dark regions of the S-OPBI membrane reveals the formation of ionic domains in the matrix, forming continuous water nanochannels when doped with water. These water-filled nanochannels are responsible for faster proton conduction in S-OPBI than in Nafion; therefore, the power output in the MFC with S-OPBI as the PEM is higher than in other MFCs. The open circuit voltage (460 mV), current generation (2.27 mA) and power density profile (110 mW/m2) as a function of time, as well as the polarization curves, exhibits higher current and power density (87.8 mW/m2) with S-OPBI compared to Nafion as the PEM.

  12. Maximising electricity production by controlling the biofilm specific growth rate in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledezma, Pablo; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this work is to study the relationship between growth rate and electricity production in perfusion-electrode microbial fuel cells (MFCs), across a wide range of flow rates by co-measurement of electrical output and changes in population numbers by viable counts and optical density. The experiments hereby presented demonstrate, for the first time to the authors' knowledge, that the anodic biofilm specific growth rate can be determined and controlled in common with other loose matrix perfusion systems. Feeding with nutrient-limiting conditions at a critical flow rate (50.8 mL h(-1)) resulted in the first experimental determination of maximum specific growth rate μ(max) (19.8 day(-1)) for Shewanella spp. MFC biofilms, which is considerably higher than those predicted or assumed via mathematical modelling. It is also shown that, under carbon-energy limiting conditions there is a strong direct relationship between growth rate and electrical power output, with μ(max) coinciding with maximum electrical power production.

  13. Investigating the association between photosynthetic efficiency and generation of biophotoelectricity in autotrophic microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciniciato, Gustavo P. M. K.; Ng, Fong-Lee; Phang, Siew-Moi; Jaafar, Muhammad Musoddiq; Fisher, Adrian C.; Yunus, Kamran; Periasamy, Vengadesh

    2016-08-01

    Microbial fuel cells operating with autotrophic microorganisms are known as biophotovoltaic devices. It represents a great opportunity for environmentally-friendly power generation using the energy of the sunlight. The efficiency of electricity generation in this novel system is however low. This is partially reflected by the poor understanding of the bioelectrochemical mechanisms behind the electron transfer from these microorganisms to the electrode surface. In this work, we propose a combination of electrochemical and fluorescence techniques, giving emphasis to the pulse amplitude modulation fluorescence. The combination of these two techniques allow us to obtain information that can assist in understanding the electrical response obtained from the generation of electricity through the intrinsic properties related to the photosynthetic efficiency that can be obtained from the fluorescence emitted. These were achieved quantitatively by means of observed changes in four photosynthetic parameters with the bioanode generating electricity. These are the maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), alpha (α), light saturation coefficient (Ek) and maximum rate of electron transfer (rETRm). The relationship between the increases in the current density collected by the bioanode to the decrease of the rETRm values in the photosynthetic pathway for the two microorganisms was also discussed.

  14. Electrochemical analysis of separators used in single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Wei, Bin

    2013-02-01

    Polarization, solution-separator, charge transfer, and diffusion resistances of clean and used separator electrode assemblies were examined in microbial fuel cells using current-voltage curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Current-voltage curves showed the total resistance was reduced at low cathode potentials. EIS results revealed that at a set cathode potential of 0.3 V diffusion resistance was predominant, and it substantially increased when adding separators. However, at a lower cathode potential of 0.1 V all resistances showed only slight differences with and without separators. Used separator electrode assemblies with biofilms had increased charge transfer and diffusion resistances (0.1 V) when one separator was used; however, charge transfer resistance increased, and diffusion resistance did not appreciably change with four separators. Adding a plastic mesh to compress the separators improved maximum power densities. These results show the importance of pressing separators against the cathode, and the adverse impacts of biofilm formation on electrochemical performance. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Can a microbial fuel cell resist the oxidation of Tomato pomace?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogg, Alex; Gadhamshetty, Venkataramana; Franco, Daniel; Wilder, Joseph; Agapi, Steven; Komisar, Simeon

    2015-04-01

    The Tomato industry in the United States generates ∼40 million metric tons of pomace waste on an annual basis. Here, we demonstrate the use of pomace as the feedstock for electricity production in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). The putative redox-active compounds and the particulate characteristic of the pomace influenced the temporal dynamics of polarization, impedance, and voltammetry response of pomace-MFCs (pMFC). While the open-circuit potential of pMFC was similar to its glucose-control, the polarization response of pMFC (125 W m-2 and 500 mA m-2) was inferior to its glucose-control (290 W m2 and 1300 mA m-2), and this difference increased with increasing scales of current density and time. The pomace oxidation was associated with a redox-active mediator that undergoes a quasi-reversible reaction at higher potential (Ep = 0 V vs Ag/Agcl); its charge transfer impedance appeared as a distinct time constant in the mid-frequency region during AC electrical impedance spectroscopy analysis.

  16. Continuous flow membrane-less air cathode microbial fuel cell with spunbonded olefin diffusion layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tugtas, Adile Evren; Cavdar, Pelin; Calli, Baris

    2011-11-01

    The power production performance of a membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cell was evaluated for 53 days. Anode and cathode electrodes and the micro-fiber cloth separator were configured by sandwiching the separator between two electrodes. In addition, the air-facing side of the cathode was covered with a spunbonded olefin sheet instead of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating to control oxygen diffusion and water loss. The configuration resulted in a low resistance of about 4Ω and a maximum power density of 750 mW/m2. However, as a result of a gradual decrease in the cathode potential, maximum power density decreased to 280 mW/m2. The declining power output was attributed to loss of platinum catalyst (8.26%) and biomass growth (38.44%) on the cathode. Coulombic efficiencies over 55% and no water leakage showed that the spunbonded olefin sheet covering the air-facing side of the cathode can be a cost-effective alternative to PTFE coating.

  17. Increasing power generation for scaling up single-chamber air cathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Cheng, Shaoan

    2011-03-01

    Scaling up microbial fuel cells (MFCs) requires a better understanding the importance of the different factors such as electrode surface area and reactor geometry relative to solution conditions such as conductivity and substrate concentration. It is shown here that the substrate concentration has significant effect on anode but not cathode performance, while the solution conductivity has a significant effect on the cathode but not the anode. The cathode surface area is always important for increasing power. Doubling the cathode size can increase power by 62% with domestic wastewater, but doubling the anode size increases power by 12%. Volumetric power density was shown to be a linear function of cathode specific surface area (ratio of cathode surface area to reactor volume), but the impact of cathode size on power generation depended on the substrate strength (COD) and conductivity. These results demonstrate the cathode specific surface area is the most critical factor for scaling-up MFCs to obtain high power densities. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Using cathode spacers to minimize reactor size in air cathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Qiao

    2012-04-01

    Scaling up microbial fuel cells (MFCs) will require more compact reactor designs. Spacers can be used to minimize the reactor size without adversely affecting performance. A single 1.5mm expanded plastic spacer (S1.5) produced a maximum power density (973±26mWm -2) that was similar to that of an MFC with the cathode exposed directly to air (no spacer). However, a very thin spacer (1.3mm) reduced power by 33%. Completely covering the air cathode with a solid plate did not eliminate power generation, indicating oxygen leakage into the reactor. The S1.5 spacer slightly increased columbic efficiencies (from 20% to 24%) as a result of reduced oxygen transfer into the system. Based on operating conditions (1000ς, CE=20%), it was estimated that 0.9Lh -1 of air would be needed for 1m 2 of cathode area suggesting active air flow may be needed for larger scale MFCs. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Power generation by packed-bed air-cathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2013-08-01

    Catalysts and catalyst binders are significant portions of the cost of microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes. Many materials have been tested as aqueous cathodes, but air-cathodes are needed to avoid energy demands for water aeration. Packed-bed air-cathodes were constructed without expensive binders or diffusion layers using four inexpensive carbon-based materials. Cathodes made from activated carbon produced the largest maximum power density of 676±93mW/m2, followed by semi-coke (376±47mW/m2), graphite (122±14mW/m2) and carbon felt (60±43mW/m2). Increasing the mass of activated carbon and semi-coke from 5 to ≥15g significantly reduced power generation because of a reduction in oxygen transfer due to a thicker water layer in the cathode (~3 or ~6cm). These results indicate that a thin packed layer of activated carbon or semi-coke can be used to make inexpensive air-cathodes for MFCs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Enhanced nitrogen removal in single-chamber microbial fuel cells with increased gas diffusion areas

    KAUST Repository

    Yan, Hengjing

    2012-11-23

    Single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with nitrifiers pre-enriched at the air cathodes have previously been demonstrated as a passive strategy for integrating nitrogen removal into current-generating bioelectrochemical systems. To further define system design parameters for this strategy, we investigated in this study the effects of oxygen diffusion area and COD/N ratio in continuous-flow reactors. Doubling the gas diffusion area by adding an additional air cathode or a diffusion cloth significantly increased the ammonia and COD removal rates (by up to 115% and 39%), ammonia removal efficiency (by up to 134%), the cell voltage and cathode potentials, and the power densities (by a factor of approximately 2). When the COD/N ratio was lowered from 13 to 3, we found up to 244% higher ammonia removal rate but at least 19% lower ammonia removal efficiency. An increase of COD removal rate by up to 27% was also found when the COD/N ratio was lowered from 11 to 3. The Coulombic efficiency was not affected by the additional air cathode, but decreased by an average of 11% with the addition of a diffusion cloth. Ammonia removal by assimilation was also estimated to understand the ammonia removal mechanism in these systems. These results showed that the doubling of gas diffusion area enhanced N and COD removal rates without compromising electrochemical performance. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Biochar Based Microbial Fuel Cell for Enhanced Wastewater Treatment and Nutrient Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler M. Huggins

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Waste-wood derived biochar was evaluated for the first time as both an anode and cathode material, simultaneously, in an overflow style microbial fuel cell (MFC using actual industrial wastewater. Results show that the average chemical oxygen demand (COD removal was 95% with a reduction rate of 0.53 kg·COD·m−1·d−1 in closed operation mode. The ammonia and phosphorous reductions from wastewater was 73% and 88%, respectively. Stable power production was observed with a peak power density measured at 6 W/m3. Preliminary contributions of physical, biological, and electrochemical COD removals were evaluated, and the results show such combined mechanisms give BC an advantage for MFC applications. Nutrient recovery data showed high levels of macronutrients adsorbed onto the spent biochar electrodes, and phosphorus concentration increased from 0.16 g·kg−1 in raw BC to up to 1.9 g·kg−1 in the cathode. These findings highlight the use of biochar as electrodes in MFCs to facilitate simultaneous wastewater treatment and power production with additional agronomic benefits.

  2. Mesh optimization for microbial fuel cell cathodes constructed around stainless steel mesh current collectors

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Fang

    2011-02-01

    Mesh current collectors made of stainless steel (SS) can be integrated into microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes constructed of a reactive carbon black and Pt catalyst mixture and a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) diffusion layer. It is shown here that the mesh properties of these cathodes can significantly affect performance. Cathodes made from the coarsest mesh (30-mesh) achieved the highest maximum power of 1616 ± 25 mW m-2 (normalized to cathode projected surface area; 47.1 ± 0.7 W m-3 based on liquid volume), while the finest mesh (120-mesh) had the lowest power density (599 ± 57 mW m-2). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy showed that charge transfer and diffusion resistances decreased with increasing mesh opening size. In MFC tests, the cathode performance was primarily limited by reaction kinetics, and not mass transfer. Oxygen permeability increased with mesh opening size, accounting for the decreased diffusion resistance. At higher current densities, diffusion became a limiting factor, especially for fine mesh with low oxygen transfer coefficients. These results demonstrate the critical nature of the mesh size used for constructing MFC cathodes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Simultaneous phenol removal, nitrification and denitrification using microbial fuel cell technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Chunhua; Huang, Liqiao; Yu, Hui; Yi, Xiaoyun; Wei, Chaohai

    2015-06-01

    Here we show that concomitant removal of phenol and nitrogen can be accomplished in a single dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) reactor, in which the two chambers are separated with an anion-exchange membrane. A series of experiments were performed with ammonium (230 NH4(+)-N mg L(-1)) and phenol (with concentrations varying from 0 to 1400 mg L(-1)) fed to the aerobic cathode chamber of the MFC. Experimental results demonstrated that no apparent inhibitory effect of phenol on the nitrifying reaction was noted even at the phenol concentration up to 600 mg L(-1). For all the experiments, simultaneous nitrification and denitrification was achieved in the MFC. In comparison to the traditional aerobic bioreactor (ABR) and the same MFC run under the open-circuit condition, the MFC reactor allowed less inhibition of nitrification to phenol exposure and higher rate of nitrogen removal. The data of bacterial analysis revealed that electrochemically active bacteria and denitrifiers in the anaerobic chamber play a significant role in electricity generation and anaerobic denitrification, respectively, while phenol-degrading bacteria, nitrifiers, and denitrifiers in the aerobic cathode chamber are responsible for phenol oxidation, aerobic nitrification and aerobic denitrification, respectively. These results imply that the MFC holds potential for simultaneous removal of phenolic compounds and nitrogen contained in some particular industrial wastewaters.

  4. Electricity Generation and Wastewater Treatment of Oil Refinery in Microbial Fuel Cells Using Pseudomonas putida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dip Majumder

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs represent a novel platform for treating wastewater and at the same time generating electricity. Using Pseudomonas putida (BCRC 1059, a wild-type bacterium, we demonstrated that the refinery wastewater could be treated and also generate electric current in an air-cathode chamber over four-batch cycles for 63 cumulative days. Our study indicated that the oil refinery wastewater containing 2213 mg/L (ppm chemical oxygen demand (COD could be used as a substrate for electricity generation in the reactor of the MFC. A maximum voltage of 355 mV was obtained with the highest power density of 0.005 mW/cm2 in the third cycle with a maximum current density of 0.015 mA/cm2 in regard to the external resistor of 1000 Ω. A maximum coulombic efficiency of 6 × 10−2% was obtained in the fourth cycle. The removal efficiency of the COD reached 30% as a function of time. Electron transfer mechanism was studied using cyclic voltammetry, which indicated the presence of a soluble electron shuttle in the reactor. Our study demonstrated that oil refinery wastewater could be used as a substrate for electricity generation.

  5. Microbial fuel cells as power supply of a low-power temperature sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaled, Firas; Ondel, Olivier; Allard, Bruno

    2016-02-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) show great promise as a concomitant process for water treatment and as renewable energy sources for environmental sensors. The small energy produced by MFCs and the low output voltage limit the applications of MFCs. Specific converter topologies are required to step-up the output voltage of a MFC. A Power Management Unit (PMU) is proposed for operation at low input voltage and at very low power in a completely autonomous way to capture energy from MFCs with the highest possible efficiency. The application of sensors for monitoring systems in remote locations is an important approach. MFCs could be an alternative energy source in this case. Powering a sensor with MFCs may prove the fact that wastewater may be partly turned into renewable energy for realistic applications. The Power Management Unit is demonstrated for 3.6 V output voltage at 1 mW continuous power, based on a low-cost 0.7-L MFC. A temperature sensor may operate continuously on 2-MFCs in continuous flow mode. A flyback converter under discontinuous conduction mode is also tested to power the sensor. One continuously fed MFC was able to efficiently and continuously power the sensor.

