WorldWideScience

Sample records for biomass-powered microbial fuel

  1. Microbial fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are a promising technology for sustainable production of alternative energy and waste treatment. A microbial fuel cell transformation chemical energy in the chemical bonds in organic compounds to electrical energy through catalytic reactions of microorganisms under anaerobic conditions. It has been known for many years that it is possible to generate electricity directly by using bacteria to break down organic substrates. Key words: microbial fuel cells (MFC), biosensor, wastewater treatment

  2. Biomass-powered Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Experimental and Modeling Studies for System Integrations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, M.

    2013-01-01

    Biomass is a sustainable energy source which, through thermo-chemical processes of biomass gasification, is able to be converted from a solid biomass fuel into a gas mixture, known as syngas or biosyngas. A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is a power generation device that directly converts the chemical

  3. 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...

  4. Deposit Probe Measurements in Danish Grate and Pulverized Fuel Biomass Power Boilers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Stine Broholm; Jensen, Peter Arendt; Jappe Frandsen, Flemming;

    2012-01-01

    formation rates. Suspension fired boilers generate more fly ash, while grate boilers form a fly ash with a higher fraction of melt formation (and thereby a higher sticking probability) at similar temperatures. For suspension fired units it is observed that wood with a lower ash content than straw gives rise....... Corresponding samples of fuels, ash deposits and fly ash have provided information on the transformation of inorganics in the boiler. Generally, grate fired boilers provide a fly ash containing high contents of K, Cl and S compared to the fuel ash, while suspension fired boilers fly ash has a composition nearly...... similar to the fuel ash. Inner most biomass deposits are always salt-rich, while thicker deposit layers also contain some Si and Ca. Deposit probe formation rate measurements have been performed in different ways on several boilers. Grate and suspension fired boilers seems to cause similar deposit...

  5. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Electrolyzers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borole, Abhijeet P [ORNL

    2015-01-01

    Microbial Fuel Cells and microbial electrolyzers represent an upcoming technology for production of electricity and hydrogen using a hybrid electrocatalytic-biocatalytic approach. The combined catalytic efficiency of these processes has potential to make this technology highly efficient among the various renewable energy production alternatives. This field has attracted electrochemists, biologists and many other disciplines due to its potential to contribute to the energy, water and environment sectors. A brief introduction to the technology is provided followed by current research needs from a bioelectrochemical perspective. Insights into the operation and limitations of these systems achieved via cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy are discussed along with the power management needs to develop the application aspects. Besides energy production, other potential applications in bioenergy, bioelectronics, chemical production and remediation are also highlighted.

  6. Biomass Power Is Hobbling under Seducement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhao Ran; Ye Qing

    2007-01-01

    @@ Biomass power, just like other renewable power, is facing the difficulty of high price. Since last year, the state has issued a series of incentive policies which has stimulated the flourishing development of biomass power. In April 2007, the admeasurement of biomass power tariff surcharges was initiated, which once again lent allure to biomass power. People, however, may hardly reveal the underneath problems facing so many seducements.

  7. 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.

  8. Microbial fuel cell: A green technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) was developed which was able to generate bio energy continuously while consuming wastewater containing organic matters. Even though the bio energy generated is not as high as hydrogen fuel cell, the MFC demonstrated great potential in bio-treating wastewater while using it as fuel source. Thus far, the dual-ability of the MFC to generate bio energy and bio-treating organic wastewater has been examined successfully using synthetic acetate and POME wastewaters. (author)

  9. Lessons learned from existing biomass power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiltsee, G.

    2000-02-24

    This report includes summary information on 20 biomass power plants, which represent some of the leaders in the industry. In each category an effort is made to identify plants that illustrate particular points. The project experiences described capture some important lessons learned that lead in the direction of an improved biomass power industry.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Progress in Microbial Fuel Cells Energy Production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) harness the natural metabolisms of microbes to produce electrical power from almost any kind of organic matter. In addition to the low power densities (about 1mW for a 1-liter reactor), MFCs are presently built with expensive membrane and electrodes. The payback time of MFCs is therefore very long (evaluated to 25000 years for our lab prototype). Progresses in designing low-cost MFCs are necessary before conceiving large scale energy production. (author)

  13. Wireless sensors powered by microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shantaram, Avinash; Beyenal, Haluk; Raajan, Raaja; Veluchamy, Angathevar; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2005-07-01

    Monitoring parameters characterizing water quality, such as temperature, pH, and concentrations of heavy metals in natural waters, is often followed by transmitting the data to remote receivers using telemetry systems. Such systems are commonly powered by batteries, which can be inconvenient at times because batteries have a limited lifetime and must be recharged or replaced periodically to ensure that sufficient energy is available to power the electronics. To avoid these inconveniences, a microbial fuel cell was designed to power electrochemical sensors and small telemetry systems to transmit the data acquired by the sensors to remote receivers. The microbial fuel cell was combined with low-power, high-efficiency electronic circuitry providing a stable power source for wireless data transmission. To generate enough power for the telemetry system, energy produced by the microbial fuel cell was stored in a capacitor and used in short bursts when needed. Since commercial electronic circuits require a minimum 3.3 V input and our cell was able to deliver a maximum of 2.1 V, a DC-DC converter was used to boost the potential. The DC-DC converter powered a transmitter, which gathered the data from the sensor and transmitted it wirelessly to a remote receiver. To demonstrate the utility of the system, temporal variations in temperature were measured, and the data were wirelessly transmitted to a remote receiver. PMID:16053108

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Biomass power industry: Assessment of key players and approaches for DOE and industry interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report reviews the status of the US biomass power industry. The topics of the report include current fuels and the problems associated with procuring, transporting, preparing and burning them, competition from natural gas projects because of the current depressed natural gas prices, need for incentives for biomass fueled projects, economics, market potential and expansion of US firms overseas

  17. Biosensoric potential of microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, György; Kovács, Tamás; Rákhely, Gábor; Czeller, Miklós

    2016-08-01

    Recent progress in microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has highlighted the potential of these devices to be used as biosensors. The advantages of MFC-based biosensors are that they are phenotypic and can function in either assay- or flow-through formats. These features make them appropriate for contiguous on-line monitoring in laboratories and for in-field applications. The selectivity of an MFC biosensor depends on the applied microorganisms in the anodic compartment where electron transfer (ET) between the artificial surface (anode) and bacterium occurs. This process strongly determines the internal resistance of the sensoric system and thus influences signal outcome and response time. Despite their beneficial characteristics, the number of MFC-based biosensoric applications has been limited until now. The aim of this mini-review is to turn attention to the biosensoric potential of MFCs by summarizing ET mechanisms on which recently established and future sensoric devices are based. PMID:27401925

  18. 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.

  19. A thermophilic microbial fuel cell design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carver, Sarah M.; Vuoriranta, Pertti; Tuovinen, Olli H.

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are reactors able to generate electricity by capturing electrons from the anaerobic respiratory processes of microorganisms. While the majority of MFCs have been tested at ambient or mesophilic temperatures, thermophilic systems warrant evaluation because of the potential for increased microbial activity rates on the anode. MFC studies at elevated temperatures have been scattered, using designs that are already established, specifically air-cathode single chambers and two-chamber designs. This study was prompted by our previous attempts that showed an increased amount of evaporation in thermophilic MFCs, adding unnecessary technical difficulties and causing excessive maintenance. In this paper, we describe a thermophilic MFC design that prevents evaporation. The design was tested at 57 °C with an anaerobic, thermophilic consortium that respired with glucose to generate a power density of 375 mW m -2 after 590 h. Polarization and voltage data showed that the design works in the batch mode but the design allows for adoption to continuous operation.

  20. Electricity production by advanced biomass power systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solantausta, Y. [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland). Energy Production Technologies; Bridgwater, T. [Aston Univ. Birmingham (United Kingdom); Beckman, D. [Zeton Inc., Burlington, Ontario (Canada)

    1996-11-01

    This report gives the results of the Pyrolysis Collaborative Project organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) under Biomass Agreement. The participating countries or organizations were Canada, European Community (EC), Finland, United States of America, and the United Kingdom. The overall objective of the project was to establish baseline assessments for the performance and economics of power production from biomass. Information concerning the performance of biomass-fuelled power plants based on gasification is rather limited, and even less data is available of on pyrolysis based power applications. In order to gain further insight into the potential for these technologies, this study undertook the following tasks: (1) Prepare process models to evaluate the cost and performance of new advanced biomass power production concepts, (2) Assess the technical and economic uncertainties of different biomass power concepts, (3) Compare the concepts in small scale and in medium scale production (5 - 50 MW{sub e}) to conventional alternatives. Processes considered for this assessment were biomass power production technologies based on gasification and pyrolysis. Direct combustion technologies were employed as a reference for comparison to the processes assessed in this study. Wood was used a feedstock, since the most data was available for wood conversion

  1. 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.

  2. Microbial electro-catalysis in fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are devices that ensure the direct conversion of organic matter into electricity using bacterial bio-films as the catalysts of the electrochemical reactions. This study aims at improving the comprehension of the mechanisms involved in electron transfer pathways between the adhered bacteria and the electrodes. This optimization of the MFC power output could be done, for example, in exploring and characterizing various electrode materials. The electrolysis experiments carried out on Geobacter sulfurreducens deal with the microbial catalysis of the acetate oxidation, on the one hand, and the catalysis of the fumarate reduction on the other hand. On the anodic side, differences in current densities appeared on graphite, DSAR and stainless steel (8 A/m2, 5 A/m2 and 0.7 A/m2 respectively). These variations were explained more by materials roughness differences rather than their nature. Impedance spectroscopy study shows that the electro-active bio-film developed on stainless steel does not seem to modify the evolution of the stainless steel oxide layer, only the imposed potential remains determining. On the cathodic side, stainless steel sustained current densities more than twenty times higher than those obtained with graphite electrodes. The adhesion study of G. sulfurreducens on various materials in a flow cell, suggests that the bio-films resist to the hydrodynamic constraints and are not detached under a shear stress threshold value. The installation of two MFC prototypes, one in a sea station and the other directly in Genoa harbour (Italy) confirms some results obtained in laboratory and were promising for a MFC scale-up. (author)

  3. Microbial sampling of aluminum-clad spent nuclear fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A microbial sampling program was initiated at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) to ascertain the effect of microbial activity on the corrosion of aluminum clad spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stored in wet and dry conditions. In the newest fuel storage pool at the INEEL (CPP-666) pitting corrosion has been observed on aluminum corrosion coupons that can not be explained by the excellent water chemistry. Pitting corrosion of the aluminum-clad SNF and corrosion coupons has been observed in the older fuel storage pool (CPP-603). Therefore a microbial assessment of the bulk water, and basin surfaces of both fuel pools was conducted. The results of this microbial enumeration show that a viable and active microbial population does exist in planktonic form. Sampling of aluminum corrosion coupons placed next to stored fuel elements show that microbial attachment has occurred and a biofilm has formed. The sampling program was then extended to the surfaces of wet and dry stored fuel elements. Viable cells or spores were found on the surfaces of the ATR fuel elements that were stored under wet and dry conditions. This paper discusses the methodology of sampling the surfaces of SNF stored under wet conditions for the presence of microorganisms and the types of organisms found