  6. Anodic concentration loss and impedance characteristics in rotating disk electrode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Liye; Ma, Jingxing; Song, Pengfei; Lu, Zhihao; Yin, Yao; Liu, Yongdi; Cai, Lankun; Zhang, Lehua

    2016-10-01

    A rotating disk electrode (RDE) was used to investigate the concentration loss and impedance characteristics of anodic biofilms in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Amperometric time-current analysis revealed that at the rotation rate of 480 rpm, a maximum current density of 168 µA cm(-2) can be achieved, which was 22.2 % higher than when there was no rotation. Linear sweep voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests showed that when the anodic potential was set to -300 mV vs. Ag/AgCl reference, the power densities could increase by 59.0  %, reaching 1385 mW m(-2), the anodic resistance could reduce by 19  %, and the anodic capacitance could increase by 36 %. These results concur with a more than 85 % decrease of the diffusion layer thickness. Data indicated that concentration loss, diffusion layer thickness, and the mixing velocity play important roles in anodic resistance reduction and power output of MFCs. These findings could be helpful to the design of future industrial-scale MFCs with mixed bacteria biofilms.

  7. Pressurized air cathodes for enhanced stability and power generation by microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Weihua; Yang, Wulin; Tian, Yushi; Zhu, Xiuping; Liu, Jia; Feng, Yujie; Logan, Bruce E.

    2016-11-01

    Large differences between the water and air pressure in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can deform and damage cathodes. To avoid deformation, the cathode air pressure was controlled to balance pressure differences between the air and water. Raising the air pressures from 0 to 10 kPa at a set cathode potential of -0.3 V (versus Ag/AgCl) enhanced cathode performance by 17%, but pressures ≥25 kPa decreased current and resulted in air leakage into the solution. Matching the air pressure with the water pressure avoided cathode deformation and improved performance. The maximum power density increased by 15%, from 1070 ± 20 to 1230 ± 70 mW m-2, with balanced air and water pressures of 10-25 kPa. Oxygen partial pressures ≥12.5 kPa in the cathode compartment maintained the oxygen reduction rate to be within 92 ± 1% of that in ambient air. The use of pressurized air flow through the cathode compartments can enable closer spacing of the cathodes compared to passive gas transfer systems, which could make the reactor design more compact. The energy cost of pressurizing the cathodes was estimated to be smaller than the increase in power that resulted from the use of pressurized cathodes.

  8. Gas Diffusion Electrodes Manufactured by Casting Evaluation as Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandipam Srikanth

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available One of the most intriguing renewable energy production methods being explored currently is electrical power generation by microbial fuel cells (MFCs. However, to make MFC technology economically feasible, cost efficient electrode manufacturing processes need to be proposed and demonstrated. In this context, VITO has developed an innovative electrode manufacturing process based on film casting and phase inversion. The screening and selection process of electrode compositions was done based on physicochemical properties of the active layer, which in turn maintained a close relation with their composition A dual hydrophilic-hydrophobic character in the active layer was achieved with values of εhydrophilic up to 10% while εTOTAL remained in the range 65 wt % to 75 wt %. Eventually, selected electrodes were tested as air cathodes for MFC in half cell and full cell modes. Reduction currents, up to −0.14 mA·cm2− at −100 mV (vs. Ag/AgCl were reached in long term experiments in the cathode half-cell. In full MFC, a maximum power density of 380 mW·m−2 was observed at 100 Ω external load.

  9. Multi-variable mathematical models for the air-cathode microbial fuel cell system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Shiqi; Kashima, Hiroyuki; Aaron, Douglas S.; Regan, John M.; Mench, Matthew M.

    2016-05-01

    This research adopted the version control system into the model construction for the single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) system, to understand the interrelation of biological, chemical, and electrochemical reactions. The anodic steady state model was used to consider the chemical species diffusion and electric migration influence to the MFC performance. In the cathodic steady state model, the mass transport and reactions in a multi-layer, abiotic cathode and multi-bacteria cathode biofilm were simulated. Transport of hydroxide was assumed for cathodic pH change. This assumption is an alternative to the typical notion of proton consumption during oxygen reduction to explain elevated cathode pH. The cathodic steady state model provided the power density and polarization curve performance results that can be compared to an experimental MFC system. Another aspect considered was the relative contributions of platinum catalyst and microbes on the cathode to the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Simulation results showed that the biocatalyst in a cathode that includes a Pt/C catalyst likely plays a minor role in ORR, contributing up to 8% of the total power calculated by the models.

  10. Control of microbial fuel cell voltage using a gain scheduling control strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boghani, Hitesh C.; Michie, Iain; Dinsdale, Richard M.; Guwy, Alan J.; Premier, Giuliano C.

    2016-08-01

    Recent microbial fuel cell (MFC) research frequently addresses matters associated with scale and deployability. Modularisation is often needed to reduce ohmic losses with increasing volume. Series/parallel is then often an obvious strategy to enhance power quality during operation, to make best use of generated electricity. Hence, voltage reversal resulting from power and voltage mismatch between cells become virtually unavoidable. Control MFC voltages could be used to stabilise MFC stacks. Here, nonlinear MFCs are controlled using simple gain scheduled Proportional + Integral actions. Parsimonious control may be necessary for implementation in MFC arrays, so minimising costs. Controller parameterisation used several linearised models over the dynamic operating range of the MFCs. Controller gains were then scheduled according to the operating conditions. A digital potentiometer was used to actuate the control, varying the current sourced from the MFC. The results show that the controller was able to control MFC voltages, rejecting the disturbances. It was shown that the controller was transferable between MFCs with different power performances. This study demonstrates that the control of MFCs can be achieved with relatively simple digital approaches, plausibly implementable using low cost microcontrollers, and likely to be useful in the effective deployment of MFCs in large scale arrays.

  11. MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS USING DIFFERENT TYPES OF WASTEWATER FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND SIMULTANEOUSLY REMOVED POLLUTANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NUR SYAZANA NATASYA HISHAM

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy during substrate oxidation with the aid of microorganisms that act as biocatalysts. The energy contained in organic matter is converted to useful electrical power. An MFC operates as electrons from the microorganisms transfer from a reduced electron donor to an electron acceptor at a higher electrochemical potential. The aims of the study are to determine the most efficient wastewater source that can generate the highest rate of electricity production by using MFCs and to determine the removal rate of carbon and nitrogen in wastewater by using MFCs. The three different wastewater samples used were activated sludge, palm oil mill effluent (POME and leachate from food waste. The highest rate of voltage generation is achieved when the MFC was operated with leachate (0.455 V, followed by POME (0.444 V and activated sludge (0.396 V. However, based on the study of the graph pattern generated, activated sludge provided the most consistent record in terms of electricity generation. The highest efficiency of COD removal is achieved by activated sludge (37.5 %, followed by leachate (6.11 %. The activated sludge has also shown the highest efficiency in terms of nitrogen removal (65.28 %, followed by POME (48.12 % and leachate (25.15 %.

  12. PTFE effect on the electrocatalysis of the oxygen reduction reaction in membraneless microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrini, Edoardo; Grattieri, Matteo; Faggianelli, Alessio; Cristiani, Pierangela; Trasatti, Stefano

    2015-12-01

    Influence of PTFE in the external Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) of open-air cathodes applied to membraneless microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is investigated in this work. Electrochemical measurements on cathodes with different PTFE contents (200%, 100%, 80% and 60%) were carried out to characterize cathodic oxygen reduction reaction, to study the reaction kinetics. It is demonstrated that ORR is not under diffusion-limiting conditions in the tested systems. Based on cyclic voltammetry, an increase of the cathodic electrochemical active area took place with the decrease of PTFE content. This was not directly related to MFC productivity, but to the cathode wettability and the biocathode development. Low electrodic interface resistances (from 1 to 1.5 Ω at the start, to near 0.1 Ω at day 61) indicated a negligible ohmic drop. A decrease of the Tafel slopes from 120 to 80 mV during productive periods of MFCs followed the biological activity in the whole MFC system. A high PTFE content in the cathode showed a detrimental effect on the MFC productivity, acting as an inhibitor of ORR electrocatalysis in the triple contact zone.

  13. Electricity Generation From Synthetic Wastewater in a Laboratory Scale Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arzu Kılıç

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, natural energy sources were exhausted with developing technology in all of the world. This problem caused to increase scientific researches that intensified to find new alternative energy sources. One of the these new alternative energy sources is microbial fuel cells (MFC. MFCs have been studied for sustainable enegry generation and wastewater treatment technology. MFC is a system that can convert chemical energy in organic matters to electric energy directly. In MFC system, wastewater is also treated together with energy production. Unlike a conventional bioreactor, MFCs consist of compartments or elements for electrochemical reactions, including an anode chamber, a cathode and often an ion exchange membrane. Microorganisms grown as attached to carbon electrode in anode chamber oxidizes organics in wastewater and converts to H+ ions and electrones. In the literature, several reactor types are developed in different researches. In this study, a laboratory scale reactor (kubic type-KMFC is used for electricity production and also organic removal. Synthetic wastewater was used in the reactor and energy production was measured together with COD removal efficiencies.

  14. Performance Enhancement Of Mems-Based Microbial Fuel Cells (μMFC) For Microscale Power Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şen Doğan, Begüm; Afşar Erkal, Nilüfer; Özgür, Ebru; Zorlu, Özge; Külah, Haluk

    2016-11-01

    This paper reports the design, fabrication, and testing of a microliter scale Microbial Fuel Cell (μMFC) based on silicon MEMS fabrication technology. μMFC systems are operated under different loads or open circuit to compare the effect of different acclimatization conditions on start-up time. Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 is preferred to be the biocatalyst. The internal resistance is calculated as 20 kΩ under these conditions. Acclimatization of μMFC under a finite load resulted in shorter start-up time (30 hours) when compared to the open load case. Power and current densities normalized to anode area are 2 μW/cm2 and 12 μA/cm2 respectively. When the load resistance value is closer to the internal resistance of the μMFC, higher power and current densities are achieved as expected, and it resulted in a shorter start-up time. Further studies focusing on the different acclimatization techniques for μMFC could pave the way to use μMFCs as fast and efficient portable power sources.

  15. Development of carbon free diffusion layer for activated carbon air cathode of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wulin; Kim, Kyoung-Yeol; Logan, Bruce E

    2015-12-01

    The fabrication of activated carbon air cathodes for larger-scale microbial fuel cells requires a diffusion layer (DL) that is highly resistant to water leakage, oxygen permeable, and made using inexpensive materials. A hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane synthesized using a simple phase inversion process was examined as a low cost ($0.9/m(2)), carbon-free DL that prevented water leakage at high pressure heads compared to a polytetrafluoroethylene/carbon black DL ($11/m(2)). The power density produced with a PVDF (20%, w/v) DL membrane of 1400±7mW/m(2) was similar to that obtained using a wipe DL [cloth coated with poly(dimethylsiloxane)]. Water head tolerance reached 1.9m (∼19kPa) with no mesh supporter, and 2.1m (∼21kPa, maximum testing pressure) with a mesh supporter, compared to 0.2±0.05m for the wipe DL. The elimination of carbon black from the DL greatly simplified the fabrication procedure and further reduced overall cathode costs.

  16. Changes in Carbon Electrode Morphology Affect Microbial Fuel Cell Performance with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David V. P. Sanchez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The formation of biofilm-electrodes is crucial for microbial fuel cell current production because optimal performance is often associated with thick biofilms. However, the influence of the electrode structure and morphology on biofilm formation is only beginning to be investigated. This study provides insight on how changing the electrode morphology affects current production of a pure culture of anode-respiring bacteria. Specifically, an analysis of the effects of carbon fiber electrodes with drastically different morphologies on biofilm formation and anode respiration by a pure culture (Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 were examined. Results showed that carbon nanofiber mats had ~10 fold higher current than plain carbon microfiber paper and that the increase was not due to an increase in electrode surface area, conductivity, or the size of the constituent material. Cyclic voltammograms reveal that electron transfer from the carbon nanofiber mats was biofilm-based suggesting that decreasing the diameter of the constituent carbon material from a few microns to a few hundred nanometers is beneficial for electricity production solely because the electrode surface creates a more relevant mesh for biofilm formation by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1.

  17. Microbial Fuel Cells for Direct Electrical Energy Recovery from Urban Wastewaters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. G. Capodaglio

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Application of microbial fuel cells (MFCs to wastewater treatment for direct recovery of electric energy appears to provide a potentially attractive alternative to traditional treatment processes, in an optic of costs reduction, and tapping of sustainable energy sources that characterizes current trends in technology. This work focuses on a laboratory-scale, air-cathode, and single-chamber MFC, with internal volume of 6.9 L, operating in batch mode. The MFC was fed with different types of substrates. This study evaluates the MFC behaviour, in terms of organic matter removal efficiency, which reached 86% (on average with a hydraulic retention time of 150 hours. The MFC produced an average power density of 13.2 mW/m3, with a Coulombic efficiency ranging from 0.8 to 1.9%. The amount of data collected allowed an accurate analysis of the repeatability of MFC electrochemical behaviour, with regards to both COD removal kinetics and electric energy production.

  18. A miniature microbial fuel cell with conducting nanofibers-based 3D porous biofilm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Huawei; Halverson, Larry J.; Dong, Liang

    2015-12-01

    Miniature microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has received growing interest due to its potential applications in high-throughput screening of bacteria and mutants to elucidate mechanisms of electricity generation. This paper reports a novel miniature MFC with an improved output power density and short startup time, utilizing electrospun conducting poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanofibers as a 3D porous anode within a 12 μl anolyte chamber. This device results in 423 μW cm-3 power density based on the volume of the anolyte chamber, using Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 as a model biocatalyst without any optimization of bacterial culture. The device also excels in a startup time of only 1hr. The high conductivity of the electrospun nanofibers makes them suitable for efficient electron transfer. The mean pore size of the conducting nanofibers is several micrometers, which is favorable for bacterial penetration and colonization of surfaces of the nanofibers. We demonstrate that S. oneidensis can fully colonize the interior region of this nanofibers-based porous anode. This work represents a new attempt to explore the use of electrospun PEDOT nanofibers as a 3D anode material for MFCs. The presented miniature MFC potentially will provide a high-sensitivity, high-throughput tool to screen suitable bacterial species and mutant strains for use in large-size MFCs.

  19. Pyrolyzed binuclear-cobalt-phthalocyanine as electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baitao; Wang, Mian; Zhou, Xiuxiu; Wang, Xiujun; Liu, Bingchuan; Li, Baikun

    2015-10-01

    A novel platinum (Pt)-free cathodic materials binuclear-cobalt-phthalocyanine (Bi-CoPc) pyrolyzed at different temperatures (300-1000 °C) were examined as the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts, and compared with unpyrolyzed Bi-CoPc/C and Pt cathode in single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs). The results showed that the pyrolysis process increased the nitrogen abundance on Bi-CoPc and changed the nitrogen types. The Bi-CoPc pyrolyzed at 800 °C contained a significant amount of pyrrolic-N, and exhibited a high electrochemical catalytic activity. The power density and current density increased with temperature: Bi-CoPc/C-800 > Bi-CoPc/C-1000 > Bi-CoPc/C-600 > Bi-CoPc/C-300 > Bi-CoPc/C. The SCMFC with Bi-CoPc/C-800 cathode had a maximum power density of 604 mW m(-2). The low cost Bi-CoPc compounds developed in this study showed a potential in air-breathing MFC systems, with the proper pyrolysis temperature being chosen.