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27459246

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27231132

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Michaelidou, Urania; Heijne, Annemiek ter; Euverink, Gerrit Jan W.; Hamelers, Hubertus V.M.; Stams, Alfons J.M.; Geelhoed, Jeanine 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

  11. INTEGRATED PYROLYSIS COMBINED CYCLE BIOMASS POWER SYSTEM CONCEPT DEFINITION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eric Sandvig; Gary Walling; Robert C. Brown; Ryan Pletka; Desmond Radlein; Warren Johnson

    2003-03-01

    Advanced power systems based on integrated gasification/combined cycles (IGCC) are often presented as a solution to the present shortcomings of biomass as fuel. Although IGCC has been technically demonstrated at full scale, it has not been adopted for commercial power generation. Part of the reason for this situation is the continuing low price for coal. However, another significant barrier to IGCC is the high level of integration of this technology: the gas output from the gasifier must be perfectly matched to the energy demand of the gas turbine cycle. We are developing an alternative to IGCC for biomass power: the integrated (fast) pyrolysis/ combined cycle (IPCC). In this system solid biomass is converted into liquid rather than gaseous fuel. This liquid fuel, called bio-oil, is a mixture of oxygenated organic compounds and water that serves as fuel for a gas turbine topping cycle. Waste heat from the gas turbine provides thermal energy to the steam turbine bottoming cycle. Advantages of the biomass-fueled IPCC system include: combined cycle efficiency exceeding 37 percent efficiency for a system as small as 7.6 MW{sub e}; absence of high pressure thermal reactors; decoupling of fuel processing and power generation; and opportunities for recovering value-added products from the bio-oil. This report provides a technical overview of the system including pyrolyzer design, fuel clean-up strategies, pyrolysate condenser design, opportunities for recovering pyrolysis byproducts, gas turbine cycle design, and Rankine steam cycle. The report also reviews the potential biomass fuel supply in Iowa, provide and economic analysis, and present a summery of benefits from the proposed system.

  12. INTEGRATED PYROLYSIS COMBINED CYCLE BIOMASS POWER SYSTEM CONCEPT DEFINITION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Advanced power systems based on integrated gasification/combined cycles (IGCC) are often presented as a solution to the present shortcomings of biomass as fuel. Although IGCC has been technically demonstrated at full scale, it has not been adopted for commercial power generation. Part of the reason for this situation is the continuing low price for coal. However, another significant barrier to IGCC is the high level of integration of this technology: the gas output from the gasifier must be perfectly matched to the energy demand of the gas turbine cycle. We are developing an alternative to IGCC for biomass power: the integrated (fast) pyrolysis/ combined cycle (IPCC). In this system solid biomass is converted into liquid rather than gaseous fuel. This liquid fuel, called bio-oil, is a mixture of oxygenated organic compounds and water that serves as fuel for a gas turbine topping cycle. Waste heat from the gas turbine provides thermal energy to the steam turbine bottoming cycle. Advantages of the biomass-fueled IPCC system include: combined cycle efficiency exceeding 37 percent efficiency for a system as small as 7.6 MWe; absence of high pressure thermal reactors; decoupling of fuel processing and power generation; and opportunities for recovering value-added products from the bio-oil. This report provides a technical overview of the system including pyrolyzer design, fuel clean-up strategies, pyrolysate condenser design, opportunities for recovering pyrolysis byproducts, gas turbine cycle design, and Rankine steam cycle. The report also reviews the potential biomass fuel supply in Iowa, provide and economic analysis, and present a summery of benefits from the proposed system

  13. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, September 23, 1996--December 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1997-02-01

    Goals for the biomass power for rural development include: expanded feedstock research and demonstration activities to provide soil-specific production costs and yield data, as well as better methods for harvest and transport; four thousand acres of feedstock available for fueling a commercial venture; comparison of the feasibility of gasification and cocombustion; designs for on-site switchgrass handling and feeding system; a detailed assessment of utilizing switchgrass for gasification and cocombustion to generate electricity using turbines and fuel cells.

  14. 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).

  15. 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

  16. Microbial biofilm growth on irradiated, spent nuclear fuel cladding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 x 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

  17. Microbial contamination of stored hydrocarbon fuels and its control

    OpenAIRE

    Gaylarde Christine C.; Bento Fátima M.; Kelley Joan

    1999-01-01

    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 m...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 core material but differed in either surface coating (Pt- or Ta-coated metal composites) or surface texture (smooth or rough). The MFC was inoculated with electrochemically active, neutrophilic mic...

  19. Enhancement of Electricity Production by Graphene Oxide in Soil Microbial Fuel Cells and Plant Microbial Fuel Cells

    OpenAIRE

    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 g...

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Microbial studies in the Canadian nuclear fuel waste management program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has developed a concept for permanent geological disposal of nuclear fuel waste in Canada. An accelerated program was initiated in 1991 to address and quantify the potential effects of microbial action on the integrity of the disposal concept's multiple barrier system. This microbial program focuses on answering specific questions in areas such as the survival of bacteria in compacted clay-based buffer materials under relevant radiation and desiccation conditions; mobility of microbes in compacted buffer materials; the potential for microbially-influenced corrosion of containers; microbial gas production in backfill material; introduction of nutrients as a result of vault excavation and operation; the presence and activity of microbes in deep granitic groundwaters; and the effects of biofilms on radionuclide migration in the geosphere. This paper summarizes the current research activities at AECL in these areas. (author)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Biomass Power: Program overview fiscal years 1993--1994

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-03-01

    The Biomass Power Program and industry are developing technologies to expand the use of biomass that include methods of feedstock production and the equipment to convert feedstocks into electric power or process heat. With the help of advanced biomass power technologies and new feedstock supply systems, as much as 50,000 megawatts (MW) of biomass power capacity will be in place by the year 2010. The Biomass Power Program supports the development of three technologies -- gasification, pyrolysis, and direct combustion -- from the laboratory bench scale to the prototype commercial scale. Gasification equipment produces biogas that is burned in high-efficiency turbine-generators developed for the electric power industry. Pyrolysis processes produce oils from renewable biomass that burn like petroleum to generate electricity. In direct combustion technology, power plants today burn bulk biomass directly to generate electricity. Improving the direct combustion technology of these plants increases efficiency and reduces emissions. In addition to developing these three technologies, the Biomass Power Program supports joint ventures to plan and construct facilities that demonstrate the benefits of biomass power. The program is supporting joint ventures to conduct 10 case studies of dedicated feedstock supply systems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. Sediment microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment: challenges and opportunities

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Bojun; Ge, Zheng; He, Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) have been intensively investigated for the harvest of energy from natural sediment, but studies of their application for wastewater treatment mainly occurred in the past 2-3 years. SMFCs with simple structures can generate electrical energy while decontaminating wastewater. Most SMFCs used for wastewater treatment contain plants to mimic constructed wetlands. Both synthetic and real wastewaters have been used as substrates in SMFCs that achieved satisfact...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tonia Tommasi; Gian Paolo Salvador; Marzia Quaglio

    2016-01-01

    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 consu...

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27506422

  16. 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.

  17. 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.)

  18. 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

  19. Microbial fuel cell based on electroactive sulfate-reducing biofilm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Regulation and management of electricity generation by variation of residence time. ► Design of microbial fuel cell based on electroactive biofilm on zeolite. ► Engineering solution for removing of the obtained elemental sulfur. - abstract: A two chambered laboratory scale microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been developed, based on natural sulfate-reducing bacterium consortium in electroactive biofilm on zeolite. The MFC utilizes potassium ferricyanide in the cathode chamber as an electron acceptor that derives electrons from the obtained in anode chamber H2S. The molecular oxygen is finally used as a terminal electron acceptor at cathode compartment. The generated power density was 0.68 W m−2 with current density of 3.2 A m−2 at 150 Ω electrode resistivity. The hydrogen sulfide itself is produced by microbial dissimilative sulfate reduction process by utilizing various organic substrates. Finally, elemental sulfur was identified as the predominant final oxidation product in the anode chamber. It was removed from MFC through medium circulation and gathering in an external tank. This report reveals dependence relationship between the progress of general electrochemical parameters and bacterial sulfate-reduction rate. The presented MFC design can be used for simultaneous sulfate purification of mining drainage wastewater and generation of renewable electricity

  20. Microbial transformations of radionuclides released from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (author)

  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. Sustainable wastewater treatment: how might microbial fuel cells contribute.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Sung T; Kim, Jung Rae; Premier, Giuliano C; Lee, Tae Ho; Kim, Changwon; Sloan, William T

    2010-01-01

    The need for cost-effective low-energy wastewater treatment has never been greater. Clean water for our expanding and predominantly urban global population will be expensive to deliver, eats into our diminishing carbon-based energy reserves and consequently contributes to green house gases in the atmosphere and climate change. Thus every potential cost and energy cutting measure for wastewater treatment should be explored. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) could potentially yield such savings but, to achieve this, requires significant advances in our understanding in a few critical areas and in our designs of the overall systems. Here we review the research which might accelerate our progress towards sustainable wastewater treatment using MFCs: system control and modelling and the understanding of the ecology of the microbial communities that catalyse the generation of electricity. PMID:20688144

  3. 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.

  4. Development of small, modular biomass power systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turnbull, J.H. [Peninsula Energy Partners, Los Altos, CA (United States); Hulkkonen, S. [IVO/EPRI, Palo Alto, CA (United States); Dracker, R. [Bechtel Corp., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes a collaborative effort between the Electric Power Research Institute, Bechtel Corporation and Imatran Voima Oy. The goal is commercialization of a biomass-fueled, modular (50 to 250 kW) heat and power technology for distributed applications. The technology to be selected will not present any major technical challenges, but first and foremost must be simple and reliable. Additional criteria include: acceptable capital cost, fuel flexibility, and the capability for meeting local environmental standards. As the capital cost of small units will be influenced by economies of fabrication, the economic viability of these systems depends upon the size of the domestic and international markets. Thus, evaluation of available conversion technologies was undertaken concurrently with a broad-based market assessment. The technology scan included all the commercial and pre-commercial biomass systems that could be located. Information was sorted into five categories: (1) gasifiers with either diesel or spark-ignited engines; (2) indirectly fired gas turbines; (3) directly fired gas turbines; (4) pyrolysis processes with diesel engines; or (5) conventional steam-cycles. The evaluation of the technologies was based on the above criteria, along with the recognition that the levelized cost of power from the system must be competitive with available diesel generation. The market for these systems within the contiguous 48 states is expected to be limited to situations involving forest ecosystem improvements and the reduction of forest fire hazards, and/or clean-up and remediation following natural disasters. Another North American market is remote villages in Canada and Alaska. By far the largest market is in developing nations where two billion people are without electricity for lighting, water pumping or refrigeration. Serving this latter market presents a major challenge, as each system will require establishment of a whole new local infrastructure.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26906446

  7. 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...... was 78.1±0.2% with initial TCOD of 49.7 g/L. The power generation of SMFC was depended on the sludge concentration. The maximum power density generated from raw sludge reached 190±5 mW/m2. Dilution of the raw sludge resulted in higher power density. The power density was saturated at sludge...

  8. Segregation of the Anodic Microbial Communities in a Microbial Fuel Cell Cascade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Douglas M.; Smith, Ann; Dahale, Sonal; Stratford, James P.; Li, Jia V.; Grüning, André; Bushell, Michael E.; Marchesi, Julian R.; Avignone Rossa, C.

    2016-01-01

    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 sulfur-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 analyzed the evolution of the microbial community structure in a cascade of 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. PMID:27242723

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Biomass power for rural development. Quarterly report, July 3--December 4, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, J.T.

    1998-03-01

    This paper describes progress in several projects related to biomass power. These include switchgrass conversion development; switchgrass gasification development; production activities including soil studies, carbon studies, switchgrass production economics, watershed impacts, and prairie lands bio-products; information and education; and geographical information system. Attachments describe switchgrass co-firing test; switchgrass production in Iowa; cooperative agreements with ISU; Rathbun Lake watershed project; newspaper articles and information publications; Secretary of Agriculture Glickman`s visit; integration of technical aspects of switchgrass production in Iowa; and evaluation of an integrated biomass gasification/fuel cell power plant.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. ELECTRICITY GENERATION FROM SWINE WASTEWATER USING MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chimezie Jason Ogugbue

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Electricity generation from swine wastewater using microbial fuel cell (MFC was investigated. Swine wastewater was collected into dual-chambered (aerobic and anaerobic fuel cell. The maximum power output using copper and carbon electrodes were 250.54 and 52.33 µW, while 10.0 and 5.0 cm salt bridge length between the cathode and anode were 279.50 and 355.26 µW, respectively. Potassium permanganate and ordinal water gave a maximum power output of 1287.8 and 13 9.18 µW. MFCs utilize microbial communities to degrade organic materials found within wastewater and converted stored chemical energy to electrical energy in a single step. The initial bacterial and fungal counts were 7.4×106 and 1.1×103 CFU ml-1. Bacterial counts steadily increased with time to 1.40×107 CFU ml-1 while fungal count declined to 4.4×106 CFU ml-1 after day 60. The declined in microbial counts may be attributed to the time necessary for acclimatization of microbes to the anode. The genera identified were Bacillus, Citrobacter, Pseudomonas, Lactobacillus, Escherichia coli, Aspergillus and Rhizopus. These microbes acted as primary and secondary utilizers, utilizing carbon and other organics of the wastewater. Chemical parameters indicated that the biochemical oxygen demand ranged from 91.4–23.2 mg/L, giving 75% while the chemical oxygen demand ranged from 243.1–235.2 mg/L, representing 3.3%. Although, the metabolic activities of microbes were responsible for the observed degradation, leading to electricity, the overall power output depended on the distance between the anode and cathode compartment, types of electrode materials and mediators and oxygen reaction at the cathode.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:27130968

  17. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  19. Technology is not a barrier for biomass power: Experiences from 130 biomass power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aijala, M.; Hulkkonen, S.

    1998-07-01

    Finland is one of the leading countries in the utilization of biomass fuels for power production. The biomass fuels in Finland are peat and wood biomass, which are also the only indigenous fuels available. Peat and wood biomass cover about 26% of the primary energy consumption in Finland and their share in power generation is about 18% (peat 8% and wood biomass 10%). There are about 230 biomass fired boilers in operation of which 130 are used for combined heat and power (CHP) production. The wood and peat-fired power plants range in size from a small CHP plant of 5 MWe to the largest condensing plant of 154 MWe. The most common technology today for the biomass fuels is fluidized bed combustion with back pressure steam cycle for district heat or process steam production. Bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) is best for wood and peat combustion and circulating fluidized bed (CFB) is needed, when coal is wanted as a back up fuel. The largest bubbling fluidized bed in Finland has a capacity of 295 MWth using peat and wood wastes as fuels. The smallest ones are only a few MWth. Circulating fluidized bed boilers range from 25 to 290 MWth in biomass applications. Condensing power generation from solid fuels in the relatively small size scale is not economical at todays conditions. Gasification is used only in a few small heating stations. One promising application area for the gasification technology, however, is in the co-combustion processes. The peat and wood biomass fuels are good fuels from combustion point of view, and do not create any major operating problems. The investment cost biomass fired CHP plants range from ECU 1,100 to 1,800/kWe depending on the size range. The costs of electricity in the municipal CHP plants is ECU 20-35/MWh. In industrial plants with longer operating time and low fuel price the cost of electricity can be even lower than ECU 17/MWh.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:25883931

  2. 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.

  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. Generation of Bio-electricity by Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maksudur R. Khan

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Renewable energy is an increasing need in our society. Microbial fuel cell (MFC technology represents a new technology for the regeneration of electricity from what would otherwise be considered waste and can be a vital candidate for energy in this respect. Electricity directly generated by using bacteria while accomplishing wastewater treatment in MFC processes. The present study deals with performance of proton exchange membrane and cation exchange resin for ion transfer. The effect of dimension of Resin Bridge on electricity generation and COD removal was reported. A maximum voltage of 10.5 mV was observed at 400ppm of KMnO4 along with 400ml of dairy in an anode chamber. Average COD removal was in the range of 70% to 90%.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:27213269

  7. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:26212495

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:27392579

  14. From microbial fuel cell (MFC) to microbial electrochemical snorkel (MES): maximizing chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal from wastewater

    OpenAIRE

    Erable, Benjamin; Etcheverry, Luc; Bergel, Alain

    2011-01-01

    The paper introduces the concept of the microbial electrochemical snorkel (MES), a simplified design of a “short-circuited” microbial fuel cell (MFC). The MES cannot provide current but it is optimized for wastewater treatment. An electrochemically active biofilm (EAB) was grown on graphite felt under constant polarization in an urban wastewater. Controlling the electrode potential and inoculating the bioreactor with a suspension of an established EAB improved the performance and the reproduc...

  15. 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. PMID:22610438

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:25394406

  19. Comparative evaluation of biomass power generation systems in China using hybrid life cycle inventory analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huacai; Yin, Xiuli; Wu, Chuangzhi

    2014-01-01

    There has been a rapid growth in using agricultural residues as an energy source to generate electricity in China. Biomass power generation (BPG) systems may vary significantly in technology, scale, and feedstock and consequently in their performances. A comparative evaluation of five typical BPG systems has been conducted in this study through a hybrid life cycle inventory (LCI) approach. Results show that requirements of fossil energy savings, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, as well as emission reductions of SO2 and NOx, can be best met by the BPG systems. The cofiring systems were found to behave better than the biomass-only fired system and the biomass gasification systems in terms of energy savings and GHG emission reductions. Comparing with results of conventional process-base LCI, an important aspect to note is the significant contribution of infrastructure, equipment, and maintenance of the plant, which require the input of various types of materials, fuels, services, and the consequent GHG emissions. The results demonstrate characteristics and differences of BPG systems and help identify critical opportunities for biomass power development in China.

  20. Comparative Evaluation of Biomass Power Generation Systems in China Using Hybrid Life Cycle Inventory Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huacai Liu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been a rapid growth in using agricultural residues as an energy source to generate electricity in China. Biomass power generation (BPG systems may vary significantly in technology, scale, and feedstock and consequently in their performances. A comparative evaluation of five typical BPG systems has been conducted in this study through a hybrid life cycle inventory (LCI approach. Results show that requirements of fossil energy savings, and greenhouse gas (GHG emission reductions, as well as emission reductions of SO2 and NOx, can be best met by the BPG systems. The cofiring systems were found to behave better than the biomass-only fired system and the biomass gasification systems in terms of energy savings and GHG emission reductions. Comparing with results of conventional process-base LCI, an important aspect to note is the significant contribution of infrastructure, equipment, and maintenance of the plant, which require the input of various types of materials, fuels, services, and the consequent GHG emissions. The results demonstrate characteristics and differences of BPG systems and help identify critical opportunities for biomass power development in China.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sulonen, Mira L.K., E-mail: mira.sulonen@tut.fi; Kokko, Marika E.; Lakaniemi, Aino-Maija; Puhakka, Jaakko A.

    2015-03-02

    Highlights: • Electricity can be generated from tetrathionate in MFCs at pH below 2.5. • Tetrathionate disproportionated to sulfate and elemental sulfur. • Biohydrometallurgical process waters contained electrochemically active bacteria. • Acidithiobacillus spp. and Ferroplasma spp. were identified from the MFCs. - Abstract: 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{sup −2} and 13.9 mW m{sup −2} and 433 mA m{sup −2} and 17.6 mW m{sup −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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Electricity can be generated from tetrathionate in MFCs at pH below 2.5. • Tetrathionate disproportionated to sulfate and elemental sulfur. • Biohydrometallurgical process waters contained electrochemically active bacteria. • Acidithiobacillus spp. and Ferroplasma spp. were identified from the MFCs. - Abstract: 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. Performance of Microbial Fuel Cell for Wastewater Treatment and Electricity Generation

    OpenAIRE

    Z Yavari; H Izanloo; Naddafi, K; H.R Tashauoei; Khazaei, M

    2013-01-01

    Renewable energy will have an important role as a resource of energy in the future. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising method to obtain electricity from organic matter andwastewater treatment simultaneously. In a pilot study, use of microbial fuel cell for wastewater treatment and electricity generation investigated. The bacteria of ruminant used as inoculums. Synthetic wastewater used at different organic loading rate. Hydraulic retention time was aneffective factor in removal of solub...