  20. Development of Electroactive and Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing (Anammox Biofilms from Digestate in Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enea Gino Di Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs have been proposed for nutrient removal and energy recovery from different wastes. In this study the anaerobic digestate was used to feed H-type MFC reactors, one with a graphite anode preconditioned with Geobacter sulfurreducens and the other with an unconditioned graphite anode. The data demonstrate that the digestate acts as a carbon source, and even in the absence of anode preconditioning, electroactive bacteria colonise the anodic chamber, producing a maximum power density of 172.2 mW/m2. The carbon content was also reduced by up to 60%, while anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox bacteria, which were found in the anodic compartment of the reactors, contributed to nitrogen removal from the digestate. Overall, these results demonstrate that MFCs can be used to recover anammox bacteria from natural sources, and it may represent a promising bioremediation unit in anaerobic digestor plants for the simultaneous nitrogen removal and electricity generation using digestate as substrate.

  1. Comparative study on power generation of dual-cathode microbial fuel cell according to polarization methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kang-yu; Ryu, Wyan-seuk; Cho, Sung-il; Lim, Kyeong-ho

    2015-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) exist in various forms depending on the type of pollutant to be removed and the expected performance. Dual-cathode MFCs, with their simple structure, are capable of removing both organic matter and nitrogen. Moreover, various methods are available for the collection of polarization data, which can be used to calculate the maximum power density, an important factor of MFCs. Many researchers prefer the method of varying the external resistance in a single-cycle due to the short measurement time and high accuracy. This study compared power densities of dual-cathode MFCs in a single-cycle with values calculated over multi-cycles to determine the optimal polarization method. External resistance was varied from high to low and vice versa in the single-cycle, to calculate power density. External resistance was organized in descending order with initial start-up at open circuit voltage (OCV), and then it was organized in descending order again after the initial start-up at 1000 Ω. As a result, power density was underestimated at the anoxic cathode when the external resistance was varied from low to high, and overestimated at the aerobic cathode and anoxic cathode when external resistance at OCV was reduced following initial start-up. In calculating the power densities of dual-cathode MFCs, this paper recommends the method of gradually reducing the external resistance after initial start-up with high external resistance.

  2. Improved performance of single-chamber microbial fuel cells through control of membrane deformation

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2010-03-01

    Cation (CEMs) and anion exchange membrane (AEMs) are commonly used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to enhance Coulombic efficiencies (CEs) by reducing thefluxof oxygen through the cathode to bacteriaonthe anode. AEMs typically work better than CEMs, but in initial experiments we observed the opposite using a membrane electrode assembly MFC. The reason was identified to be membrane deformation, which resulted in water and gas trapped between the membrane and cathode. To correct this, stainless steel mesh was used to press the membrane flat against the cathode. With the steel mesh, AEM performance increased to 46±4W/m3 in a single cathode MFC, and 98±14W/m3 in a double-cathode MFC. These power densities were higher than those using a CEM of 32±2W/m3 (single cathode) and 63±6W/m3 (double cathode). Higher pH gradients across the membrane and salt precipitation on the cathode were responsible for the reduced performance of the CEM compared to the AEM. CEs reached over 90% for both membranes at >2A/m2. These results demonstrate the importance of avoiding water accumulation in thin films between membranes and electrodes, and explain additional reasons for poorer performance of CEMs compared to AEMs. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  3. Improving phosphate buffer-free cathode performance of microbial fuel cell based on biological nitrification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Shi-Jie; Ren, Nan-Qi; Zhao, Qing-Liang; Kiely, Patrick D; Wang, Jing-Yuan; Yang, Feng-Lin; Fu, Lei; Peng, Luo

    2009-08-15

    To reduce the amount of phosphate buffer currently used in Microbial Fuel Cell's (MFC's), we investigated the role of biological nitrification at the cathode in the absence of phosphate buffer. The addition of a nitrifying mixed consortia (NMC) to the cathode compartment and increasing ammonium concentration in the catholyte resulted in an increase of cell voltage from 0.3 V to 0.567 V (external resistance of 100 Omega) and a decrease of catholyte pH from 8.8 to 7.05. A large fraction of ammonium was oxidized to nitrite, as indicated by an increase of nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)(-)-N). An MFC inoculated with an NMC and supplied with 94.2 mgN/l ammonium to the catholyte could generate a maximum power of 2.1+/-0.14 mW (10.94+/-0.73 W/m(3)). This compared favorably to an MFC supplied with either buffered or non-buffered solution. The buffer-free NMC inoculated cathodic chamber showed the smallest polarization resistance, suggesting that nitrification resulted in improved cathode performance. The improved performances of the phosphate buffer-free cathode and cell are positively related to biological nitrification, in which we suggest additional protons produced from ammonium oxidation facilitated electrochemical reduction of oxygen at cathode.

  4. Saline catholytes as alternatives to phosphate buffers in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Yongtae; Logan, Bruce E

    2013-03-01

    Highly saline solutions were examined as alternatives to chemical buffers in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The performance of two-chamber MFCs with different concentrations of saline solutions in the cathode chamber was compared to those with a buffered catholyte (50mM PBS). The use of a NaCl catholyte improved the CE to 43-60% (28% with no membrane) due to a reduction in oxygen transfer into the anolyte. The saline catholyte also reduced the membrane and solution resistance to 23Ω (41Ω without a membrane). The maximum power density of 491mW/m(2) (240mM NaCl) was only 17% less than the MFC with 50mM PBS. The decrease in power output with highest salinity was due to reduced proton transfer due to the ion exchange membrane, and pH changes in the two solutions. These results show that MFC performance can be improved by using a saline catholyte without pH control.

  5. Kinetics of substrate degradation and electricity generation in anodic denitrification microbial fuel cell (AD-MFC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiqiang; Zheng, Ping; Zhang, Meng; Chen, Hui; Chen, Tingting; Xie, Zuofu; Cai, Jing; Abbas, Ghulam

    2013-12-01

    Effect of substrate concentration on substrate degradation and electricity generation in anodic denitrification microbial fuel cell (AD-MFC) was investigated over a broad range of substrate concentrations. Substrate degradation rates and power generation could be promoted with increasing substrate concentration in a certain range, but both of them would be inhibited at high substrate concentrations. Maximum denitrification rate of 1.26 ± 0.01 kg NO(-)-N/m(3)d and maximum output voltage of 1016.75 ± 4.74 mV could be achieved when initial NO3(-)-N concentration was 1999.95 ± 2.86 mg/L. Based on Han-Levenspiel model, kinetics of substrate degradation and power generation in the AD-MFC were established. According to the kinetic model, the half-saturation coefficient and the critical inhibitory concentration for nitrate were more than 200 and 4300 mg/L, respectively. The results demonstrated that AD-MFC was capable of treating nitrate-containing wastewater and generating electricity simultaneously, and tolerant to high strength nitrate-containing wastewater.

  6. Effect of operating modes on simultaneous anaerobic sulfide and nitrate removal in microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jing; Zheng, Ping; Qaisar, Mahmood; Xing, Yajuan

    2014-05-01

    The effect of operating modes on the simultaneous sulfide and nitrate removal were studied in two-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The batch and continuous operating modes were compared and evaluated in terms of substrate removal and electricity generation. Upon gradual increase in the influent sulfide concentration from 60 to 1,020 S mg L(-1), and the hydraulic retention time decrease from 17.2 to 6 h, the MFC accomplished a good substrate removal efficiency whereby nitrogen and sulfate were the main end products. The removal efficiency of the MFC in the continuous mode was much higher than that in the batch mode, and its current densities in the continuous mode were more stable and higher than in the batch mode, which could be explained by the linear relationship between electrons released by the substrates and accepted on the electrodes. The electricity output in the continuous mode of the MFC was higher than that in the batch mode. MFC's operation in the continuous mode was a better strategy for the simultaneous treatment of sulfide and nitrate.

  7. Biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for bioelectricity production: A novel approach in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saravanakumar, Kandasamy, E-mail: saravana732@gmail.com [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai (China); MubarakAli, Davoodbasha [Microbial Genetic Engineering Laboratory, Division of Bioengineering, College of Life Science and Bioengineering, Incheon National University, Songdo 406772, Incheon (Korea, Republic of); Department of Microbiology, School of Lifesciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620024 (India); Kathiresan, Kandasamy [Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, Annamalai University, Parangipettai 608 502, Tamil Nadu (India); Thajuddin, Nooruddin [Department of Microbiology, School of Lifesciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620024 (India); Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Alharbi, Naiyf S. [Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Chen, Jie, E-mail: jiechen59@sjtu.edu.cn [School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China); Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai (China)

    2016-01-15

    Highlights: • Trichoderma sp., showed an abilities to synthesis of AgNPs and AuNPs with an excellent stability. • AuNPs significantly enhanced the bioelectricity production by MFC of anaerobic fermentation as catalyst. • Maximum bioelectricity production was optimized and obtained the voltage of 432.80 mA using RSM. - Abstract: The present work aimed to use the biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for bioelectricity production in microbial fuel cell (MFC) approach under anaerobic condition. Silver and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesized using Trichoderma sp. Particle size and cystallinity were measured by X-ray diffraction revealed the crystalline structure with average size of 36.17 nm. Electron microscopic studies showed spherical shaped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and cubical shaped AuNPs with size ranges from 50 to 150 nm. The concentration of biogenic metallic nanoparticles as catalyst for enhanced bioelectricity generations and estimated by response surface methodology (RSM) and found at the greatest of 342.80 mA under optimized conditions are time interval, temperature, nanoparticles used as 63 h, 28 ± 2.0 °C, 22.54 mg l{sup −1} (AgNPs) and 25.62 mg l{sup −1} (AuNPs) in a batch reactor. AuNPs acted as an excellent catalyst to enhance the bioelectricity production. This novel technique could be used for eco-friendly, economically feasible and facile electricity production.

  8. Integrating engineering design improvements with exoelectrogen enrichment process to increase power output from microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borole, Abhijeet P.; Hamilton, Choo Y.; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A.; Leak, David; Andras, Calin; Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer; Keller, Martin; Davison, Brian

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) hold promise as a green technology for bioenergy production. The challenge is to improve the engineering design while exploiting the ability of microbes to generate and transfer electrons directly to electrodes. A strategy using a combination of improved anode design and an enrichment process was formulated to improve power densities. The design was based on a flow-through anode with minimal dead volume and a high electrode surface area per unit volume. The strategy focused on promoting biofilm formation via a combination of forced flow through the anode, carbon limitation, and step-wise reduction of external resistance. The enrichment process resulted in development of exoelectrogenic biofilm communities dominated by Anaeromusa spp. This is the first report identifying organisms from the Veillonellaceae family in MFCs. The power density of the resulting MFC using a ferricyanide cathode reached 300 W m -3 net anode volume (3220 mW m -2), which is about a third of what is estimated to be necessary for commercial consideration. The operational stability of the MFC using high specific surface area electrodes was demonstrated by operating the MFC for a period of over four months.

  9. A hybrid microbial fuel cell membrane bioreactor with a conductive ultrafiltration membrane biocathode for wastewater treatment

    KAUST Repository

    Malaeb, Lilian

    2013-10-15

    A new hybrid, air-biocathode microbial fuel cell-membrane bioreactor (MFC-MBR) system was developed to achieve simultaneous wastewater treatment and ultrafiltration to produce water for direct reclamation. The combined advantages of this system were achieved by using an electrically conductive ultrafiltration membrane as both the cathode and the membrane for wastewater filtration. The MFC-MBR used an air-biocathode, and it was shown to have good performance relative to an otherwise identical cathode containing a platinum catalyst. With 0.1 mm prefiltered domestic wastewater as the feed, the maximum power density was 0.38 W/m2 (6.8 W/m3) with the biocathode, compared to 0.82 W/m2 (14.5 W/m3) using the platinum cathode. The permeate quality from the biocathode reactor was comparable to that of a conventional MBR, with removals of 97% of the soluble chemical oxygen demand, 97% NH3-N, and 91% of total bacteria (based on flow cytometry). The permeate turbidity was <0.1 nephelometric turbidity units. These results show that a biocathode MFC-MBR system can achieve high levels of wastewater treatment with a low energy input due to the lack of a need for wastewater aeration. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  10. [Mechanisms of bioelectricity generation in Enterobacter aerogenes-based microbial fuel cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jin-Tao; Zhou, Shun-Gui; Zhang, Li-Xia; Lu, Na; Deng, Li-Fang; Ni, Jin-Ren

    2009-04-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) using hydrogen-producing bacteria (HPB) could utilize a large number of substrates to generate power. However, the coulombic efficiency is limited by the fact that only suspended cells are used as biocatalyst in anodic medium. MFCs using Fe (III)-reducing bacteria have high energy recovery efficiency, but can only utilize some simple organic matters. In this study, Enterobacter aerogenes XM02, a hydrogen-producing strain with Fe(III)-reducing activity, was selected as biocatalyst for MFCs, which could produce electricity by digesting lots of carbohydrates even starch. Graphite felt, a material with high specific surface area and hydrogen catalysis, instead of carbon paper supported platinum, was used as anode material. The coulombic efficiency had been substantially improved from 1.68% to 42.49%, higher than other HPB-based MFCs previously reported. The SEM image proved the ability of XM02 strain to colonize on the anode surface. Power generation of MFCs could restore quickly when anodic medium was completely replaced with non-growth medium containing glucose. This suggested that the attached cells contributed to electricity production because planktonic cells had been removed during the medium replacement. This study proposed the mechanism of power generated from in situ oxidation of hydrogen produced by the XM02 strain biofilm.

  11. Coproduction of acetic acid and electricity by application of microbial fuel cell technology to vinegar fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanino, Takanori; Nara, Youhei; Tsujiguchi, Takuya; Ohshima, Takayuki

    2013-08-01

    The coproduction of a useful material and electricity via a novel application of microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology to oxidative fermentation was investigated. We focused on vinegar production, i.e., acetic acid fermentation, as an initial and model useful material that can be produced by oxidative fermentation in combination with MFC technology. The coproduction of acetic acid and electricity by applying MFC technology was successfully demonstrated by the simultaneous progress of acetic acid fermentation and electricity generation through a series of repeated batch fermentations. Although the production rate of acetic acid was very small, it increased with the number of repeated batch fermentations that were conducted. We obtained nearly identical (73.1%) or larger (89.9%) acetic acid yields than that typically achieved by aerated fermentation (75.8%). The open-cycle voltages measured before and after fermentation increased with the total fermentation time and reached a maximum value of 0.521 V prior to the third batch fermentation. The maximum current and power densities measured in this study (19.1 μA/cm² and 2.47 μW/cm², respectively) were obtained after the second batch fermentation.

  12. Raoultella electrica sp. nov., isolated from anodic biofilms of a glucose-fed microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Zen-ichiro; Chung, Kyung Mi; Itoh, Hiroaki; Hiraishi, Akira; Okabe, Satoshi

    2014-04-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, designated strain 1GB(T), was isolated from anodic biofilms of a glucose-fed microbial fuel cell. Strain 1GB(T) was facultatively anaerobic and chemo-organotrophic, having both a respiratory and a fermentative type of metabolism, and utilized a wide variety of sugars as carbon and energy sources. Cells grown aerobically contained Q-8 as the major quinone, but excreted Q-9 and a small amount of Q-10 when cultured with an electrode serving as the sole electron acceptor. The G+C content of the genomic DNA of 1GB(T) was 54.5 mol%. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis showed that strain 1GB(T) represented a distinct lineage within the genus Raoultella (98.5-99.4 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity and 94.0-96.5 % sequence similarity based on the three concatenated housekeeping genes gyrA, rpoB and parC. Strain 1GB(T) exhibited DNA-DNA hybridization relatedness of 7-43 % with type strains of all established species of the genus Raoultella. On the basis of these phenotypic, phylogenetic and genotypic data, the name Raoultella electrica sp. nov. is proposed for strain 1GB(T). The type strain is 1GB(T) ( = NBRC 109676(T) = KCTC 32430(T)).