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27162144

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Innovative microbial fuel cell for energy harvesting and corrosion protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kung, Chih-Chien; Liu, Chung-Chiun; Yu, Xiong

    2011-06-01

    Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) are batteries driven by bacteria. MFCs have the potential of powering small sensors in remote areas and disposing organic waste safely by harvesting the energy stored in the waste products. From previous research in this field, a few important factors for MFC performance have been identified. These include the internal resistance of MFC, the surface area of anode with catalyst for the biofilm development, the type and number of bacteria, and the abundance of nutritional supplies to the bacteria. This paper describes the design of a novel single chamber MFC (SMFC) with carbon electrodes. Experiments were conducted to establish the relationship between each parameter and the power production. It is shown here that this SCMFC can generate electrical current without the use of PEM membranes or additives; the maximum voltage of around 411 mV can be achieved at the room temperature. These results also measured a various parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen and solution conductivity during the operation of SMFC. Finally, experiment was conducted to evaluate an innovative concept of using MFC for corrosion protection.

  13. 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.

  14. Microbial fuel cell energy harvesting using synchronous flyback converter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaraj, Muhannad; Ren, Zhiyong Jason; Park, Jae-Do

    2014-02-01

    Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) use biodegradable substrates, such as wastewater and marine sediments to generate electrical energy. To harvest more energy from an MFC, power electronic converters have recently been used to replace resistors or charge pumps, because they have superior controllability on MFC's operating point and higher efficiency in energy storage for different applications. Conventional diode-based energy harvesters suffer from low efficiency because of the energy losses through the diode. Replacing the diode with a MOSFET can reduce the conduction loss, but it requires an isolated gate signal to control the floating secondary MOSFET, which makes the control circuitry complex. This study presents a new MFC energy harvesting regime using a synchronous flyback converter, which implements a transformer-based harvester with much simpler configuration and improves harvesting efficiency by 37.6% compared to a diode based boost converter, from 33.5% to 46.1%. The proposed harvester was able to store 2.27 J in the output capacitor out of 4.91 J generated energy from the MFC, while the boost converter can capture 1.67 J from 4.95 J.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.)

  17. Carbon material optimized biocathode for improving microbial fuel cell performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hairti eTursun

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available To improve the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs, the biocathode electrode material of double-chamber was optimized. Alongside the basic carbon fiber brush, three carbon materials namely graphite granules, activated carbon granules and activated carbon powder, were added to the cathode-chambers to improve power generation. The result shows that the addition of carbon materials increased the amount of available electroactive microbes on the electrode surface and thus promote oxygen reduction rate, which improved the generation performance of the MFCs. The Output current (external resistance = 1000 Ω greatly increased after addition of the three carbon materials and maximum power densities in current stable phase increased by 47.4%, 166.1% and 33.5%, respectively. Additionally, coulombic efficiencies of the MFC increased by 16.3%, 64.3% and 20.1%, respectively. These results show that MFC when optimized with activated carbon granules show better power generation, higher chemical oxygen demands (COD removal rate and coulombic efficiency.

  18. Carbon Material Optimized Biocathode for Improving Microbial Fuel Cell Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tursun, Hairti; Liu, Rui; Li, Jing; Abro, Rashid; Wang, Xiaohui; Gao, Yanmei; Li, Yuan

    2016-01-01

    To improve the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), the biocathode electrode material of double-chamber was optimized. Alongside the basic carbon fiber brush, three carbon materials namely graphite granules, activated carbon granules (ACG) and activated carbon powder, were added to the cathode-chambers to improve power generation. The result shows that the addition of carbon materials increased the amount of available electroactive microbes on the electrode surface and thus promote oxygen reduction rate, which improved the generation performance of the MFCs. The Output current (external resistance = 1000 Ω) greatly increased after addition of the three carbon materials and maximum power densities in current stable phase increased by 47.4, 166.1, and 33.5%, respectively. Additionally, coulombic efficiencies of the MFC increased by 16.3, 64.3, and 20.1%, respectively. These results show that MFC when optimized with ACG show better power generation, higher chemical oxygen demands removal rate and coulombic efficiency. PMID:26858695

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Is resistance futile? Changing external resistance does not improve microbial fuel cell performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Delina Y; Buret, Francois; Vogel, Timothy M; Monier, Jean-Michel

    2010-04-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) show promise as an alternative to conventional batteries for point source electricity generation. A better understanding of the relationship between the microbiological and electrical aspects of fuels cells is needed prior to successful MFC application. Here, we observed the effects of external resistance on power production and the anodic biofilm community structure. Large differences in the external resistance affected both power production and microbial community structure. After the establishment of the anodic microbial community, change in external resistance (from low to high and vice versa) changed the anodic microbial community structure, but the resulting community did not resemble the communities established at that same external resistance. Different microbial community structures, established under different external resistances, resulted in similar power production, demonstrating the flexibility of the MFC system. PMID:19783225

  2. 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. PMID:27033857

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. Ion exchange membrane cathodes for scalable microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Yi; Cheng, Shaoan; Logan, Bruce E

    2008-09-15

    One of the main challenges for using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is developing materials and architectures that are economical and generate high power densities. The performance of two cathodes constructed from two low-cost anion (AEM) and cation (CEM) exchange membranes was compared to that achieved using an ultrafiltration (UF) cathode, when the membranes were made electrically conductive using graphite paint and a nonprecious metal catalyst (CoTMPP). The best performance in single-chamber MFCs using graphite fiber brush anodes was achieved using an AEM cathode with the conductive coating facing the solution, at a catalyst loading of 0.5 mg/cm2 CoTMPP. The maximum power densitywas 449 mW/ m2 (normalized to the projected cathode surface area) or 13.1 W/m3 (total reactor volume), with a Coulombic efficiency up to 70% in a 50 mM phosphate buffer solution (PBS) using acetate. Decreasing the CoTMPP loading by 40-80% reduced power by 28-56%, with only 16% of the power (72 mW/m2) generated using an AEM cathode lacking a catalyst. Using a current collector (a stainless steel mesh) pressed against the inside surface of the AEM cathode and 200 mM PBS, the maximum power produced was further increased to 728 mW/m2 (21.2 W/m3). The use of AEM cathodes and brush anodes provides comparable performance to similar systems that use materials costing nearly an order of magnitude more (carbon paper electrodes) and thus represent more useful materials for reducing the costs of MFCs for wastewater treatment applications. PMID:18853817

  7. Thermoelectric-Driven Autonomous Sensors for a Biomass Power Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, A.; Astrain, D.; Martínez, A.; Gubía, E.; Sorbet, F. J.

    2013-07-01

    This work presents the design and development of a thermoelectric generator intended to harness waste heat in a biomass power plant, and generate electric power to operate sensors and the required electronics for wireless communication. The first objective of the work is to design the optimum thermoelectric generator to harness heat from a hot surface, and generate electric power to operate a flowmeter and a wireless transmitter. The process is conducted by using a computational model, presented in previous papers, to determine the final design that meets the requirements of electric power consumption and number of transmissions per minute. Finally, the thermoelectric generator is simulated to evaluate its performance. The final device transmits information every 5 s. Moreover, it is completely autonomous and can be easily installed, since no electric wires are required.

  8. Microbially influenced corrosion communities associated with fuel-grade ethanol environments

    OpenAIRE

    Williamson, Charles H. D.; Jain, Luke A.; Mishra, Brajendra; Olson, David L.; Spear, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) is a costly problem that impacts hydrocarbon production and processing equipment, water distribution systems, ships, railcars, and other types of metallic infrastructure. In particular, MIC is known to cause considerable damage to hydrocarbon fuel infrastructure including production, transportation, and storage systems, often times with catastrophic environmental contamination results. As the production and use of alternative fuels such as fuel-grade eth...

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Bioconversion of cellulose into electrical energy in microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rismani-Yazdi, Hamid

    In microbial fuel cells (MFCs), bacteria generate electricity by mediating the oxidation of organic compounds and transferring the resulting electrons to an anode electrode. The first objective of this study was to test the possibility of generating electricity with rumen microorganisms as biocatalysts and cellulose as the electron donor in two-compartment MFCs. Maximum power density reached 55 mW/m2 (1.5 mA, 313 mV) with cellulose as the electron donor. Cellulose hydrolysis and electrode reduction were shown to support the production of current. The electrical current was sustained for over two months with periodic cellulose addition. Clarified rumen fluid and a soluble carbohydrate mixture, serving as the electron donors, could also sustain power output. The second objective was to analyze the composition of the bacterial communities enriched in the cellulose-fed MFCs. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of PCR amplified 16S rRNA genes revealed that the microbial communities differed when different substrates were used in the MFCs. The anode-attached and the suspended consortia were shown to be different within the same MFC. Cloning and analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the most predominant bacteria in the anode-attached consortia were related to Clostridium spp., while Comamonas spp. was abundant in the suspended consortia. The external resistance affects the characteristic outputs of MFCs by controlling the flow of electrons from the anode to the cathode. The third objective of this study was to determine the effect of various external resistances on power output and coulombic efficiency of cellulose-fed MFCs. Four external resistances (20, 249, 480, and 1000 ohms) were tested with a systematic approach of operating parallel MFCs independently at constant circuit loads for three months. A maximum power density of 66 mWm-2 was achieved by MFCs with 20 ohms circuit load, while MFCs with 249, 480 and1000 ohms external resistances produced 57

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Simulation Biomass Effecting On Microbial Fuel Cell Electricity Properties and Substrate Degradation

    OpenAIRE

    Jinxiang Fu; Xiangxin Xue; Yulan Tang; Jiao Wang; Xingguan Ma

    2013-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) mathematical model was established with suspended microorganisms, biomass on the electrode material, soluble chemical substrates and intermediary. By simulating the process of the substrate degradation, biomass growth and the electric current production process, With different initial biomass concentration, suspended microbial biomass and biomass attaching on electrode varing with time,current and charge varing with time,substrate concentration varing with time and m...

  16. Investigation of Energy Production by Microbial Fuel Cell Using Textile Wastewaters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İbrahim ÜÇGÜL

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study, using a microbial fuel cell power generation during the treatment of textile waste water was investigated. Two different systems were designed for it. Salt bridge and the other one of these microbial fuel cell membrane microbial fuel c ell. Two different types of bacteria were used in these systems. The first group of bacteria, mildew smell in the other group consumed consuming. Sizing waste as substrate solution, glucose solution and waste dyestuff used. Odor bacteria-consuming gases formed by decomposition of the dye molecule to cause pollution in the assay was performed using the waste dye wherein no generation of electricity has been supplied by the bacteria. Electric current formation in experiments using bacteria consume organic broth and glucose with defects observed.