  13. Horizontal arrangement of anodes of microbial fuel cells enhances remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yueyong; Wang, Xin; Li, Xiaojing; Cheng, Lijuan; Wan, Lili; Zhou, Qixing

    2015-02-01

    With the aim of in situ bioremediation of soil contaminated by hydrocarbons, anodes arranged with two different ways (horizontal or vertical) were compared in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Charge outputs as high as 833 and 762C were achieved in reactors with anodes horizontally arranged (HA) and vertically arranged (VA). Up to 12.5 % of the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) was removed in HA after 135 days, which was 50.6 % higher than that in VA (8.3 %) and 95.3 % higher than that in the disconnected control (6.4 %). Hydrocarbon fingerprint analysis showed that the degradation rates of both alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in HA were higher than those in VA. Lower mass transport resistance in the HA than that of the VA seems to result in more power and more TPH degradation. Soil pH was increased from 8.26 to 9.12 in HA and from 8.26 to 8.64 in VA, whereas the conductivity was decreased from 1.99 to 1.54 mS/cm in HA and from 1.99 to 1.46 mS/cm in VA accompanied with the removal of TPH. Considering both enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbon and generation of charge in HA, the MFC with anodes horizontally arranged is a promising configuration for future applications.

  14. Electricity Production and Characterization of High-Strength Industrial Wastewaters in Microbial Fuel Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetinkaya, Afsin Y; Ozdemir, Oguz Kaan; Demir, Ahmet; Ozkaya, Bestami

    2016-11-23

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert electrochemical energy into electrical energy immediately and have a big potential usage for the same time wastewater treatment and energy recovery via electro-active microorganisms. However, MFCs must be efficiently optimized due to its limitations such as high cost and low power production. Finding new materials to increase the cell performance and reduce cost for MFC anodes is mandatory. In the first step of this study, different inoculation sludges such as anaerobic gum industry wastewater, anaerobic brewery wastewater and anaerobic phosphate were tested, and MFC that was set up with anaerobic gum industry wastewater inoculation sludge exhibited the highest performance. In the second step of this study, various wastewaters such as chocolate industry, gum industry and slaughterhouse industry were investigated for anode bacteria sources. Several electrochemical techniques have been employed to elucidate how wastewaters affect the MFCs' performance. Among all the mentioned wastewaters, the best performance was achieved by the MFCs fed with slaughterhouse wastewater; this device produced a maximum power density of 267 mW·m(-2).

  15. A mediatorless microbial fuel cell using polypyrrole coated carbon nanotubes composite as anode material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zou, Yongjin; Xiang, Cuili; Yang, Lini [Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Sun, Li-Xian [Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); School of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha 410076 (China); Xu, Fen [Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian 116023 (China); Cao, Zhong [School of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha 410076 (China)

    2008-09-15

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) was constructed using polypyrrole (PPy) coated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) composite as an anode material and Escherichia coli as the biocatalyst. The composite PPy-CNTs were synthesized by the in situ chemical polymerization of pyrrole on the CNTs using ammonium persulfate as an oxidant. The electrocatalytic behaviors of the composite modified anode were investigated by means of cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and discharge experiments. The PPy-CNTs modified anode showed better electrochemical performance than that of plain carbon paper. The amount of the loading of the composite on the anode was also investigated. The power output of the MFC increased along with the increase of the composite loading. In the absence of exogenous electron mediators, the MFC with the composite modified anode contained 5 mg cm{sup -2} PPy-CNTs exhibited a maximum power density 228 mW m{sup -2}, which is much higher than those reported in the literature so far for E. coli using efficient electron mediators. These results show that the PPy-CNTs composite anode is promising for MFC application. (author)

  16. EVALUASI PENGGUNAAN METILEN BIRU SEBAGAI MEDIATOR ELEKTRON PADA MICROBIAL FUEL CELL DENGAN BIOKATALIS ACETOBACTER ACETI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dani Permana

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cell (MFC merupakan salah satu teknologi sel bahan bakar alternatif yang dapat diperbarui. MFC memanfaatkan proses oksidasi senyawa kimia oleh biokatalis untuk menghasilkan energi listrik daya rendah. Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah mengetahui kinerja MFC dengan dan tanpa mediator elektron metilen biru (MB menggunakan biokatalis Acetobacter aceti dan substrat glukosa agar diperoleh energi listrik. Metode yang dilakukan adalah peremajaan kultur A. aceti, persiapan inokulum, persiapan reaktor MFC, persiapan media MFC dengan substrat glukosa 2% dengan dan tanpa mediator MB, pencuplikan secara periodik, penentuan kurva pertumbuhan, arus, potensial, kerapatan daya, energi, kadar glukosa dan tingkat keasaman (pH. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa MFC dengan mediator menghasilkan kuat arus sebesar 0,040 mA, potensial 878 mV, kerapatan daya 0,395 mW/cm2, energi maksimum 3,685 kJ, pemanfaatan glukosa 93,02% dan pH akhir 3,33, sedangkan MFC tanpa mediator menghasilkan kuat arus 0,035 mA, potensial 773 mV, kerapatan daya 0,290 mW/cm2, energi maksimum 2,434 kJ, pemanfaatan glukosa 90,16% dan pH akhir 3,24. Perolehan kerapatan daya pada kedua jenis MFC masih tergolong kecil dan tidak berbeda secara signifikan. Berdasarkan hasil penelitian dapat disimpulkan bahwa penggunaan mediator MB hanya berpengaruh terhadap perolehan potensial pada MFC dengan kondisi perlakuan yang diterapkan dalam penelitian ini.

  17. Using sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) for bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherafatmand, Mohammad; Ng, How Yong

    2015-11-01

    In this study, a sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was explored to bioremediate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water originated from soil. The results showed consistent power generations of 6.02±0.34 and 3.63±0.37 mW/m(2) under an external resistance of 1500 Ω by the aerobic and anaerobic SMFC, respectively. Although the power generations were low, they had relatively low internal resistances (i.e., 436.6±69.4 and 522.1±1.8 Ω for the aerobic and anaerobic SMFC, respectively) in comparison with the literature. Nevertheless, the significant benefit of this system was its bioremediation capabilities, achieving 41.7%, 31.4% and 36.2% removal of naphthalene, acenaphthene and phenanthrene, respectively, in the aerobic environment and 76.9%, 52.5% and 36.8%, respectively, in the anaerobic environment. These results demonstrated the ability of SMFCs in stimulating microorganisms for bioremediation of complex and recalcitrant PAHs.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Luo, Yong

    2011-11-01

    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. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  19. Electro-osmotic-based catholyte production by Microbial Fuel Cells for carbon capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajda, Iwona; Greenman, John; Melhuish, Chris; Santoro, Carlo; Li, Baikun; Cristiani, Pierangela; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2015-12-01

    In Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), the recovery of water can be achieved with the help of both active (electro-osmosis), and passive (osmosis) transport pathways of electrolyte through the semi-permeable selective separator. The electrical current-dependent transport, results in cations and electro-osmotically dragged water molecules reaching the cathode. The present study reports on the production of catholyte on the surface of the cathode, which was achieved as a direct result of electricity generation using MFCs fed with wastewater, and employing Pt-free carbon based cathode electrodes. The highest pH levels (>13) of produced liquid were achieved by the MFCs with the activated carbon cathodes producing the highest power (309 μW). Caustic catholyte formation is presented in the context of beneficial cathode flooding and transport mechanisms, in an attempt to understand the effects of active and passive diffusion. Active transport was dominant under closed circuit conditions and showed a linear correlation with power performance, whereas osmotic (passive) transport was governing the passive flux of liquid in open circuit conditions. Caustic catholyte was mineralised to a mixture of carbonate and bicarbonate salts (trona) thus demonstrating an active carbon capture mechanism as a result of the MFC energy-generating performance. Carbon capture would be valuable for establishing a carbon negative economy and environmental sustainability of the wastewater treatment process.

  20. Controlling methanogenesis and improving power production of microbial fuel cell by lauric acid dosing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajesh, P P; Noori, Md T; Ghangrekar, M M

    2014-01-01

    Methanogens compete with anodophiles for substrate and thus reduce the power generation and coulombic efficiency (CE) of the microbial fuel cell (MFC). Performance of a baked clayware membrane MFC inoculated with mixed anaerobic sludge pretreated with lauric acid was investigated in order to enhance power recovery by controlling methanogenesis. In the presence of lauric acid pretreated inoculum, MFC produced maximum volumetric power density of 4.8 W/m(3) and the CE increased from 3.6% (for untreated inoculum) to 11.6%. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electro-kinetic evaluation indicated a higher bio-catalytic activity at the anode of the MFC inoculated with lauric acid pretreated sludge. With the lauric acid pretreated inoculum a higher catalytic current of 114 mA, exchange current density of 40.78 mA/m(2) and lower charge transfer resistance of 0.00016 Ωm(2) were observed during oxidation at the anode. Addition of lauric acid significantly achieved suppression of methanogenesis and enhanced the sustainable power generation of MFC by 3.9 times as compared with control MFC inoculated with sludge without any pretreatment.

  1. Enhancing factors of electricity generation in a microbial fuel cell using Geobacter sulfurreducens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mi-Sun; Cha, Jaehwan; Kim, Dong-Hoon

    2012-10-01

    In this study, we investigated various cultural and operational factors to enhance electricity generation in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) using Geobacter sulfurreducens. The pure culture of G. sulfurreducens was cultivated using various substrates including acetate, malate, succinate, and butyrate, with fumarate as an electron acceptor. Cell growth was observed only in acetate-fed medium, when the cell concentrations increased 4-fold for 3 days. A high acetate concentration suppressed electricity generation. As the acetate concentration was increased from 5 to 20 mM, the power density dropped from 16 to 13 mW/m2, whereas the coulombic efficiency (CE) declined by about half. The immobilization of G. sulfurreducens on the anode considerably reduced the enrichment period from 15 to 7 days. Using argon gas to create an anaerobic condition in the anode chamber led to increased pH, and electricity generation subsequently dropped. When the plain carbon paper cathode was replaced by Pt-coated carbon paper (0.5 mg Pt/cm2), the CE increased greatly from 39% to 83%.

  2. Bioelectrochemical desalination and electricity generation in microbial desalination cell with dewatered sludge as fuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Fanyu; Jiang, Junqiu; Zhao, Qingliang; Wang, Kun; Zhang, Guodong; Fan, Qingxin; Wei, Liangliang; Ding, Jing; Zheng, Zhen

    2014-04-01

    Microbial desalination cells (MDCs) with common liquid anodic substrate exhibit a slow startup and destructive pH drop, and abiotic cathodes have high cost and low sustainability. A biocathode MDC with dewatered sludge as fuel was developed for synergistic desalination, electricity generation and sludge stabilization. Experimental results indicated that the startup period was reduced to 3d, anodic pH was maintained between 6.6 and 7.6, and high stability was shown under long-term operation (300d). When initial NaCl concentrations were 5 and 10g/L, the desalinization rates during stable operation were 46.37±1.14% and 40.74±0.89%, respectively. The maximum power output of 3.178W/m(3) with open circuit voltage (OCV) of 1.118V was produced on 130d. After 300d, 25.71±0.15% of organic matter was removed. These results demonstrated that dewatered sludge was an appropriate anodic substrate to enhance MDC stability for desalination and electricity generation.

  3. Electricity generation from cattle manure slurry by cassette-electrode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Kengo; Ito, Toshihiro; Kawano, Yoshihiro; Iguchi, Atsushi; Miyahara, Morio; Suzuki, Yoshihiro; Watanabe, Kazuya

    2013-11-01

    Cassette-electrode microbial fuel cells (CE-MFCs) are efficient and scalable devices for electricity production from organic waste. Previous studies have demonstrated that CE-MFCs are capable of generating electricity from artificial wastewater at relatively high efficiencies. In this study, a single-cassette CE-MFC was constructed, and its capacity for electricity generation from cattle manure suspended in water (solid to water ratio of 1:50) was examined. The CE-MFC reactor was operated in batch mode for 49 days; electricity generation became stable 2 weeks after initiating the operation. The maximum power density was measured at 16.3 W m⁻³ on day 26. Sequencing analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments obtained from the original manure and from anode biofilms suggested that Chloroflexi and Geobacteraceae were abundant in the anode biofilm (29% and 18%, respectively), whereas no Geobacteraceae sequences were detected in the original manure sample. The results of this study suggest that CE-MFCs can be used to generate electricity from water-suspended cattle manure in a scalable MFC system.

  4. Electricity generation and wastewater treatment of oil refinery in microbial fuel cells using Pseudomonas putida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Dip; Maity, Jyoti Prakash; Tseng, Min-Jen; Nimje, Vanita Roshan; Chen, Hau-Ren; Chen, Chien-Cheng; Chang, Young-Fo; Yang, Tsui-Chu; Chen, Chen-Yen

    2014-09-22

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a novel platform for treating wastewater and at the same time generating electricity. Using Pseudomonas putida (BCRC 1059), a wild-type bacterium, we demonstrated that the refinery wastewater could be treated and also generate electric current in an air-cathode chamber over four-batch cycles for 63 cumulative days. Our study indicated that the oil refinery wastewater containing 2213 mg/L (ppm) chemical oxygen demand (COD) could be used as a substrate for electricity generation in the reactor of the MFC. A maximum voltage of 355 mV was obtained with the highest power density of 0.005 mW/cm² in the third cycle with a maximum current density of 0.015 mA/cm² in regard to the external resistor of 1000 Ω. A maximum coulombic efficiency of 6 × 10⁻²% was obtained in the fourth cycle. The removal efficiency of the COD reached 30% as a function of time. Electron transfer mechanism was studied using cyclic voltammetry, which indicated the presence of a soluble electron shuttle in the reactor. Our study demonstrated that oil refinery wastewater could be used as a substrate for electricity generation.

  5. [Electricity generation and contaminants degradation performances of a microbial fuel cell fed with Dioscorea zingiberensis wastewater].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Zhu, Xiu-Ping; Xu, Nan; Ni, Jin-Ren

    2011-01-01

    The electricity generation performance of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) utilizing Dioscorea zingiberensis wastewater was studied with an H-shape reactor. Indexes including pH, conductivity, oxidation peak potential and chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the anolyte were monitored to investigate the contaminants degradation performance of the MFC during the electricity generation process, besides, contaminant ingredients in anodic influent and effluent were analyzed by GC-MS and IR spectra as well. The maximum power density of the MFC could achieve 118.1 mW/m2 and the internal resistance was about 480 omega. Connected with a 1 000 omega external resistance, the output potential was about 0.4 V. Fed with 5 mL Dioscorea zingiberensis wastewater, the electricity generation lasted about 133 h and the coulombic efficiency was about 3.93%. At the end of electricity generation cycle, COD decreased by 90.1% while NH4(+) -N decreased by 66.8%. Furfural compounds, phenols and some other complicated organics could be decomposed and utilized in the electricity generation process, and the residual contaminants in effluent included some long-chain fatty acids, esters, ethers, and esters with benzene ring, cycloalkanes, cycloolefins, etc. The results indicate that MFC, which can degrade and utilize the organic contaminants in Dioscorea zingiberensis wastewater simultaneously, provides a new approach for resource recovery treatment of Dioscorea zingiberensis wastewater.