  17. Development of biologically modified anodes for energy harvesting using microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, James J.; Ganguli, Rahul; Chmelka, Brad

    2012-06-01

    Biological fuel cells hold promise as an alternative energy source to batteries for unattended ground sensor applications due to the fact that they can be extremely long lived. This lifetime can be extended over batteries by scavenging fuel from the deployed environment. Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are one class of such sources that produce usable energy from small organic compounds (i.e. sugars, alcohols, organic acids, and biopolymers) which can be easily containerized or scavenged from the environment. The use of microorganisms as the anodic catalysts is what makes these systems unique from other biofuel cell designs. One of the main drawbacks of engineering a sensor system powered by an MFC is that power densities and current flux are extremely low in currently reported systems. The power density is limited by the mass transfer of the fuel source to the catalyst, the metabolism of the microbial catalysts and the electron transfer from the organism to the anode. This presentation will focus on the development of a new style of microbially-modified anodes which will increase power density to a level where a practical power source can be engineered. This is being achieved by developing a three dimensional matrix as an artificial, conductive biofilm. These artificial biofilms will allow the capture of a consortium of microbes designed for efficient metabolism of the available fuel source. Also it will keep the microbes close to the electrode allowing ready access by fuel and providing a low resistance passage of the liberated electrons from fuel oxidation.

  18. 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...... in 95% degradation of the xylan and glucan. The study demonstrates that lignocellulosic hydrolysate can be used for co-treatment with domestic wastewater for power generation in microbial fuel cells....

  19. 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.

  20. Microbial degradation processes in radioactive waste repository and in nuclear fuel storage areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The intent of the workshop organizers was to convene experts in the fields of corrosion and spent nuclear fuels. The major points which evolved from the interaction of microbiologists, material scientists, and fuel storage experts are as follows: Corrosion of basin components as well as fuel containers or cladding is occurring; Water chemistry monitoring, if done in the storage facility does not take into account the microbial component; Microbial influenced corrosion is an area that many have not considered to be an important contributor in the aging of metallurgical materials especially those exposed to a radiation field; Many observations indicate that there is a microbial or biological presence in the storage facilities but these observations have not been correlated with any deterioration or aging phenomena taking place in the storage facility; The sessions on the fundamentals of microbial influenced corrosion and biofilm pointed out that these phenomena are real, occurring on similar materials in other industries and probably are occurring in the wet storage of spent fuel; All agreed that more monitoring, testing, and education in the field of biological mediate processes be performed and financially supported; Loosing the integrity of fuel assemblies can only cause problems, relating to the future disposition of the fuel, safety concerns, and environmental issues; In other rad waste scenarios, biological processes may be playing a role, for instance in the mobility of radionuclides in soil, decomposition of organic materials of the rad waste, gas production, etc. The fundamental scientific presentations discussed the full gamut of microbial processes that relate to biological mediated effects on metallic and non-metallic materials used in the storage and containment of radioactive materials

  1. 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 req...

  2. 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

    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......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....... The data obtained contribute to understanding the microbial community response to Lsub and Rext for optimizing electricity generation in MFCs....

  3. Kinetic models for detection of toxicity in a microbial fuel cell based biosensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, N.E.; Keesman, K.J.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Straten, van G.

    2011-01-01

    Currently available models describing microbial fuel cell (MFC) polarization curves, do not describe the effect of the presence of toxic components. A bioelectrochemical model combined with enzyme inhibition kinetics, that describes the polarization curve of an MFC-based biosensor, was modified to d

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Bioelectricity production from paper industry waste using a microbial fuel cell by Clostridium species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhilasha S Mathuriya

    2008-12-01

    cellulosic waste was utilized for the bioelectricity production by Clostridium acetobutylicum and Clostridium thermohydrosulfuricum. Keywords: Bacteria, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Clostridium thermohydrosulfuricum, Electricity, Microbial fuel cell. Received: 28 January 2009 / Received in revised form: 5 February 2009, Accepted: 5 February 2009, Published online: 25 February 2009

  8. 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

    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, the maxi...

  9. 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...

  10. Microbially influenced corrosion communities associated with fuel-grade ethanol environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Charles H D; Jain, Luke A; Mishra, Brajendra; Olson, David L; Spear, John R

    2015-08-01

    Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) is a costly problem that impacts hydrocarbon production and processing equipment, water distribution systems, ships, railcars, and other types of metallic infrastructure. In particular, MIC is known to cause considerable damage to hydrocarbon fuel infrastructure including production, transportation, and storage systems, often times with catastrophic environmental contamination results. As the production and use of alternative fuels such as fuel-grade ethanol (FGE) increase, it is important to consider MIC of engineered materials exposed to these "newer fuels" as they enter existing infrastructure. Reports of suspected MIC in systems handling FGE and water prompted an investigation of the microbial diversity associated with these environments. Small subunit ribosomal RNA gene pyrosequencing surveys indicate that acetic-acid-producing bacteria (Acetobacter spp. and Gluconacetobacter spp.) are prevalent in environments exposed to FGE and water. Other microbes previously implicated in corrosion, such as sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens, were also identified. In addition, acetic-acid-producing microbes and sulfate-reducing microbes were cultivated from sampled environments containing FGE and water. Results indicate that complex microbial communities form in these FGE environments and could cause significant MIC-related damage that may be difficult to control. How to better manage these microbial communities will be a defining aspect of improving mitigation of global infrastructure corrosion. PMID:26092755

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Biomass power for rural development. Technical progress report, Phase 2, July 1--September 30, 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neuhauser, E.

    1999-01-01

    The project undertaken by the Salix Consortium is a multi-phased, multi-partner endeavor. Phase 1 focused on initial development and testing of the technology and forging the necessary agreements to demonstrate commercial willow production. The Phase 1 objectives have been successfully completed: preparing final design plans for two utility pulverized coal boiler for 20 MW of biopower capacity; developing fuel supply plans for the project with a goal of establishing 365 ha (900 ac) of willow; obtaining power production commitments from the power companies for Phase 2; obtaining construction and environmental permits; and developing an experimental strategy for crop production and power generation improvements needed to assure commercial success. The R and D effort also addresses environmental issues pertaining to introduction of the willow energy system. Beyond those Phase 1 requirements, the Consortium has already successfully demonstrated cofiring at Greenidge Station and has initiated development of the required nursery capacity for acreage scale-up. In Phase 2 every aspect of willow production and power generation from willow biomass will be demonstrated. The ultimate objective of Phase 2 is to transition the work performed under the Biomass Power for Rural Development project into a thriving, self-supported energy crop enterprise.

  14. C1-carbon sources for chemical and fuel production by microbial gas fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürre, Peter; Eikmanns, Bernhard J

    2015-12-01

    Fossil resources for production of fuels and chemicals are finite and fuel use contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Thus, sustainable fuel supply, security, and prices necessitate the implementation of alternative routes to the production of chemicals and fuels. Much attention has been focussed on use of cellulosic material, particularly through microbial-based processes. However, this is still costly and proving challenging, as are catalytic routes to biofuels from whole biomass. An alternative strategy is to directly capture carbon before incorporation into lignocellulosic biomass. Autotrophic acetogenic, carboxidotrophic, and methanotrophic bacteria are able to capture carbon as CO, CO2, or CH4, respectively, and reuse that carbon in products that displace their fossil-derived counterparts. Thus, gas fermentation represents a versatile industrial platform for the sustainable production of commodity chemicals and fuels from diverse gas resources derived from industrial processes, coal, biomass, municipal solid waste (MSW), and extracted natural gas. PMID:25841103

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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

    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....... 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...

  18. Evaluation on the Efficiency of Biomass Power Generation Industry in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingqi Sun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As a developing country with large population, China is facing the problems of energy resource shortage and growing environmental pollution arising from the coal-dominated energy structure. Biomass energy, as a kind of renewable energy with the characteristics of being easy to store and friendly to environment, has become the focus of China’s energy development in the future. Affected by the advanced power generation technology and diversified geography environment, the biomass power generation projects show new features in recent years. Hence, it is necessary to evaluate the efficiency of biomass power generation industry by employing proper method with the consideration of new features. In this paper, the regional difference as a new feature of biomass power generation industry is taken into consideration, and the AR model is employed to modify the zero-weight issue when using data envelopment analysis (DEA method to evaluate the efficiency of biomass power generation industry. 30 biomass power generation enterprises in China are selected as the sample, and the efficiency evaluation is performed. The result can provide some insights into the sustainable development of biomass power generation industry in China.

  19. Method and apparatus for automated, modular, biomass power generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diebold, James P.; Lilley, Arthur; Browne, Kingsbury III; Walt, Robb Ray; Duncan, Dustin; Walker, Michael; Steele, John; Fields, Michael; Smith, Trevor

    2011-03-22

    Method and apparatus for generating a low tar, renewable fuel gas from biomass and using it in other energy conversion devices, many of which were designed for use with gaseous and liquid fossil fuels. An automated, downdraft gasifier incorporates extensive air injection into the char bed to maintain the conditions that promote the destruction of residual tars. The resulting fuel gas and entrained char and ash are cooled in a special heat exchanger, and then continuously cleaned in a filter prior to usage in standalone as well as networked power systems.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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) or...... in the MFC for electricity production. Comparatively higher electricity generation and coulombic efficiency can be obtained by adjusting initial xylose concentration and applying stirring in the anode chamber.......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...

  5. 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. PMID:27347794

  6. 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. PMID:27071334

  7. The potential for microbial life in a Canadian high-level nuclear fuel waste disposal vault

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent studies have concluded that microbial contamination of a nuclear fuel waste disposal vault is inevitable. Factors that will affect the development of substantial population of micro-organisms include: physiological tolerance of microbes; fluid movement in a vault; availability of nutrients; and availability of energy sources. It is difficult to resolve whether microbial growth will either positively or negatively affect the performance of a vault. One of the necessary steps towards ultimately answering this question is to assess the potential for microbial growth in a disposal vault, based on a nutrient and energy budget. This report gives a quantitative (but conservative) inventory of nutrients and potential energy sources present in a Canadian nuclear fuel waste vault, which hypothetically could support the growth of micro-organisms. Maximum population densities are calculated based on these inventories and assuming that all conditions for microbial growth are optimal, although this will certainly not be the case. Laboratory studies under the vault-relevant conditions are being performed to put realistic boundaries on the calculated numbers. Initial results from these studies, combined with data from a natural analogue site indicate that the calculated population densities could be overestimated by four to five orders of magnitude. Limited data show no effect of the presence of microbes on the transport of Tc, I, and Sr in backfill sand columns. Additional work is needed to address transport effects on buffer and backfill clay columns

  8. Electricity and disinfectant production from wastewater: Microbial Fuel Cell as a self-powered electrolyser

    OpenAIRE

    Iwona Gajda; John Greenman; Chris Melhuish; Ieropoulos, Ioannis A.