  6. Effect of static magnetic field on electricity production and wastewater treatment in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Qinqin; Zhou, Shaoqi

    2014-12-01

    The effect of a magnetic field (MF) on electricity production and wastewater treatment in two-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been investigated. Electricity production capacity could be improved by the application of a low-intensity static MF. When a MF of 50 mT was applied to MFCs, the maximum voltage, total phosphorus (TP) removal efficiency, and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency increased from 523 ± 2 to 553 ± 2 mV, ∼93 to ∼96 %, and ∼80 to >90 %, respectively, while the start-up time and coulombic efficiency decreased from 16 to 10 days and ∼50 to ∼43 %, respectively. The MF effects were immediate, reversible, and not long lasting, and negative effects on electricity generation and COD removal seemed to occur after the MF was removed. The start-up and voltage output were less affected by the MF direction. Nitrogen compounds in magnetic MFCs were nitrified more thoroughly; furthermore, a higher proportion of electrochemically inactive microorganisms were found in magnetic systems. TP was effectively removed by the co-effects of microbe absorption and chemical precipitation. Chemical precipitates were analyzed by a scanning electron microscope capable of energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) to be a mixture of phosphate, carbonate, and hydroxyl compounds.

  7. Effect of Graphene-Graphene Oxide Modified Anode on the Performance of Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Yang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The inferior hydrophilicity of graphene is an adverse factor to the performance of the graphene modified anodes (G anodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs. In this paper, different amounts of hydrophilic graphene oxide (GO were doped into the modification layers to elevate the hydrophilicity of the G anodes so as to further improve their performance. Increasing the GO doped ratio from 0.15 mg·mg−1 to 0.2 mg·mg−1 and 0.25 mg·mg−1, the static water contact angle (θc of the G-GO anodes decreased from 74.2 ± 0.52° to 64.6 ± 2.75° and 41.7 ± 3.69°, respectively. The G-GO0.2 anode with GO doped ratio of 0.2 mg·mg−1 exhibited the optimal performance and the maximum power density (Pmax of the corresponding MFC was 1100.18 mW·m−2, 1.51 times higher than that of the MFC with the G anode.

  8. Analysis of carbon fiber brush loading in anodes on startup and performance of microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Hutchinson, Adam J.

    2011-11-01

    Flat carbon anodes placed near a cathode in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) are adversely affected by oxygen crossover, but graphite fiber brush anodes placed near the cathode produce high power densities. The impact of the brush size and electrode spacing was examined by varying the distance of the brush end from the cathode and solution conductivity in multiple MFCs. The startup time was increased from 8 ± 1 days with full brushes (all buffer concentrations) to 13 days (50 mM), 14 days (25 mM) and 21 days (8 mM) when 75% of the brush anode was removed. When MFCs were all first acclimated with a full brush, up to 65% of the brush material could be removed without appreciably altering maximum power. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) showed that the main source of internal resistance (IR) was diffusion resistance, which together with solution resistance reached 100 Ω. The IR using EIS compared well with that obtained using the polarization data slope method, indicating no major components of IR were missed. These results show that using full brush anodes avoids adverse effects of oxygen crossover during startup, although brushes are much larger than needed to sustain high power. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  9. Variation of power generation at different buffer types and conductivities in single chamber microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Joo-Youn; Kim, Hyun-Woo; Lim, Kyeong-Ho; Shin, Hang-Sik; Logan, Bruce E

    2010-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are operated with solutions containing various chemical species required for the growth of electrochemically active microorganisms including nutrients and vitamins, substrates, and chemical buffers. Many different buffers are used in laboratory media, but the effects of these buffers and their inherent electrolyte conductivities have not been examined relative to current generation in MFCs. We investigated the effect of several common buffers (phosphate, MES, HEPES, and PIPES) on power production in single chambered MFCs compared to a non-buffered control. At the same concentrations the buffers produced different solution conductivities which resulted in different ohmic resistances and power densities. Increasing the solution conductivities to the same values using NaCl produced comparable power densities for all buffers. Very large increases in conductivity resulted in a rapid voltage drop at high current densities. Our results suggest that solution conductivity at a specific pH for each buffer is more important in MFC studies than the buffer itself given relatively constant pH conditions. Based on our analysis of internal resistance and a set neutral pH, phosphate and PIPES are the most useful buffers of those examined here because pH was maintained close to the pK(a) of the buffer, maximizing the ability of the buffer to contribute to increase current generation at high power densities.

  10. A novel self-powered and sensitive label-free DNA biosensor in microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asghary, Maryam; Raoof, Jahan Bakhsh; Rahimnejad, Mostafa; Ojani, Reza

    2016-08-15

    In this work, a novel self-powered, sensitive, low-cost, and label-free DNA biosensor is reported by applying a two-chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC) as a power supply. A graphite electrode and an Au nanoparticles modified graphite electrode (AuNP/graphite electrode) were used as anode and cathode in the MFC system, respectively. The active biocatalyst in the anodic chamber was a mixed culture of microorganisms. The sensing element of the biosensor was fabricated by the well-known Au-thiol binding the ssDNA probe on the surface of an AuNP/graphite cathode. Electrons produced by microorganisms were transported from the anode to the cathode through an external circuit, which could be detected by the terminal multi-meter detector. The difference between power densities of the ssDNA probe modified cathode in the absence and presence of complementary sequence served as the detection signal of the DNA hybridization with detection limit of 3.1nM. Thereafter, this biosensor was employed for diagnosis and determination of complementary sequence in a human serum sample. The hybridization specificity studies further revealed that the developed DNA biosensor could distinguish fully complementary sequences from one-base mismatched and non-complementary sequences.

  11. A novel biosensor for p-nitrophenol based on an aerobic anode microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhengjun; Niu, Yongyan; Zhao, Shuai; Khan, Aman; Ling, Zhenmin; Chen, Yong; Liu, Pu; Li, Xiangkai

    2016-11-15

    P-nitrophenol is one of the most common contaminants in chemical industrial wastewater, and in situ real-time monitoring of PNP cannot be achieved by conventional analytical techniques. Here, a two-chamber microbial fuel cell with an aerobic anode chamber was tested as a biosensor for in situ real-time monitoring of PNP. Pseudomonas monteilii LZU-3, which was used as the biological recognition element, can form a biofilm on the anode electrode using PNP as a sole substrate. The optimal operation parameters of the biosensor were as follows: external resistance 1000Ω, pH 7.8, temperature 30°C, and maximum PNP concentration 50mgL(-1). Under these conditions, the maximum voltages showed a linear relationship with PNP concentrations ranging from 15±5 to 44±4.5mgL(-1). Furthermore, we developed a novel portable device for in situ real-time monitoring of PNP. When the device was applied to measure PNP in wastewater containing various additional aromatic compounds and metal ions, the performance of the biosensor was not affected and the correlation between the maximum voltages and the PNP concentrations ranging from 9±4mgL(-1) to 36 ± 5mgL(-1) was conserved. The results demonstrated that the MFC biosensor provides a rapid and cost-efficient analytical method for real-time monitoring of toxic and recalcitrant pollutants in environmental samples.

  12. Understanding the application niche of microbial fuel cells in a cheese wastewater treatment process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Patrick T; He, Zhen

    2014-04-01

    Identifying proper application of microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology and understanding how MFCs can be effectively integrated into the existing wastewater treatment process is critical to further development of this technology. In this study, four identical MFCs were used to treat the wastes sampled from different stages of a cheese wastewater treatment process, and both treatment performance and energy balance were examined. The two MFCs treating liquid wastes achieved more than 80% removal of total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), while the other two MFCs fed with sludge or cheese whey removed about 60% of TCOD. The MFC-2 treating the dissolved air flotation effluent generated the highest Coulombic efficiency of 27.2±3.6% and the highest power density of 3.2±0.3Wm(-3), and consumed the least amount of energy of 0.11kWhm(-3), indicating that MFCs may be more suitable for treating low-strength wastewater in terms of both treatment and energy performance.

  13. Floating microbial fuel cells as energy harvesters for signal transmission from natural water bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schievano, Andrea; Colombo, Alessandra; Grattieri, Matteo; Trasatti, Stefano P.; Liberale, Alessandro; Tremolada, Paolo; Pino, Claudio; Cristiani, Pierangela

    2017-02-01

    A new type of floating microbial fuel cell (fMFC) was developed for power supply of remote environmental sensors and data transmission. Ten operating fMFCs generated a cell potential in the range 100-800 mV depending on the external resistance applied. Power production peaked around 3-3.5 mW (power density of 22-28 mW m-2 cathode) after about 20-30 days of start-up period. The average of daily electrical energy harvested ranged between 10 and 35 mWh/d. Long-term performances were ensured in the presence of dense rice plants (Oryza Sativa). A power management system, based on a step-up DC/DC converter and a low-power data transmission system via SIGFOX™ technology, have been set up for the fMFCs. The tested fMFCs systems allowed to: i) harvest produced energy, ii) supply electronic devices (intermittent LED-light and a buzzer); iii) transmit remote data at low speed (three message of 12 bites each, in 6 s). Several 'floating garden' MFCs were set in the context of demonstrative events at EXPO2015 world exposition held in Milan between May-October 2015. Some of the 'floating garden' MFCs were operating for more than one year.

  14. Comparison of oxygen and hypochlorite as cathodic electron acceptor in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadhav, D A; Ghadge, A N; Mondal, Debika; Ghangrekar, M M

    2014-02-01

    Effect of oxygen and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) as cathodic electron acceptors on performance of a clayware microbial fuel cell (MFC) was evaluated in this study. Maximum power density of 6.57 W/m(3) was obtained with NaOCl as catholyte, which is about 9 times higher than oxygen being used as an electron acceptor. Voltammetry and Tafel analysis further supported the faster reduction kinetics lead to increase in power output and reduction in internal resistance of MFC operated with NaOCl as an electron acceptor. Using NaOCl as catholyte, higher exchange current density of 10.91 and 11.52 mA/m(2) and lower charge transfer resistance of 0.58 and 0.56 kΩ m(2) was observed for anode and cathode, respectively. Higher organic matter removal of about 90% with 25% Coulombic efficiency was achieved using NaOCl as catholyte. Higher internal resistance, lower cathode potential and slow reduction kinetics deteriorated performance of MFC using oxygen as cathodic electron acceptor.

  15. Active energy harvesting from microbial fuel cells at the maximum power point without using resistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Heming; Park, Jae-Do; Ren, Zhiyong

    2012-05-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology offers a sustainable approach to harvest electricity from biodegradable materials. Energy production from MFCs has been demonstrated using external resistors or charge pumps, but such methods can only dissipate energy through heat or receive electrons passively from the MFC without any controllability. This study developed a new approach and system that can actively extract energy from MFC reactors at any operating point without using any resistors, especially at the peak power point to maximize energy production. Results show that power harvesting from a recirculating-flow MFC can be well maintained by the maximum power point circuit (MPPC) at its peak power point, while a charge pump was not able to change operating point due to current limitation. Within 18-h test, the energy gained from the MPPC was 76.8 J, 76 times higher than the charge pump (1.0 J) that was commonly used in MFC studies. Both conditions resulted in similar organic removal, but the Coulombic efficiency obtained from the MPPC was 21 times higher than that of the charge pump. Different numbers of capacitors could be used in the MPPC for various energy storage requirements and power supply, and the energy conversion efficiency of the MPPC was further characterized to identify key factors for system improvement. This active energy harvesting approach provides a new perspective for energy harvesting that can maximize MFC energy generation and system controllability.

  16. A mini-microbial fuel cell for voltage testing of exoelectrogenic bacteria

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaoxin CAO; Xia HUANG; Xiaoyuan ZHANG; Peng LIANG; Mingzbi FAN

    2009-01-01

    Current methods for testing the electricity generation capacity of isolates are time- and labor-consuming. This paper presents a rapid voltage testing system of exoelectrogenic bacteria called Quickscreen,which is based on a microliter microbial fuel cell(MFC).Geobacter sulfurreducens and Shewanella baltica were used as the model exoelectrogenic bacteria; Escherichia coli that cannot generate electricity was used as a negative control. It was found that the electricity generation capacity of the isolates could be determined within about five hours by using Quickscreen, and that its time was relatively rapid compared with the time needed by using larger MFCs. A parallel, stable, and low background voltage was achieved using titanium as a current collector in the blank run. The external resistance had little impact on the blank run during the initial period. The cathode with a five-hole configuration, used to hydrate the carbon cathode, gave higher cathode potential than that with a one-hole configuration. Steady discharge and current interrupt methods showed that the anode mostly con-tributed to the large internal resistance of the Quickscreen system. However, the addition of graphite felt decreased the resistance from 18 to 5 kΩ. This device was proved to be useful to rapidly evaluate the electricity generation capacity of different bacteria.

  17. Effects of hydraulic pressure on the performance of single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Shaoan; Liu, Weifeng; Guo, Jian; Sun, Dan; Pan, Bin; Ye, Yaoli; Ding, Weijun; Huang, Haobin; Li, Fujian

    2014-06-15

    Scaling up of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) without losing power density requires a thorough understanding of the effect of hydraulic pressure on MFC performance. In this work, the performance of an activated carbon air-cathode MFC was evaluated under different hydraulic pressures. The MFC under 100 mmH2O hydraulic pressure produced a maximum power density of 1260 ± 24 mW m(-2), while the power density decreased by 24.4% and 44.7% as the hydraulic pressure increased to 500 mmH2O and 2000 mmH2O, respectively. Notably, the performance of both the anode and the cathode had decreased under high hydraulic pressures. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests of the cathode indicated that both charge transfer resistance and diffusion transfer resistance increased with the increase in hydraulic pressure. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of PCR-amplified partial 16S rRNA genes demonstrated that the similarity among anodic biofilm communities under different hydraulic pressures was ≥ 90%, and the communities of all MFCs were dominated by Geobacter sp. These results suggested that the reduction in power output of the single chamber air-cathode MFC under high hydraulic pressures can be attributed to water flooding of the cathode and suppression the metabolism of anodic exoelectrogenic bacteria.

  18. A single-chamber microbial fuel cell without an air cathode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimje, Vanita Roshan; Chen, Chien-Cheng; Chen, Hau-Ren; Chen, Chien-Yen; Tseng, Min-Jen; Cheng, Kai-Chien; Shih, Ruey-Chyuan; Chang, Young-Fo

    2012-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a novel technology for wastewater treatment with electricity production. Electricity generation with simultaneous nitrate reduction in a single-chamber MFC without air cathode was studied, using glucose (1 mM) as the carbon source and nitrate (1 mM) as the final electron acceptor employed by Bacillus subtilis under anaerobic conditions. Increasing current as a function of decreased nitrate concentration and an increase in biomass were observed with a maximum current of 0.4 mA obtained at an external resistance (R(ext)) of 1 KΩ without a platinum catalyst of air cathode. A decreased current with complete nitrate reduction, with further recovery of the current immediately after nitrate addition, indicated the dependence of B. subtilis on nitrate as an electron acceptor to efficiently produce electricity. A power density of 0.0019 mW/cm(2) was achieved at an R(ext) of 220 Ω. Cyclic voltammograms (CV) showed direct electron transfer with the involvement of mediators in the MFC. The low coulombic efficiency (CE) of 11% was mainly attributed to glucose fermentation. These results demonstrated that electricity generation is possible from wastewater containing nitrate, and this represents an alternative technology for the cost-effective and environmentally benign treatment of wastewater.