    2016-01-01

    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 el...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Novel Electrochemically Active Bacterium Phylogenetically Related to Arcobacter butzleri, Isolated from a Microbial Fuel Cell

    OpenAIRE

    Fedorovich, Viatcheslav; Knighton, Matthew C.; Pagaling, Eulyn; Ward, F. Bruce; Free, Andrew; Goryanin, Igor

    2009-01-01

    Exoelectrogenic bacteria are organisms that can transfer electrons to extracellular insoluble electron acceptors and have the potential to be used in devices such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Currently, exoelectrogens have been identified in the Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma- and Deltaproteobacteria, as well as in the Firmicutes and Acidobacteria. Here, we describe use of culture-independent methods to identify two members of the genus Arcobacter in the Epsilonproteobacteria that are selectively en...

  12. Marine microbial fuel cell : use of stainless steel electrodes as anode and cathode materials

    OpenAIRE

    Dumas, Claire; Mollica, Alfonso; Féron, Damien; Basséguy, Régine; Etcheverry, Luc; Bergel, Alain

    2007-01-01

    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 cath...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Electricity Generation and Wastewater Treatment of Oil Refinery in Microbial Fuel Cells Using Pseudomonas putida

    OpenAIRE

    Dip Majumder; Jyoti Prakash Maity; Min-Jen Tseng; Vanita Roshan Nimje; Hau-Ren Chen; Chien-Cheng Chen; Young-Fo Chang; Tsui-Chu Yang; Chen-Yen Chen

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mostafa Rahimnejad; Mostafa Ghasemi; Ghasem Najafpour; Ali Ghoreyshi; Gholamreza Bakeri; Seyed Karim Hassani Nejad; Farid Talebnia

    2012-01-01

    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 fer...

  17. 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.

  18. Taxonomic and functional metagenomic analysis of anodic communities in two pilot-scale microbial fuel cells treating different industrial wastewaters

    OpenAIRE

    Kiseleva, Larisa; Garushyants, Sofya K.; Ma, Hongwu; Simpson, David JW; Fedorovich, Viatcheslav; Cohen, Michael F.; Goryanin, Igor

    2015-01-01

    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...

  19. The significance of the initiation process parameters and reactor design for maximizing the efficiency of microbial fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Guotao; Thygesen, Anders; Ale, Marcel Tutor;

    2014-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can be used for electricity generation via bioconversion of wastewater and organic waste substrates. MFCs also hold potential for production of certain chemicals, such as H2 and H2O2. The studies of electricity generation in MFCs have mainly focused on the microbial...

  20. Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors

    OpenAIRE

    Abdullah Almatouq; Akintunde O. Babatunde

    2016-01-01

    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 sho...

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The potential impact of externalities considerations on the market for biomass power technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Of all the renewable energy sources used for power generation, biomass energy has experienced the greatest growth over the last decade. Spurred by requirements established in the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), as well as various tax incentives, biomass-based power generation now provides more than 50 billion kWh of electric energy from 10,000 MW of installed capacity. The overwhelming majority of this capacity, primarily wood-based, has been developed by the nonutility sector. However, the biomass industry is currently facing more difficult market conditions due to a reduction in federal incentives and changes in the generation market, such as lower utility avoided costs, slower demand growth, and greater competition among both generators and fuel sources. States are increasingly contemplating the inclusion of market externalities costs and benefits associated with different generation options in electricity resource planning and procurement decisions. Market externalities, as they relate to generation resources and technologies, represent impacts that are not wholly reflected in the market price of electricity derived from these sources. These impacts, which can be either positive or negative, can encompass environmental, economic and other social factors, but state considerations have focused predominantly on environmental externalities costs, especially air emissions. The explicit quantification of externalities could measurably affect the competitive standing of various energy resources and technologies in future generation resource acquisitions. This paper summarizes work undertaken to assess the status the externalities considerations in state and utility electricity resource planning processes and to determine how externalities considerations might help or hinder future development of biomass power plants. (author)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

  11. 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.

  12. Low-potential respirators support electricity production in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grüning, André; Beecroft, Nelli J; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we analyse how electric power production in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) depends on the composition of the anodic biofilm in terms of metabolic capabilities of identified sets of species. MFCs are a promising technology for organic waste treatment and sustainable bioelectricity production. Inoculated with natural communities, they present a complex microbial ecosystem with syntrophic interactions between microbes with different metabolic capabilities. Our results demonstrate that low-potential anaerobic respirators--that is those that are able to use terminal electron acceptors with a low redox potential--are important for good power production. Our results also confirm that community metabolism in MFCs with natural inoculum and fermentable feedstock is a two-stage system with fermentation followed by anode respiration. PMID:25388758

  13. Establishing a core microbiome in acetate-fed microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesnik, Keaton Larson; Liu, Hong

    2014-05-01

    Establishing a core microbiome is the first step in understanding and subsequently optimizing microbial interactions in anodic biofilms of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for increased power, efficiency, and decreased start-up times. In the present study, we used 454 pyrosequencing to demonstrate that a core anodic community would consistently emerge over a period of 4 years given similar conditions. The development and variation across reactor designs of these communities was also explored. The core members present in all high-power generating biofilms were Geobacter, Aminiphilus, Sedimentibacter, Acetoanaerobium, and Spirochaeta, accounting for 72 ± 9 % of all genera. Aminiphilus spp., member of the Synergistetes phylum was present at higher abundances than previously reported in any other ecological studies. Results suggest a stable core microbiome in acetate-fed MFCs on both phylogenetic and functional levels. PMID:24402416

  14. 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.

  15. Resilience of roof-top Plant-Microbial Fuel Cells during Dutch winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell (P-MFC) is in theory a technology that could produce sustainable electricity continuously. We operated two designs of the P-MFC under natural roof-top conditions in the Netherlands for 221 days, including winter, to test its resilience. Current and power densities are not stable under outdoor conditions. Highest obtained power density was 88 mW m−2, which is lower than was achieved under lab-conditions (440 mW m−2). Cathode potential was in our case dependent on solar radiation, due to algae growth, making the power output dependent on a diurnal cycle. The anode potential of the P-MFC is influenced by temperature, leading to a decrease in electricity production during low temperature periods and no electricity production during frost periods. Due to freezing of the roots, plants did not survive winter and therefore did not regrow in spring. In order to make a sustainable, stable and weather independent electricity production system of the P-MFC attention should be paid to improving cathode stability and cold insulation of anode and cathode. Only when power output of the Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell can be increased under outdoor conditions and plant-vitality can be sustained over winter, it can be a promising sustainable electricity technology for the future. -- Highlights: ► Plant-Microbial Fuel Cells (P-MFCs) produce sustainable electricity under outdoor conditions. ► During frost periods no electricity is produced in P-MFCs. ► Cathodes limit performance of P-MFCs under outdoor conditions. ► Spartina anglica in P-MFCs does not survive on a roof-top during Dutch winter. ► The P-MFC needs optimization of power output to be a promising sustainable electricity technology

  16. Bioelectricity Generation in Mediator-Less Microbial Fuel Cell: Application of Pure and Mixed Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Fatemi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cell (MFC is an emerging biotechnology which converts the organic substrates to electricity by electrogenic bacteria. In this study electricity generation was evaluated in a dual chambered mediator-less microbial fuel cell. Graphite plates were used as electrodes and glucose with initial concentration of 4 g.l-1 was used as electron donor. Anode chamber of the fabricated MFC was inoculated with two mixed cultures; anaerobic effluent of dairy manufacture (called A and anaerobic effluent of wastewater treatment plant (called B. Saccharomyces cerevisiae PTCC 5269 was used as pure culture. Power generation using these three inoculums was evaluated in the same condition including room temperature, without agitation and using glucose with initial concentration of 4 g.l-1 as substrate. The performance of MFC was analyzed by the measurement of polarization curve. Maximum power and current densities of 30.99 mW.m-2 and 391.68 mA.m-2; 25.90 mW.m-2 and 320.7604 mA.m-2 were obtained when culture B and A were used as inoculums, respectively. Power and current densities were 10.0224 mW.m-2 and 253.2964 mA.m-2 when S. cerevisiae was used as pure culture in MFC. Therewith chemical oxygen demand (COD removal efficiencies of 54, 71 and 75 % were achieved when S. cerevisiae, mix cultures A and B were used as inoculums, respectively. The investigation was targeted for the capability of mediator-less microbial fuel cell as combined wastewater treatment and electricity production unit.

  17. Bioelectricity Generation in Mediator-less Microbial Fuel Cell: Application of Pure and Mixed Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakine Fatemi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cell (MFC is an emerging biotechnology, which converts the organic substrates to electricity by electrogenic bacteria. In this study, electricity generation was evaluated in a dual chamber mediator-less microbial fuel cell. Graphite plates were used as electrodes and glucose with initial concentration of 4 g/L was used as electron donor. Anode chamber of the fabricated MFC was inoculated with two mixed cultures; anaerobic effluent of dairy manufacture (called A and anaerobic effluent of wastewater treatment plant (called B. Saccharomyces cerevisiae PTCC 5269 was used as pure culture. Power generation using these three inoculums was evaluated in the same condition including room temperature, without agitation and using glucose with initial concentration of 4 g/L as substrate. The performance of MFC was analyzed by the measurement of polarization curve. Maximum power and current densities of 30.99 mW/m2 and 391.68 mA/m2; 25.90 mW/m2 and 320.7604 mA/m2 were obtained when culture B and A were used as inoculums, respectively. Power and current densities were 10.0224 mW/m2 and 253.2964 mA/m2 when S. cerevisiae was used as pure culture in MFC. Therewith, chemical oxygen demand (COD removal efficiencies of 54, 71 and 75% were achieved when S. cerevisiae, mix cultures A and B were used as inoculums, respectively. The investigation was targeted for the capability of mediator-less microbial fuel cell as combined wastewater treatment and electricity production unit.

  18. Synergic system between photovoltaic module and microbial fuel cell with simultaneous pollution control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasyliv, Oresta; Dhere, Neelkanth G.

    2015-05-01

    Combined photovoltaic module-microbial fuel cell construction shows prospect of advanced autonomous functioning effective energy-production system with the possibility of round-the-clock power generation. Application of Desulfuromonas sp. as anode biocatalyst in photovoltaic (PV) - microbial fuel cell (MFC) could support highly effective eco-friendly energy derivation with simultaneous reduction of organic and inorganic wastes in water environment. D. acetoxidans is exoelectrogenic bacterium that supports S0-reduction with H2S formation and S0-oxidation while an electrode serves as the electron acceptor. Simultaneous sulfur redox processes enhance electron transfer to the electrode surface that may increase the effectiveness of microbial fuel cell performance. It was shown that D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384 possesses selective resistance to 0.5-2.5 mM of copper, iron, nickel, manganese and lead ions. Metal-resistant strains of this bacterium may help overcome H2S toxicity, which is produced because of dissimilative S0-reduction, since divalent cations will interact with sulfide ions, forming insoluble precipitates. Thus D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384 may be applied for remediation of toxic metal ions from water environments because of metal fixation in form of insoluble complexes of metal sulfides. D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384 is presumed to have the capability to convert organic compounds, such as malate, pyruvate, succinate and fumarate via reductive stage of tricarboxylic acid cycle. Thus application of effluents as anolyte in MFC, based on D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384, may cause decrease of its organic content with formation of simple benign constituents, such as CO2 and H2O. Hence the advanced system for eco-friendly energy generation with simultaneous water pollution control is proposed.