  19. A Single-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell without an Air Cathode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruey-Chyuan Shih

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs represent a novel technology for wastewater treatment with electricity production. Electricity generation with simultaneous nitrate reduction in a single-chamber MFC without air cathode was studied, using glucose (1 mM as the carbon source and nitrate (1 mM as the final electron acceptor employed by Bacillus subtilis under anaerobic conditions. Increasing current as a function of decreased nitrate concentration and an increase in biomass were observed with a maximum current of 0.4 mA obtained at an external resistance (Rext of 1 KΩ without a platinum catalyst of air cathode. A decreased current with complete nitrate reduction, with further recovery of the current immediately after nitrate addition, indicated the dependence of B. subtilis on nitrate as an electron acceptor to efficiently produce electricity. A power density of 0.0019 mW/cm2 was achieved at an Rext of 220 Ω. Cyclic voltammograms (CV showed direct electron transfer with the involvement of mediators in the MFC. The low coulombic efficiency (CE of 11% was mainly attributed to glucose fermentation. These results demonstrated that electricity generation is possible from wastewater containing nitrate, and this represents an alternative technology for the cost-effective and environmentally benign treatment of wastewater.

  20. Power generation using an activated carbon fiber felt cathode in an upflow microbial fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    Deng, Qian

    2010-02-01

    An activated carbon fiber felt (ACFF) cathode lacking metal catalysts is used in an upflow microbial fuel cell (UMFC). The maximum power density with the ACFF cathode is 315 mW m-2, compared to lower values with cathodes made of plain carbon paper (67 mW m-2), carbon felt (77 mW m-2), or platinum-coated carbon paper (124 mW m-2, 0.2 mg-Pt cm-2). The addition of platinum to the ACFF cathode (0.2 mg-Pt cm-2) increases the maximum power density to 391 mW m-2. Power production is further increased to 784 mW m-2 by increasing the cathode surface area and shaping it into a tubular form. With ACFF cutting into granules, the maximum power is 481 mW m-2 (0.5 cm granules), and 667 mW m-2 (1.0 cm granules). These results show that ACFF cathodes lacking metal catalysts can be used to substantially increase power production in UMFC compared to traditional materials lacking a precious metal catalyst. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  1. Mutual facilitations of food waste treatment, microbial fuel cell bioelectricity generation and Chlorella vulgaris lipid production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Qingjie; Pei, Haiyan; Hu, Wenrong; Jiang, Liqun; Yu, Ze

    2016-03-01

    Food waste contains large amount of organic matter that may be troublesome for handing, storage and transportation. A microbial fuel cell (MFC) was successfully constructed with different inoculum densities of Chlorella vulgaris for promoting food waste treatment. Maximum COD removal efficiency was registered with 44% and 25 g CODL(-1)d(-1) of substrate degradation rate when inoculated with the optimal initial density (150 mg L(-1)) of C. vulgaris, which were 2.9 times and 3.1 times higher than that of the abiotic cathode. With the optimum inoculum density of C. vulgaris, the highest open circuit voltage, working voltage and power density of MFC were 260 mV, 170 mV and 19151 mW m(-3), respectively. Besides the high biodiesel quality, promoted by MFC stimulation the biomass productivity and highest total lipid content of C. vulgaris were 207 mg L(-1)d(-1) and 31%, which were roughly 2.7 times and 1.2 times higher than the control group.

  2. Improved performance of air-cathode microbial fuel cell through additional Tween 80

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wen, Qing [State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China); College of Material Science and Chemical Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001 (China); Kong, Fanying; Ren, Yueming; Pan, Zhongcheng [College of Material Science and Chemical Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001 (China); Ma, Fang [State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090 (China)

    2011-02-01

    The ability of electron transfer from microbe cell to anode electrode plays a key role in microbial fuel cell (MFC). This study explores a new approach to improve the MFC performance and electron transfer rate through addition of Tween 80. Results demonstrate that, for an air-cathode MFC operating on 1 g L{sup -1} glucose, when the addition of Tween 80 increases from 0 to 80 mg L{sup -1}, the maximum power density increases from 21.5 to 187 W m{sup -3} (0.6-5.2 W m{sup -2}), the corresponding current density increases from 1.8 to 17 A m{sup -2}, and the resistance of MFC decreases from 27.0 to 5.7 {omega}. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis suggests that the improvement of overall performance of the MFC can be attributed to the addition of Tween 80. The high power density achieved here may be due to the increase of permeability of cell membranes by addition of Tween 80, which reduces the electron transfer resistance through the cell membrane and increases the electron transfer rate and number, consequently enhances the current and power output. A promising way of utilizing surfactant to improve energy generation of MFC is demonstrated. (author)

  3. Improved performance of air-cathode microbial fuel cell through additional Tween 80

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Qing; Kong, Fanying; Ma, Fang; Ren, Yueming; Pan, Zhongcheng

    The ability of electron transfer from microbe cell to anode electrode plays a key role in microbial fuel cell (MFC). This study explores a new approach to improve the MFC performance and electron transfer rate through addition of Tween 80. Results demonstrate that, for an air-cathode MFC operating on 1 g L -1 glucose, when the addition of Tween 80 increases from 0 to 80 mg L -1, the maximum power density increases from 21.5 to 187 W m -3 (0.6-5.2 W m -2), the corresponding current density increases from 1.8 to 17 A m -2, and the resistance of MFC decreases from 27.0 to 5.7 Ω. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis suggests that the improvement of overall performance of the MFC can be attributed to the addition of Tween 80. The high power density achieved here may be due to the increase of permeability of cell membranes by addition of Tween 80, which reduces the electron transfer resistance through the cell membrane and increases the electron transfer rate and number, consequently enhances the current and power output. A promising way of utilizing surfactant to improve energy generation of MFC is demonstrated.

  4. Biomass production from electricity using ammonia as an electron carrier in a reverse microbial fuel cell.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendell O Khunjar

    Full Text Available The storage of renewable electrical energy within chemical bonds of biofuels and other chemicals is a route to decreasing petroleum usage. A critical challenge is the efficient transfer of electrons into a biological host that can covert this energy into high energy organic compounds. In this paper, we describe an approach whereby biomass is grown using energy obtained from a soluble mediator that is regenerated electrochemically. The net result is a separate-stage reverse microbial fuel cell (rMFC that fixes CO₂ into biomass using electrical energy. We selected ammonia as a low cost, abundant, safe, and soluble redox mediator that facilitated energy transfer to biomass. Nitrosomonas europaea, a chemolithoautotroph, was used as the biocatalyst due to its inherent capability to utilize ammonia as its sole energy source for growth. An electrochemical reactor was designed for the regeneration of ammonia from nitrite, and current efficiencies of 100% were achieved. Calculations indicated that overall bioproduction efficiency could approach 2.7±0.2% under optimal electrolysis conditions. The application of chemolithoautotrophy for industrial bioproduction has been largely unexplored, and results suggest that this and related rMFC platforms may enable biofuel and related biochemical production.

  5. Hexavalent chromium reduction and energy recovery by using dual-chambered microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangadharan, Praveena; Nambi, Indumathi M

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is utilized to treat hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from wastewater and to generate electricity simultaneously. The Cr(VI) is bioelectrochemically reduced to non-toxic Cr(III) form in the presence of an organic electron donor in a dual-chambered MFC. The Cr(VI) as catholyte and artificial wastewater inoculated with anaerobic sludge as anolyte, Cr(VI) at 100 mg/L was completely removed within 48 h (initial pH value 2.0). The total amount of Cr recovered was 99.87% by the precipitation of Cr(III) on the surface of the cathode. In addition to that 78.4% of total organic carbon reduction was achieved at the anode chamber within 13 days of operation. Furthermore, the maximum power density of 767.01 mW/m² (2.08 mA/m²) was achieved by MFCs at ambient conditions. The present work has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using MFCs for simultaneous energy production from wastewater and reduction of toxic Cr(VI) to non-toxic Cr(III).

  6. Enhancement of hexavalent chromium reduction and electricity production from a biocathode microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liping; Chen, Jingwen; Quan, Xie; Yang, Fenglin

    2010-10-01

    Enhancement of Cr (VI) reduction rate and power production from biocathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was achieved using indigenous bacteria from Cr (VI)-contaminated site as inoculum and MFC architecture with a relatively large cathode-specific surface area of 340-900 m2 m(-3). A specific Cr (VI) reduction rate of 2.4 ± 0.2 mg g(-1)VSS h(-1) and a power production of 2.4 ± 0.1 W m(-3) at a current density of 6.9 A m(-3) were simultaneously achieved at an initial Cr (VI) concentration of 39.2 mg L(-1). Initial Cr (VI) concentration and solution conductivity affected Cr (VI) reduction rate, power production and coulombic efficiency. These findings demonstrate the importance of inoculation and MFC architecture in the enhancement of Cr (VI) reduction rate and power production. This study is a beneficial attempt to improve the efficiency of biocathode MFCs and provide a good candidate of bioremediation process for Cr (VI)-contaminated sites.

  7. Analysis and improvement of a scaled-up and stacked microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekker, Arjan; Ter Heijne, Annemiek; Saakes, Michel; Hamelers, Hubertus V M; Buisman, Cees J N

    2009-12-01

    Scaling up microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is inevitable when power outputs have to be obtained that can power electrical devices other than small sensors. This research has used a bipolar plate MFC stack of four cells with a total working volume of 20 L and a total membrane surface area of 2 m(2). The cathode limited MFC performance due to oxygen reduction rate and cell reversal. Furthermore, residence time distribution curves showed that bending membranes resulted in flow paths through which the catholyte could flow from inlet to outlet, while leaving the reactants unconverted. The cathode was improved by decreasing the pH, purging pure oxygen, and increasing the flow rate, which resulted in a 13-fold power density increase to 144 W m(-3) and a volumetric resistivity of only 1.2 mOmega m(3) per cell. Both results are major achievements compared to results currently published for laboratory and scaled-up MFCs. When designing a scaled-up MFC, it is important to ensure optimal contact between electrodes and substrate and to minimize the distances between electrodes.

  8. Improving startup performance with carbon mesh anodes in separator electrode assembly microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Fang

    2013-04-01

    In a separator electrode assembly microbial fuel cell, oxygen crossover from the cathode inhibits current generation by exoelectrogenic bacteria, resulting in poor reactor startup and performance. To determine the best approach for improving startup performance, the effect of acclimation to a low set potential (-0.2V, versus standard hydrogen electrode) was compared to startup at a higher potential (+0.2V) or no set potential, and inoculation with wastewater or pre-acclimated cultures. Anodes acclimated to -0.2V produced the highest power of 1330±60mWm-2 for these different anode conditions, but unacclimated wastewater inocula produced inconsistent results despite the use of this set potential. By inoculating reactors with transferred cell suspensions, however, startup time was reduced and high power was consistently produced. These results show that pre-acclimation at -0.2V consistently improves power production compared to use of a more positive potential or the lack of a set potential. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. A Viable Electrode Material for Use in Microbial Fuel Cells for Tropical Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Offei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrode materials are critical for microbial fuel cells (MFC since they influence the construction and operational costs. This study introduces a simple and efficient electrode material in the form of palm kernel shell activated carbon (AC obtained in tropical regions. The novel introduction of this material is also targeted at introducing an inexpensive and durable electrode material, which can be produced in rural communities to improve the viability of MFCs. The maximum voltage and power density obtained (under 1000 Ω load using an H-shaped MFC with AC as both anode and cathode electrode material was 0.66 V and 1.74 W/m3, respectively. The power generated by AC was as high as 86% of the value obtained with the extensively used carbon paper. Scanning electron microscopy and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE analysis of AC anode biofilms confirmed that electrogenic bacteria were present on the electrode surface for substrate oxidation and the formation of nanowires.

  10. Cr(VI) reduction at rutile-catalyzed cathode in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Yan; Lu, Anhuai; Ding, Hongrui; Yan, Yunhua; Wang, Changqiu; Zen, Cuiping; Wang, Xin [The Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Jin, Song [MWH Americas, 3665 JFK Parkway, Suite 206, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (United States); Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071 (United States)

    2009-07-15

    Cathodic reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) and simultaneous power generation were successfully achieved in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) containing a novel rutile-coated cathode. The selected rutile was previously characterized to be sensitive to visible light and capable of both non-photo- and photocatalysis. In the MFCs containing rutile-coated cathode, Cr(VI) was rapidly reduced in the cathode chamber in presence and absence of light irradiation; and the rate of Cr(VI) reduction under light irradiation was substantially higher than that in the dark. Under light irradiation, 97% of Cr(VI) (initial concentration 26 mg/L) was reduced within 26 h, which was 1.6 x faster than that in the dark controls in which only background non-photocatalysis occurred. The maximal potential generated under light irradiation was 0.80 vs. 0.55 V in the dark controls. These results indicate that photocatalysis at the rutile-coated cathode in the MFCs might have lowered the cathodic overpotential, and enhanced electron transfer from the cathode to Cr(VI) for its reduction. In addition, photoexcited electrons generated during the cathode photocatalysis might also have contributed to the higher Cr(VI) reduction rates when under light irradiation. This work assessed natural rutile as a novel cathodic catalyst for MFCs in power generation; particularly it extended the practical merits of conventional MFCs to cathodic reduction of environmental contaminants such as Cr(VI). (author)

  11. Parameters characterization and optimization of activated carbon (AC) cathodes for microbial fuel cell application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Carlo; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Babanova, Sofia; Atanassov, Plamen; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Grattieri, Matteo; Cristiani, Pierangela; Trasatti, Stefano; Li, Baikun; Schuler, Andrew J

    2014-07-01

    Activated carbon (AC) is employed as a cost-effective catalyst for cathodic oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells (MFC). The fabrication protocols of AC-based cathodes are conducted at different applied pressures (175-3500 psi) and treatment temperatures (25-343°C). The effects of those parameters along with changes in the surface morphology and chemistry on the cathode performances are comprehensively examined. The cathodes are tested in a three-electrode setup and explored in single chamber membraneless MFCs (SCMFCs). The results show that the best performance of the AC-based cathode is achieved when a pressure of 1400 psi is applied followed by heat treatment of 150-200°C for 1h. The influence of the applied pressure and the temperature of the heat treatment on the electrodes and SCMFCs is demonstrated as the result of the variation in the transfer resistance, the surface morphology and surface chemistry of the AC-based cathodes tested.

  12. [Electricity generation by the microbial fuel cells using carbon nanotube as the anode].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Peng; Fan, Ming-zhi; Cao, Xiao-xin; Huang, Xia; Peng, Yin-ming; Wang, Shuo; Gong, Qian-ming; Liang, Ji

    2008-08-01

    The characteristic of anode plays an important role in the performance of the microbial fuel cell (MFC). Thus, carbon nanotube (CN), flexible graphite (FG) and activated carbon (AC) were used as anode material in this study, and the performances of three MFCs (CN-MFC, FG-MFC and AC-MFC) were studied. The results show that CN is a kind of suitable material to be used as anode in the MFC. The maximal power densities of CN-MFC, FG-MFC and AC-MFC are 402,354 and 274 mW/m2, respectively. The CN-MFC shows a higher power density and coulombic efficiency compared with FG-MFC and AC-MFC. The CN-anode can reduce the internal resistance obviously. The internal resistances of CN-MFC, AC-MFC and FG-MFC are 263, 301 and 381 omega, respectively. The protein contents on the CN-anode, AC-anode and FG-anode are 149, 132 and 92 microg/cm2 after stable operation, and there is a positive relation between the protein content and internal resistance. The conductivity of the three types of MFCs from high to low was FG-MFC, CN-MFC and AC-MFC, which was accordant with the ohmic resistance. The stable times of CN-MFC, FG-MFC and AC-MFC, which were needed to measure the internal resistances, were 1800, 1200 and 300 s respectively.

  13. Oxygen-Reducing Biocathodes Operating with Passive Oxygen Transfer in Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Xia, Xue

    2013-02-19

    Oxygen-reducing biocathodes previously developed for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have required energy-intensive aeration of the catholyte. To avoid the need for aeration, the ability of biocathodes to function with passive oxygen transfer was examined here using air cathode MFCs. Two-chamber, air cathode MFCs with biocathodes produced a maximum power density of 554 ± 0 mW/m 2, which was comparable to that obtained with a Pt cathode (576 ± 16 mW/m2), and 38 times higher than that produced without a catalyst (14 ± 3 mW/m2). The maximum current density with biocathodes in this air-cathode MFC was 1.0 A/m2, compared to 0.49 A/m2 originally produced in a two-chamber MFC with an aqueous cathode (with cathode chamber aeration). Single-chamber, air-cathode MFCs with the same biocathodes initially produced higher voltages than those with Pt cathodes, but after several cycles the catalytic activity of the biocathodes was lost. This change in cathode performance resulted from direct exposure of the cathodes to solutions containing high concentrations of organic matter in the single-chamber configuration. Biocathode performance was not impaired in two-chamber designs where the cathode was kept separated from the anode solution. These results demonstrate that direct-air biocathodes can work very well, but only under conditions that minimize heterotrophic growth of microorganisms on the cathodes. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  14. Production of electricity from the treatment of urban waste water using a microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigo, M. A.; Cañizares, P.; Lobato, J.; Paz, R.; Sáez, C.; Linares, J. J.

    In this work, is studied the oxidation of the pollutants contained in an actual urban wastewater using a two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). By using an anaerobic pre-treatment of the activated sludge of an urban wastewater treatment plant, the electricity generation in a MFC was obtained after a short acclimatization period of less than 10 days. The power density generated was found to depend mainly on the organic matter contain (COD) but not on the wastewater flow-rate. Maximum power densities of 25 mW m -2 (at a cell potential of 0.23 V) were obtained. The rate of consumption of oxygen in the cathodic chamber was very low. As the oxygen reduction is coupled with the COD oxidation in the anodic chamber, the COD removed by the electricity-generating process is very small. Thus, taking into account the oxygen consumption, it was concluded that only 0.25% of the removed COD was used for the electricity-generation processes. The remaining COD should be removed by anaerobic processes. The presence of oxygen in the anodic chamber leads to a deterioration of the MFC performance. This deterioration of the MFC process occurs rapidly after the appearance of non-negligible concentrations of oxygen. Hence, to assure a good performance of this type of MFC, the growth of algae should be avoided.

  15. Production of electricity from the treatment of urban waste water using a microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodrigo, M.A.; Canizares, P.; Lobato, J.; Paz, R.; Saez, C.; Linares, J.J. [Chemical Engineering Department. University of Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, 13004, Ciudad Real (Spain)

    2007-06-10

    In this work, is studied the oxidation of the pollutants contained in an actual urban wastewater using a two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). By using an anaerobic pre-treatment of the activated sludge of an urban wastewater treatment plant, the electricity generation in a MFC was obtained after a short acclimatization period of less than 10 days. The power density generated was found to depend mainly on the organic matter contain (COD) but not on the wastewater flow-rate. Maximum power densities of 25 mW m{sup -2} (at a cell potential of 0.23 V) were obtained. The rate of consumption of oxygen in the cathodic chamber was very low. As the oxygen reduction is coupled with the COD oxidation in the anodic chamber, the COD removed by the electricity-generating process is very small. Thus, taking into account the oxygen consumption, it was concluded that only 0.25% of the removed COD was used for the electricity-generation processes. The remaining COD should be removed by anaerobic processes. The presence of oxygen in the anodic chamber leads to a deterioration of the MFC performance. This deterioration of the MFC process occurs rapidly after the appearance of non-negligible concentrations of oxygen. Hence, to assure a good performance of this type of MFC, the growth of algae should be avoided. (author)

  16. Microbial fuel cell with an algae-assisted cathode: A preliminary assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    González del Campo, Araceli; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Fernández, Francisco J.; Lobato, Justo

    2013-11-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) with an algae-assisted cathode, i.e., a system where the oxygen required by the cathode is not provided by aeration but by the photosynthetic process of the algae (Chlorella vulgaris), has been studied. The cathode was illuminated for 12 h each day (from 8:00 h to 20:00 h). 25 days was necessary to achieve steady state conditions. The time evolution of dissolved oxygen and cell voltage were assessed over the course of each day. As expected, the dissolved oxygen values were not constant throughout the day, reaching maximum values between 14:00 h and 20:00 h when dark phase reactions began and the algae started to consume oxygen. Cell voltage (Rext 120 Ω) followed the same trend as the oxygen profile. The supply of CO2 in the cathode was also studied, and half an hour was enough time to get the system working properly. During the acclimation stage, power density increased up to 13.5 mW m-2 at steady state conditions. However, impedance analysis showed that polarization resistance was higher at the cathode than at the anode. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the studied system is a feasible method to treat wastewater in a self-sustainable way.

  17. Long-term arsenic monitoring with an Enterobacter cloacae microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Michelle; Minteer, Shelley D

    2015-12-01

    A microbial fuel cell was constructed with biofilms of Enterobacter cloacae grown on the anode. Bioelectrocatalysis was observed when the biofilm was grown in media containing sucrose as the carbon source and methylene blue as the mediator. The presence of arsenic caused a decrease in bioelectrocatalytic current. Biofilm growth in the presence of arsenic resulted in lower power outputs whereas addition of arsenic showed no immediate result in power output due to the short term arsenic resistance of the bacteria and slow transport of arsenic across cellular membranes to metabolic enzymes. Calibration curves plotted from the maximum current and maximum power of power curves after growth show that this system is able to quantify both arsenate and arsenate with low detection limits (46 μM for arsenate and 4.4 μM for arsenite). This system could be implemented as a method for long-term monitoring of arsenic concentration in environments where arsenic contamination could occur and alter the metabolism of the organisms resulting in a decrease in power output of the self-powered sensor.

  18. Acid Water Neutralization Using Microbial Fuel Cells: An Alternative for Acid Mine Drainage Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Leiva

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Acid mine drainage (AMD is a complex environmental problem, which has adverse effects on surface and ground waters due to low pH, high toxic metals, and dissolved salts. New bioremediation approach based on microbial fuel cells (MFC can be a novel and sustainable alternative for AMD treatment. We studied the potential of MFC for acidic synthetic water treatment through pH neutralization in batch-mode and continuous-flow operation. We observed a marked pH increase, from ~3.7 to ~7.9 under batch conditions and to ~5.8 under continuous-flow operation. Likewise, batch reactors (non-MFC inoculated with different MFC-enriched biofilms showed a very similar pH increase, suggesting that the neutralization observed for batch operation was due to a synergistic influence of these communities. These preliminary results support the idea of using MFC technologies for AMD remediation, which could help to reduce costs associated with conventional technologies. Advances in this configuration could even be extrapolated to the recovery of heavy metals by precipitation or adsorption processes due to the acid neutralization.

  19. Manganese dioxide as a new cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiang; Hu, Boxun; Suib, Steven; Lei, Yu; Li, Baikun

    This study focused on manganese oxides with a cryptomelane-type octahedral molecular sieve (OMS-2) structure to replace platinum as a cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Undoped (ud-OSM-2) and three catalysts doped with cobalt (Co-OMS-2), copper (Cu-OMS-2), and cerium (Ce-OMS-2) to enhance their catalytic performances were investigated. The novel OMS-2 cathodes were examined in granular activated carbon MFC (GACMFC) with sodium acetate as the anode reagent and oxygen in air as the cathode reagent. The results showed that after 400 h of operation, the Co-OMS-2 and Cu-OMS-2 exhibited good catalytic performance in an oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The voltage of the Co-OMS-2 GACMFC was 217 mV, and the power density was 180 mW m -2. The voltage of the Cu-OMS-2 GACMFC was 214 mV and the power density was 165 mW m -2. The internal resistance (R in) of the OMS-2 GACMFCs (18 ± 1 Ω) was similar to that of the platinum GACMFCs (17 Ω). Furthermore, the degradation rates of organic substrates in the OMS-2 GACMFCs were twice those in the platinum GACMFCs, which enhance their wastewater treatment efficiencies. This study indicated that using OMS-2 manganese oxides to replace platinum as a cathodic catalyst enhances power generation, increases contaminant removal, and substantially reduces the cost of MFCs.

  20. Use of novel permeable membrane and air cathodes in acetate microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pant, Deepak, E-mail: deepak.pant@vito.b [Separation and Conversion Technology, VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Boeretang 200, Mol 2400 (Belgium); Van Bogaert, Gilbert; De Smet, Mark; Diels, Ludo; Vanbroekhoven, Karolien [Separation and Conversion Technology, VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Boeretang 200, Mol 2400 (Belgium)

    2010-11-01

    In the existing microbial fuel cells (MFCs), the use of platinized electrodes and Nafion as proton exchange membrane (PEM) leads to high costs leading to a burden for wastewater treatment. In the present study, two different novel electrode materials are reported which can replace conventional platinized electrodes and can be used as very efficient oxygen reducing cathodes. Further, a novel membrane which can be used as an ion permeable membrane (Zirfon) can replace Nafion as the membrane of choice in MFCs. The above mentioned gas porous electrodes were first tested in an electrochemical half cell configuration for their ability to reduce oxygen and later in a full MFC set up. It was observed that these non-platinized air electrodes perform very well in the presence of acetate under MFC conditions (pH 7, room temperature) for oxygen reduction. Current densities of -0.43 mA cm{sup -2} for a non-platinized graphite electrode and -0.6 mA cm{sup -2} for a non-platinized activated charcoal electrode at -200 mV vs. Ag/AgCl of applied potential were obtained. The proposed ion permeable membrane, Zirfonwas tested for its oxygen mass transfer coefficient, K{sub 0} which was compared with Nafion. The K{sub 0} for Zirfon was calculated as 1.9 x 10{sup -3} cm s{sup -1}.

  1. Comparing terracotta and earthenware for multiple functionalities in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winfield, Jonathan; Greenman, John; Huson, David; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2013-12-01

    The properties of earthenware and terracotta were investigated in terms of structural integrity and ion conductivity, in two microbial fuel cell (MFC) designs. Parameters such as wall thickness (4, 8, 18 mm), porosity and cathode hydration were analysed. During the early stages of operation (2 weeks), the more porous earthenware lost anolyte quickly and was unstable between feeding compared to terracotta. Three weeks later MFCs of all thicknesses were more stable and could sustain longer periods of power production without maintenance. In all cases, the denser terracotta produced higher open circuit voltage; however, earthenware the more porous and less iron-rich of the two, proved to be the better material for power production, to the extent that the thickest wall (18 mm) MFC produced 15 % higher power than the thinnest wall (4 mm) terracotta. After 6 weeks of operation, the influence of wall thickness was less exaggerated and power output was comparable between the 4 and 8 mm ceramic membranes. Cylindrical earthenware MFCs produced significantly higher current (75 %) and power (33 %) than terracotta MFCs. A continuous dripping mode of cathode hydration produced threefold higher power than when MFCs were submerged in water, perhaps because of a short-circuiting effect through the material. This shows a significant improvement in terms of biosystems engineering, since a previously high-maintenance half-cell, is now shown to be virtually self-sufficient.

  2. Evaluation Of Electricity Generation From Animal Based Wastes In A Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duduyemi Oladejo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Electric current from organic waste of poultry droppings were generated with A Microbial Fuel Cell MFC technology to evaluate affects of temperature 30 to 50oC 100gl 300gl and 500gl slurry concentrations prepared with the distilled water and inoculated when introduced into the anodic chamber. A constant concentration of 50gl of the oxidizing agent Potassium ferricyanide at the cathode chamber was prepared to evaluate the voltage and current generated by the set up for 7 days in each case. Higher slurry concentrations were observed to generate higher initial current and voltage than in lower concentrations. Higher slurry concentrations also demonstrated sustained power generation up to the day 6 before decline. A maximum current of 1.1V and 0.15 mA was achieved while the temperature variation was observed to have minimal effect within the range considered at low concentration. A MFC is a biochemical-catalyzed system capable of generating electricity as a by-product also providing an alternative method of waste treatment. Application Alternative power source and waste treatment.

  3. Bioelectricity from kitchen and bamboo waste in a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moqsud, M Azizul; Omine, Kiyoshi; Yasufuku, Noriyuki; Bushra, Quazi S; Hyodo, Masayuki; Nakata, Yukio

    2014-02-01

    This study evaluated bioelectricity generation by using kitchen garbage (KG) and bamboo waste (BW) as a solid waste management option by a microbial fuel cell (MFC) method. The nutrient content [nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK)] of the by-products of bioelectricity were also analyzed and assessed for their potential use as a soil amendment. A one-chamber MFC was used for bioelectricity generation in laboratory experiments using both KG and BW. A data-logger recorded voltage every 20 mins at a constant room temperature of 25°C over 45 days. The trend of voltage generation was different for the two organic wastes. In the case of KG, the voltage at the initial stage (0-5 days) increased rapidly and then gradually to a peak of 620 mV. In contrast, the voltage increased gradually to a peak of 540 mV in the case of BW. The by-products of bioelectricity can be used as soil conditioner as its NPK content was in the range of soil conditioner mentioned in other literature. Thus, the MFC has emerged as an efficient and eco-friendly solution for organic waste management, especially in developing and technologically less sophisticated countries, and can provide green and safe electricity from organic waste.

  4. Occurrence and implications of voltage reversal in stacked microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Junyeong; Lee, Hyung-Sool

    2014-06-01

    Voltage reversal in stacked microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is a significant challenge that must be addressed, and the information on its definite cause and occurrence process is still obscure. In this work, we first demonstrated that different anodic reaction rates caused voltage reversal in a stacked MFC. Sluggish reaction rates on the anode in unit 1 of the stacked MFC resulted in a significantly increased anode overpotential of up to 0.132 V, as compared to negligible anode overpotential (0.0247 V) in unit 2. This work clearly verified the process of voltage reversal in the stacked MFC. As the current was gradually increased in the stacked MFC, the voltage in the stacked unit 1 decreased to 0 V prior to that of the stacked unit 2. Then, when the voltage in unit 1 became 0 V, it was converted from a galvanic cell to an electrochemical cell powered by unit 2. We found that the stacked unit 2 provided electrical energy for the stacked unit 1 as a power supply. Finally, the anode potential of the stacked unit 1 significantly increased over cathode potential as current increased further, which caused voltage reversal in unit 1. Voltage reversal occurs in stacked MFCs as a result of non-spontaneous anode overpotential in a unit MFC that has sluggish anode kinetics compared to the other unit MFCs.

  5. Controlling the occurrence of power overshoot by adapting microbial fuel cells to high anode potentials

    KAUST Repository

    Zhu, Xiuping

    2013-04-01

    Power density curves for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) often show power overshoot, resulting in inaccurate estimation of MFC performance at high current densities. The reasons for power overshoot are not well understood, but biofilm acclimation and development are known factors. In order to better explore the reasons for power overshoot, exoelectrogenic biofilms were developed at four different anode potentials (-0.46 V, -0.24 V, 0 V, and 0.50 V vs. Ag/AgCl), and then the properties of the biofilms were examined using polarization tests and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The maximum power density of the MFCs was 1200±100 mW/m2. Power overshoot was observed in MFCs incubated at -0.46 V, but not those acclimated atmore positive potentials, indicating that bacterial activitywas significantly influenced by the anode acclimation potential. CV results further indicated that power overshoot of MFCs incubated at the lowest anode potential was associatedwith a decreasing electroactivity of the anodic biofilm in the high potential region,which resulted from a lack of sufficient electron transfer components to shuttle electrons at rates needed for these more positive potentials. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  6. Analysis of polarization methods for elimination of power overshoot in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Watson, Valerie J.