  19. Simultaneous electricity generation and pollutant removal in microbial fuel cell with denitrifying biocathode over nitrite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • An MFC was successfully started up using nitrite as cathodic electron acceptor. • The optimal HRT was deemed to be 8 h in this study. • The suitable temperature for power generation was found to be 20 °C. • The suitable temperature for pollutant removal was found to be 25 °C. • Free buffer led to 50% decrease of TN removal rate and power generation. - Abstract: The influences of hydraulic retention time, temperature and free buffer on the performance of short-cut denitrifying microbial fuel cell were investigated after it was successfully started up using nitrite as the cathodic electron acceptor. The results revealed that a power density of 8.3 ± 0.5 W m−3 NC was obtained after 15 days operation. The desirable hydraulic retention time was found in this study to be 8 h, with a COD removal rate of 2.117 ± 0.006 kg m−3 NC d−1 and a total nitrogen removal rate of 0.041 ± 0.002 kg m−3 NC d−1, respectively. It demonstrated that temperature had different effects on the electricity generation and pollutant removal performance of microbial fuel cell. The suitable temperature for power generation and pollutant removal was found to be 20 °C and 25 °C, respectively. Free buffer led to 50% decrease of both total nitrogen removal rate and power density of microbial fuel cell compared to that with phosphate buffer solution addition. The optimal total nitrogen removal rate obtained in the case with sodium azide addition (0.075 ± 0.008 kg m−3 NC d−1) increased by 50% as compared to that without sodium azide addition. It suggested that abolishing oxygen or inhibiting nitrite oxidizing bacteria would favor nitrogen removal

  20. JV Task 46 - Development and Testing of a Thermally Integrated SOFC-Gasification System for Biomass Power Generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillip Hutton; Nikhil Patel; Kyle Martin; Devinder Singh

    2008-02-01

    The Energy & Environmental Research Center has designed a biomass power system using a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) thermally integrated with a downdraft gasifier. In this system, the high-temperature effluent from the SOFC enables the operation of a substoichiometric air downdraft gasifier at an elevated temperature (1000 C). At this temperature, moisture in the biomass acts as an essential carbon-gasifying medium, reducing the equivalence ratio at which the gasifier can operate with complete carbon conversion. Calculations show gross conversion efficiencies up to 45% (higher heating value) for biomass moisture levels up to 40% (wt basis). Experimental work on a bench-scale gasifier demonstrated increased tar cracking within the gasifier and increased energy density of the resultant syngas. A series of experiments on wood chips demonstrated tar output in the range of 9.9 and 234 mg/m{sup 3}. Both button cells and a 100-watt stack was tested on syngas from the gasifier. Both achieved steady-state operation with a 22% and 15% drop in performance, respectively, relative to pure hydrogen. In addition, tar tolerance testing on button cells demonstrated an upper limit of tar tolerance of approximately 1%, well above the tar output of the gasifier. The predicted system efficiency was revised down to 33% gross and 27% net system efficiency because of the results of the gasifier and fuel cell experiments. These results demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of thermally integrating a gasifier and a high-temperature fuel cell in small distributed power systems.

  1. 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(-).

  2. Evaluation Of Electricity Generation From Animal Based Wastes In A Microbial Fuel Cell

    OpenAIRE

    Duduyemi Oladejo; O.O. Shoewu; A.A. Yussouff; Hunyibo Rapheal

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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(-). PMID:27455126

  7. Electricity Generation from Microbial Fuel Cell with Polypyrrole-Coated Carbon Nanofiber Composite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Sung-Hee

    2015-02-01

    Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers, with and without embedded carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were fabricated by the electrospinning process. Polypyrrole (PPy) was coated on the activated PAN/CNT nanofiber by in-situ chemical polymerization in order to improve the electrochemical performance. The electrocatalytic behaviors of the PPy-PAN/CNT composite anode were investigated by means of cyclic voltammetry to evaluate as the anode for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) application. In comparison with unmodified carbon cloth (CC) anodes, PPy-PAN/CNT nanofiber composite showed the improvement of the maximum power density by 40%. The PPy-PAN/CNT nanofiber composite electrode therefore offers good prospects for application in MFCs. PMID:26353717

  8. Investigating design criteria to build a performing microbial fuel cell running on swine liquid manure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, D.Y.; Hogue, R.; Dube, P.; Jeanne, T.; Levesque, A. [Inst. de recherche et de developpement en agroenvironnement Inc, Quebec City, PQ (Canada); Theriault, R.; Kaliaguine, S. [Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the bacterial and electro-chemical phenomena that takes place in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) operating on swine liquid manure as fuel. An MFC converts the available energy in a bioconvertible substrate directly into electricity while decreasing its chemical oxygen demand (COD). In this study, a first single chamber MFC operating on swine liquid manure was constructed based on a literature review. Various support media filling the anodic chamber were tested in an effort to optimize the surface area on which bacteria may develop according to the hypothesis that large bacteria concentration will improve energy production and reduce treatment time. Bacterial communities extracted from the selected support media were analyzed using molecular technologies such as DNA extraction, PCR amplification, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, cloning and sequencing. The analyses showed that only a few bacteria species coming from raw liquid manure were responsible for electrical activities.

  9. Additive Manufacturing of a Microbial Fuel Cell—A detailed study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26611142

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Use of filamentous fungi for improving electricity production and textile dye treatment in a microbial fuel cell

    OpenAIRE

    C. A. Ottoni; Peixoto, L.; Maiorano, A. E.; Brito, A. G.

    2014-01-01

    Urban and industrial wastewaters have received an increased interest towards energy harvesting using microbial fuel cells (MFC). The combined use of microbial anode oxidizing organic substrates and enzymatic cathode reducing oxygen is a promising new approach for the simultaneous treatment of wastewater and generation of electricity. In this context, our study evaluated the performance of a two-chambered MFC operated with three laccase producing strains of filamentous fungi (Ff), immobilized ...

  15. Power generation and oil sands process-affected water treatment in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeongdong; Liu, Yang

    2014-10-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), a product of bitumen isolation in the oil sands industry, is a source of pollution if not properly treated. In present study, OSPW treatment and voltage generation were examined in a single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) under the effect of inoculated carbon source and temperature. OSPW treatment with an anaerobic sludge-inoculated MFC (AS-MFC) generated 0.55 ± 0.025 V, whereas an MFC inoculated with mature-fine tailings (MFT-MFC) generated 0.41 ± 0.01 V. An additional carbon source (acetate) significantly improved generated voltage. The voltage detected increased to 20-23% in MFCs when the condition was switched from ambient to mesophilic. The mesophilic condition increased OSPW treatment efficiency in terms of lowering the chemical oxygen demand and acid-extractable organics. Pyrosequencing analysis of microbial consortia revealed that Proteobacteria were the most abundant in MFCs and microbial communities in the AS-MFC were more diverse than those in the MFT-MFC.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Performance and kinetic study of photo microbial fuel cells (PMFCs) with different electrode distances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► We investigated the effect of electrode distance and behaviour of flow upon the performance of photo microbial fuel cell. ► The significant impact on power generation was caused by flow dynamic behaviour rather than electrode distance. ► The power density increased and internal resistance decreased as stirring speed increased in PMFC. ► The kinetic analyses explain the mechanism of electron transfer in a PMFC. -- Abstract: Focus of this study is to observe the stirring effect on electrode distances by using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii transformation F5 in photo microbial fuel cells (PMFCs). The electrode distances applied in this study were 10.3, 12.5 and 14.7 cm, respectively. Higher power density and lower internal resistance were observed at electrode distance of 14.7 and 10.3 cm compared to at electrode distance of 12.5 cm. Despite of it, higher exchange current density (io) and over potential (η) but lower electron transfer coefficient (β) can be observed at electrode distance of 14.7 and 10.3 cm compared to electrode distance of 12.5 cm. Since the results observed in the present study are different from some reported studies, the explanations are discussed in this paper. In addition we also performed experiment with different stirring speed and found out that power density increased and internal resistance decreased with the increasing stirring speed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Daxing; Zhu, Yingmin; Pedrycz, Witold; Guo, Yongxian

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27213346

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Microbially influenced corrosion of copper nuclear fuel waste containers in a Canadian disposal vault

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An assessment of the potential for microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) of copper nuclear fuel waste containers in a Canadian disposal vault is presented. The assessment is based on a consideration of the microbial activity within a disposal vault, the reported cases of MIC of Cu alloys in the literature and the known corrosion behaviour of Cu. Because of the critical role of biofilms in the reported cases of MIC, their formation and properties are discussed in detail. Next, the literature on the MIC of Cu alloys is briefly reviewed. The various MIC mechanisms proposed are critically discussed and the implications for the corrosion of Cu containers considered. In the majority of literature cases, MIC depends on alternating aerated and deaerated environments, with accelerated corrosion being observed when fresh aerated water replaces stagnant water, e.g., the MIC of Cu-Ni heat exchangers in polluted seawater and the microbially influenced pitting of Cu water pipes. Finally, because of the predominance of corrosion by sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in the MIC literature, the abiotic behaviour of Cu alloys in sulphide solutions is also reviewed. The effect of the evolving environment in a disposal vault on the extent and location of microbial activity is discussed. Biofilm formation on the container surface is considered unlikely throughout the container lifetime, but especially initially when the environmental conditions will be particularly aggressive. Microbial activity in areas of the vault away from the container is possible, however. Corrosion of the container could then occur if microbial metabolic by-products diffuse to the container surface. Sulphide, produced by the action of SRB are considered to be the most likely cause of container corrosion. It is concluded that the only likely form of MIC of Cu containers will result from sulphide produced by SRB diffusing to the container surface. A modelling procedure for predicting the extent of corrosion is

  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. PMID:27372008

  8. Performance Assessment Of Local Biomass Powered Cereal Drier Used By Small-Scale Kenyan Farmers

    OpenAIRE

    Madaraka F. Mwema; Kimayu S. Musau; Ngugi J. Mburu

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Recent studies have revealed that drying maize using biomass driers increase the quality of grains delays insect infestation mold and aflatoxin contamination in relation to direct sunlight drying. Most importantly biomass drying takes shorter time. It is therefore important to undertake performance of these driers to investigate the possibility of empirical control of such systems in remote areas. In this paper we present results of thermal performance of typical biomass-powered drie...