    2011-01-01

    Polarization curves from microbial fuel cells (MFCs) often show an unexpectedly large drop in voltage with increased current densities, leading to a phenomenon in the power density curve referred to as "power overshoot". Linear sweep voltammetry (LSV, 1 mV s- 1) and variable external resistances (at fixed intervals of 20 min) over a single fed-batch cycle in an MFC both resulted in power overshoot in power density curves due to anode potentials. Increasing the anode enrichment time from 30 days to 100 days did not eliminate overshoot, suggesting that insufficient enrichment of the anode biofilm was not the primary cause. Running the reactor at a fixed resistance for a full fed-batch cycle (~ 1 to 2 days), however, completely eliminated the overshoot in the power density curve. These results show that long times at a fixed resistance are needed to stabilize current generation by bacteria in MFCs, and that even relatively slow LSV scan rates and long times between switching circuit loads during a fed-batch cycle may produce inaccurate polarization and power density results for these biological systems. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Novel anti-flooding poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) catalyst binder for microbial fuel cell cathodes

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Fang

    2012-11-01

    Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was investigated as an alternative to Nafion as an air cathode catalyst binder in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Cathodes were constructed around either stainless steel (SS) mesh or copper mesh using PDMS as both catalyst binder and diffusion layer, and compared to cathodes of the same structure having a Nafion binder. With PDMS binder, copper mesh cathodes produced a maximum power of 1710 ± 1 mW m -2, while SS mesh had a slightly lower power of 1680 ± 12 mW m -2, with both values comparable to those obtained with Nafion binder. Cathodes with PDMS binder had stable power production of 1510 ± 22 mW m -2 (copper) and 1480 ± 56 mW m -2 (SS) over 15 days at cycle 15, compared to a 40% decrease in power with the Nafion binder. Cathodes with the PDMS binder had lower total cathode impedance than those with Nafion. This is due to a large decrease in diffusion resistance, because hydrophobic PDMS effectively prevented catalyst sites from filling up with water, improving oxygen mass transfer. The cost of PDMS is only 0.23% of that of Nafion. These results showed that PDMS is a very effective and low-cost alternative to Nafion binder that will be useful for large scale construction of these cathodes for MFC applications. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  8. Capturing power at higher voltages from arrays of microbial fuel cells without voltage reversal

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Younggy

    2011-01-01

    Voltages produced by microbial fuel cells (MFCs) cannot be sustainably increased by linking them in series due to voltage reversal, which substantially reduces stack voltages. It was shown here that MFC voltages can be increased with continuous power production using an electronic circuit containing two sets of multiple capacitors that were alternately charged and discharged (every one second). Capacitors were charged in parallel by the MFCs, but linked in series while discharging to the circuit load (resistor). The parallel charging of the capacitors avoided voltage reversal, while discharging the capacitors in series produced up to 2.5 V with four capacitors. There were negligible energy losses in the circuit compared to 20-40% losses typically obtained with MFCs using DC-DC converters to increase voltage. Coulombic efficiencies were 67% when power was generated via four capacitors, compared to only 38% when individual MFCs were operated with a fixed resistance of 250 Ω. The maximum power produced using the capacitors was not adversely affected by variable performance of the MFCs, showing that power generation can be maintained even if individual MFCs perform differently. Longer capacitor charging and discharging cycles of up to 4 min maintained the average power but increased peak power by up to 2.6 times. These results show that capacitors can be used to easily obtain higher voltages from MFCs, allowing for more useful capture of energy from arrays of MFCs. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  9. Low pH, high salinity: too much for Microbial Fuel Cells?

    CERN Document Server

    Jannelli, Nicole; Cigolotti, Viviana; Minutillo, Mariagiovanna; Falcucci, Giacomo

    2016-01-01

    Twelve single chambered, air-cathode Tubular Microbial Fuel Cells (TMFCs) have been filled up with fruit and vegetable residues. The anodes were realized by means of a carbon fiber brush, while the cathodes were realized through a graphite-based porous ceramic disk with Nafion membranes (117 Dupont). The performances in terms of polarization curves and power production were assessed according to different operating conditions: percentage of solid substrate water dilution, adoption of freshwater and a 35mg/L NaCl water solution and, finally, the effect of an initial potentiostatic growth. All TMFCs operated at low pH (pH$=3.0 \\pm 0.5$), as no pH amendment was carried out. Despite the harsh environmental conditions, our TMFCs showed a Power Density (PD) ranging from 20 to 55~mW/m$^2 \\cdot$kg$_{\\text{waste}}$ and a maximum CD of 20~mA/m$^2 \\cdot$kg$_{\\text{waste}}$, referred to the cathodic surface. COD removal after a $28-$day period was about $45 \\%$. The remarkably low pH values as well as the fouling of Nafi...

  10. Temperature and Humidity Sensor Powered by an Individual Microbial Fuel Cell in a Power Management System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Zheng

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs are of increasing interest as bioelectrochemical systems for decomposing organic materials and converting chemical energy into electricity. The main challenge for this technology is that the low power and voltage of the devices restricts the use of MFCs in practical applications. In this paper, a power management system (PMS is developed to store the energy and export an increased voltage. The designed PMS successfully increases the low voltage generated by an individual MFC to a high potential of 5 V, capable of driving a wireless temperature and humidity sensor based on nRF24L01 data transmission modules. With the PMS, MFCs can intermittently power the sensor for data transmission to a remote receiver. It is concluded that even an individual MFC can supply the energy required to power the sensor and telemetry system with the designed PMS. The presented PMS can be widely used for unmanned environmental monitoring such as wild rivers, lakes, and adjacent water areas, and offers promise for further advances in MFC technology.

  11. Variation of power generation at different buffer types and conductivities in single chamber microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Nam, Joo-Youn

    2010-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are operated with solutions containing various chemical species required for the growth of electrochemically active microorganisms including nutrients and vitamins, substrates, and chemical buffers. Many different buffers are used in laboratory media, but the effects of these buffers and their inherent electrolyte conductivities have not been examined relative to current generation in MFCs. We investigated the effect of several common buffers (phosphate, MES, HEPES, and PIPES) on power production in single chambered MFCs compared to a non-buffered control. At the same concentrations the buffers produced different solution conductivities which resulted in different ohmic resistances and power densities. Increasing the solution conductivities to the same values using NaCl produced comparable power densities for all buffers. Very large increases in conductivity resulted in a rapid voltage drop at high current densities. Our results suggest that solution conductivity at a specific pH for each buffer is more important in MFC studies than the buffer itself given relatively constant pH conditions. Based on our analysis of internal resistance and a set neutral pH, phosphate and PIPES are the most useful buffers of those examined here because pH was maintained close to the pKa of the buffer, maximizing the ability of the buffer to contribute to increase current generation at high power densities. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Electricity generation from fermented primary sludge using single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Fei

    2013-01-01

    Single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were used to generate electricity from fermented primary sludge. Fermentation (30°C, 9days) decreased total suspended solids (26.1-16.5g/L), volatile suspended solids (24.1-15.3g/L) and pH (5.7-4.5), and increased conductivity (2.4-4.7mS/cm), soluble COD (2.66-15.5g/L), and volatile fatty acids (1.9-10.1g/L). To lower the COD and increase pH, fermentation supernatant was diluted with primary effluent before being used in the MFCs. The maximum power density was 0.32±0.01W/m2, compared to 0.24±0.03W/m2 with only primary effluent. Power densities were higher with phosphate buffer added to the supernatant (1.03±0.06W/m2) or the solution (0.87±0.05W/m2). Coulombic efficiencies ranged from 18% to 57%, and sCOD removals from 84% to 94%. These results demonstrated that sludge can effectively be used for power generation when fermented and then diluted with only primary effluent. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Saline catholytes as alternatives to phosphate buffers in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Ahn, Yongtae

    2013-03-01

    Highly saline solutions were examined as alternatives to chemical buffers in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The performance of two-chamber MFCs with different concentrations of saline solutions in the cathode chamber was compared to those with a buffered catholyte (50mM PBS). The use of a NaCl catholyte improved the CE to 43-60% (28% with no membrane) due to a reduction in oxygen transfer into the anolyte. The saline catholyte also reduced the membrane and solution resistance to 23Ω (41Ω without a membrane). The maximum power density of 491mW/m2 (240mM NaCl) was only 17% less than the MFC with 50mM PBS. The decrease in power output with highest salinity was due to reduced proton transfer due to the ion exchange membrane, and pH changes in the two solutions. These results show that MFC performance can be improved by using a saline catholyte without pH control. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Enhanced bioelectricity harvesting in microbial fuel cells treating food waste leachate produced from biohydrogen fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeongdong; Ahn, Youngho

    2015-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) treating the food waste leachate produced from biohydrogen fermentation were examined to enhance power generation and energy recovery. In batch mode, the maximum voltage production was 0.56 V and the power density reached 1540 mW/m(2). The maximum Coulombic efficiency (CEmax) and energy efficiency (EE) in the batch mode were calculated to be 88.8% and 18.8%, respectively. When the organic loading rate in sequencing batch mode varied from 0.75 to 6.2 g COD/L-d (under CEmax), the maximum power density reached 769.2 mW/m(2) in OLR of 3.1 g COD/L-d, whereas higher energy recovery (CE=52.6%, 0.346 Wh/g CODrem) was achieved at 1.51 g COD/L-d. The results demonstrate that readily biodegradable substrates in biohydrogen fermentation can be effectively used for the enhanced bioelectricity harvesting of MFCs and a MFC coupled with biohydrogen fermentation is of great benefit on higher electricity generation and energy efficiency.

  15. Electricity and disinfectant production from wastewater: Microbial Fuel Cell as a self-powered electrolyser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajda, Iwona; Greenman, John; Melhuish, Chris; Ieropoulos, Ioannis A.

    2016-05-01

    This study presents a simple and sustainable Microbial Fuel Cell as a standalone, self-powered reactor for in situ wastewater electrolysis, recovering nitrogen from wastewater. A process is proposed whereby the MFC electrical performance drives the electrolysis of wastewater towards the self-generation of catholyte within the same reactor. The MFCs were designed to harvest the generated catholyte in the internal chamber, which showed that liquid production rates are largely proportional to electrical current generation. The catholyte demonstrated bactericidal properties, compared to the control (open-circuit) diffusate, and reduced observable biofilm formation on the cathode electrode. Killing effects were confirmed using bacterial kill curves constructed by exposing a bioluminescent Escherichia coli target, as a surrogate coliform, to catholyte where a rapid kill rate was observed. Therefore, MFCs could serve as a water recovery system, a disinfectant/cleaner generator that limits undesired biofilm formation and as a washing agent in waterless urinals to improve sanitation. This simple and ready to implement MFC system can convert organic waste directly into electricity and self-driven nitrogen along with water recovery. This could lead to the development of energy positive bioprocesses for sustainable wastewater treatment.

  16. Silver electrodeposition on the activated carbon air cathode for performance improvement in microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Liangtao; Li, Kexun; Chen, Zhihao; Zhang, Peng; Zhang, Xi; Fu, Zhou

    2014-12-01

    The present work was to study silver electrodeposition on the activated carbon (AC) air cathode for performance improvement in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The treated cathodes were proved to be effective to enhance the performance of MFCs. The maximum power density of MFC with silver electrodeposition time of 50 s (Ag-50) cathode was 1080 ± 60 mW m-2, 69% higher than the bare AC air cathode. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results showed that zero-valent, monovalent and divalent silver were present to transform mutually, which illustrated that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode took place through four-electron pathway. From electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis, the electrodeposition method made the total resistance of the electrodes largely reduced. Meanwhile the deposited silver had no toxic effects on anode culture but inhibited the biofilm growth of the cathodes. This kind of antimicrobial efficient cathode, prepared with a simple, fast and economical method, was of good benefit to the performance improvement of MFCs.

  17. A novel method to characterize bacterial communities affected by carbon source and electricity generation in microbial fuel cells using stable isotope probing and Illumina sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Xiao, Li; Jayamani, Indumathy; He, Zhen; Cupples, Alison M

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope probing and high throughput sequencing were used to characterize the microbial communities involved in carbon uptake in microbial fuel cells at two levels of electricity generation. With acetate, the dominant phylotypes involved in carbon uptake included Geobacter and Rhodocyclaceae. With glucose, both Enterobacteriaceae and Geobacter were dominant.

  18. Immobilization of a Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon Catalyst on Activated Carbon with Enhanced Cathode Performance in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wulin; Logan, Bruce E

    2016-08-23

    Applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are limited in part by low power densities mainly due to cathode performance. Successful immobilization of an Fe-N-C co-catalyst on activated carbon (Fe-N-C/AC) improved the oxygen reduction reaction to nearly a four-electron transfer, compared to a twoelectron transfer achieved using AC. With acetate as the fuel, the maximum power density was 4.7±0.2 W m(-2) , which is higher than any previous report for an air-cathode MFC. With domestic wastewater as a fuel, MFCs with the Fe-N-C/AC cathode produced up to 0.8±0.03 W m(-2) , which was twice that obtained with a Pt-catalyzed cathode. The use of this Fe-N-C/AC catalyst can therefore substantially increase power production, and enable broader applications of MFCs for renewable electricity generation using waste materials.

  19. Effect of biofilm formation on the performance of microbial fuel cell for the treatment of palm oil mill effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranitharan, E; Khan, Maksudur R; Prasad, D M R; Teo, Wee Fei Aaron; Tan, Geok Yuan Annie; Jose, Rajan

    2015-01-01

    Anode biofilm is a crucial component in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for electrogenesis. Better knowledge about the biofilm development process on electrode surface is believed to improve MFC performance. In this study, double-chamber microbial fuel cell was operated with diluted POME (initial COD = 1,000 mg L(-1)) and polyacrylonitrile carbon felt was used as electrode. The maximum power density, COD removal efficiency and Coulombic efficiency were found as 22 mW m(-2), 70 and 24 %, respectively. FTIR and TGA analysis confirmed the formation of biofilm on the electrode surface during MFC operation. The impact of anode biofilm on anodic polarization resistance was investigated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and microbial community changes during MFC operation using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The EIS-simulated results showed the reduction of charge transfer resistance (R ct) by 16.9 % after 14 days of operation of the cell, which confirms that the development of the microbial biofilm on the anode decreases the R ct and therefore improves power generation. DGGE analysis showed the variation in the biofilm composition during the biofilm growth until it forms an initial stable microbial community, thereafter the change in the diversity would be less. The power density showed was directly dependent on the biofilm development and increased significantly during the initial biofilm development period. Furthermore, DGGE patterns obtained from 7th and 14th day suggest the presence of less diversity and probable functional redundancy within the anodic communities possibly responsible for the stable MFC performance in changing environmental conditions.

  20. Galvanic Cells: Anodes, Cathodes, Signs and Charges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Electrochemistry is a difficult subject for students at school and beyond and even for their teachers. This article explores the difficult "truth" that, when a current flows from a galvanic cell, positive ions within the cell electrolyte move towards the electrode labelled positive. This seems to contravene the basic rule that like charges repel…