  9. Effect of toxic components on microbial fuel cell-polarization curves and estimation of the type of toxic inhibition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, N.E.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Straten, G. van; Keesman, K.J.

    2012-01-01

    Polarization curves are of paramount importance for the detection of toxic components in microbial fuel cell (MFC) based biosensors. In this study, polarization curves were made under non-toxic conditions and under toxic conditions after the addition of various concentrations of nickel, bentazon, so

  10. The flat-plate plant-microbial fuel cell: the effect of a new design on internal resistances

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    Due to a growing world population and increasing welfare, energy demand worldwide is increasing. To meet the increasing energy demand in a sustainable way, new technologies are needed. The Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell (P-MFC) is a technology that could produce sustainable bio-electricity and help meeti

  11. A bipolar membrane combined with ferric iron reduction as an efficient cathode system in microbial fuel cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijne, ter A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Wilde, de V.; Rozendal, R.A.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2006-01-01

    There is a need for alternative catalysts for oxygen reduction in the cathodic compartment of a microbial fuel cell (MFC). In this study, we show that a bipolar membrane combined with ferric iron reduction on a graphite electrode is an efficient cathode system in MFCs. A flat plate MFC with graphite

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Scaled-up dual anode/cathode microbial fuel cell stack for actual ethanolamine wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Byung-Min; Heo, Yoon; Maitlo, Hubdar-Ali; Park, Joo-Yang

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this work was to develop the scale-up microbial fuel cell technology for actual ethanolamine wastewater treatment, dual anode/cathode MFC stacks connected in series to achieve any desired current, treatment capacity, and volume capacity. However, after feeding actual wastewater into the MFC, maximum power density decreased while the corresponding internal resistance increased. With continuous electricity production, a stack of eight MFCs in series achieved 96.05% of COD removal and 97.30% of ammonia removal at a flow rate of 15.98L/d (HRT 12h). The scaled-up dual anode/cathode MFC stack system in this research was demonstrated to treat actual ETA wastewater with the added benefit of harvesting electricity energy. PMID:26888335

  15. 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.

  16. Capacitive deionization coupled with microbial fuel cells to desalinate low-concentration salt water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Lulu; Yang, Xufei; Liang, Peng; Wang, Lei; Huang, Zheng-Hong; Wei, Jincheng; Huang, Xia

    2012-04-01

    A new technology (CDI-MFC) that combined capacitive deionization (CDI) and microbial fuel cell (MFC) was developed to treat low-concentration salt water with NaCl concentration of 60mg/L. The water desalination rate was 35.6mg/(Lh), meanwhile the charge efficiency was 21.8%. Two desorption modes were investigated: discharging (DC) mode and short circuit (SC) mode. The desalination rate in the DC mode was 200.6±3.1mg/(Lh), 47.8% higher than that in the SC mode [135.7±15.3mg/(Lh)]. The average current in the DC mode was also much higher than that of the SC mode. The energy stored in the CDI cell has been reused to enhance the electron production of MFC by the discharging desorption mode (DC mode), which offers an approach to recover the electrostatic energy in the CDI cell. PMID:22364771

  17. 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....... makes it difficult to apply conventional liquid handling robots as they are designed to automate a predefined task. In order to address these issues, we have developed an open source liquid handling robot, EvoBot. It uses a modular approach, which gives us the possibility to reconfigure the robot...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng

    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....... A sediment-type MFC based on two pieces of bioelectrodes was employed as a novel in situ applicable approach for nitrate/nitrite removal, as well as electricity production from eutrophic lakes. The nitrogen removal and power generation were limited by the DO level in the water and acetate level injected......, additional electron donor or risk of bacteria discharge. Such a new system may offer a promising avenue for drinking water treatment and energy recovery....

  19. Supercapacitive microbial fuel cell: Characterization and analysis for improved charge storage/delivery performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, Jeremiah; Santoro, Carlo; Soavi, Francesca; Serov, Alexey; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Arbizzani, Catia; Atanassov, Plamen

    2016-10-01

    Supercapacitive microbial fuel cells with various anode and cathode dimensions were investigated in order to determine the effect on cell capacitance and delivered power quality. The cathode size was shown to be the limiting component of the system in contrast to anode size. By doubling the cathode area, the peak power output was improved by roughly 120% for a 10ms pulse discharge and internal resistance of the cell was decreased by ∼47%. A model was constructed in order to predict the performance of a hypothetical cylindrical MFC design with larger relative cathode size. It was found that a small device based on conventional materials with a volume of approximately 21cm(3) would be capable of delivering a peak power output of approximately 25mW at 70mA, corresponding to ∼1300Wm(-3). PMID:27400393

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. PMID:27105032

  5. A phosphorus-free anolyte to enhance coulombic efficiency of microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xinhua; Li, Haoran; Du, Zhuwei; Ng, How Yong

    2014-12-01

    In this study, a phosphorus-free anolyte is prepared by using bicarbonate to replace phosphate buffer for application in two chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Optical density test and Bradford protein assay shows that this phosphorus-free anolyte effectively inhibits the growth and reproduction of microorganisms suspended in the solution and greatly reduces the suspended cell mass. As a result, it considerably enhances the coulombic efficiency (CE) of MFCs. When the acetate concentration is 11 mM, the CE of the MFC using the pH 7 phosphate-containing anolyte is 9.7% and the CE with the pH 8.3 phosphate-containing anolyte is 9.1%, while the CE of the MFC using the phosphorus-free anolyte (pH 8.3) achieves 26.6%. This study demonstrates that this phosphorus-free anolyte holds the potential to enhance the feasibility for practical applications of MFCs.

  6. Dynamic electrical reconfiguration for improved capacitor charging in microbial fuel cell stacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaharalabos, George; Greenman, John; Stinchcombe, Andrew; Horsfield, Ian; Melhuish, Chris; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2014-12-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a bioelectrochemical device that uses anaerobic bacteria to convert chemical energy locked in biomass into small amounts of electricity. One viable way of increasing energy extraction is by stacking multiple MFC units and exploiting the available electrical configurations for increasing the current or stepping up the voltage. The present study illustrates how a real-time electrical reconfiguration of MFCs in a stack, halves the time required to charge a capacitor (load) and achieves 35% higher current generation compared to a fixed electrical configuration. This is accomplished by progressively switching in-parallel elements to in-series units in the stack, thus maintaining an optimum potential difference between the stack and the capacitor, which in turn allows for a higher energy transfer.

  7. High efficiency energy harvesting from microbial fuel cells using a synchronous boost converter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jae-Do; Ren, Zhiyong

    2012-06-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy stored in biodegradable substrates into direct electricity, which can be used to power remote sensors or offset the energy used during wastewater treatment. Power electronic converters have been developed to replace external resistors and harvest and store energy from MFCs, which is a significant improvement in MFC studies because external resistors only demonstrate power generation potential without actually capturing usable energy. However, the efficiency of conventional diode based energy harvester is low due to the high power loss of the diode. This study presents a synchronous boost converter based MFC energy harvester using a P-channel MOSFET, which improved the converter efficiency by 73%, from 43.8% to 75.9%. A modified hysteresis controller was developed to provide precise control during energy harvesting and operating and also prevented reverse current flows.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Maximizing power production in a stack of microbial fuel cells using multiunit optimization method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Lyne; Perrier, Michel; Srinivasan, Bala; Tartakovsky, Boris

    2009-01-01

    This study demonstrates real-time maximization of power production in a stack of two continuous flow microbial fuel cells (MFCs). To maximize power output, external resistances of two air-cathode membraneless MFCs were controlled by a multiunit optimization algorithm. Multiunit optimization is a recently proposed method that uses multiple similar units to optimize process performance. The experiment demonstrated fast convergence toward optimal external resistance and algorithm stability during external perturbations (e.g., temperature variations). Rate of the algorithm convergence was much faster than in traditional maximum power point tracking algorithms (MPPT), which are based on temporal perturbations. A power output of 81-84 mW/L(A) (A = anode volume) was achieved in each MFC. PMID:19496144

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27130228

  13. 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. PMID:26901739

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26476157

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanas, Vanessa; Logan, Bruce E

    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 ± 40 mW/m(2)) 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. PMID:24063821

  18. Increased performance of a tubular microbial fuel cell with a rotating carbon-brush anode.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-15

    A novel method was proposed to improve the power output of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) by rotating the carbon-brush anode. The MFC with a rotating anode produced a peak power density of 210±3 W/m(3) and a maximum current density of 945±43 A/m(3), 1.4 and 2.7 times higher than those of the non-rotating case, respectively. The difference of the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry before and after anode rotation clearly suggested that the mass transfer to the spiral space was enhanced by the rotating anode. Furthermore, Tafel plots analysis also revealed that the rotating anode can improve the electrochemical activity of the biofilm. PMID:25168763

  19. Electricity generation from carbon monoxide in a single chamber microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, P; Hussain, A; Tartakovsky, B; Neburchilov, V; Raghavan, V; Wang, H; Guiot, S R

    2010-05-01

    Electricity production from carbon monoxide (CO) is demonstrated in a single chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) with a CoTMPP-based air cathode. The MFC was inoculated with anaerobic sludge and continuously sparged with CO as a sole carbon source. Volumetric power output was maximized at a CO flow rate of 4.8LLR(-1)d(-1) reaching 6.4mWLR(-1). Several soluble and gaseous degradation products including hydrogen, methane, and acetate were detected, resulting in a relatively low apparent Coulombic efficiency of 8.7%. Tests also demonstrated electricity production from hydrogen and acetate with the highest and fastest increase in voltage exhibited after acetate injection. It is hypothesized that electricity generation in a CO-fed MFC is accomplished by a consortium of carboxydotrophic and carbon monoxide - tolerant anodophilic microorganisms. PMID:25919620

  20. Size effects of potato waste on its treatment by microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Haixia; Li, Fusheng

    2016-01-01

    The performance of microbial fuel cell (MFC) in treating potato cubes with different sizes (the edge size of 3, 5 and 7 mm) was investigated. Current density was found lower as the size of potato cubes increased, even if the differences in their removal were less apparent. At the end of MFC operation for 81 days, both total and soluble chemical oxygen demand reached nearly identical values, irrespective of the potato sizes; and citrate and isobutyrate were two major organic acids remaining in the solutions. Bacterial community analysis using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing indicated that bacterial species on the anode and in the anodic solution were similar and did not change obviously with potato sizes, and that, in similarity with previous studies on potato-processing wastewater treatment, Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were two dominating phyla. Geobacter was found richer on the anode than in the anodic solutions. PMID:26583755

  1. 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

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:27072066

  2. pH-dependent ammonia removal pathways in microbial fuel cell system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Taeyoung; An, Junyeong; Lee, Hyeryeong; Jang, Jae Kyung; Chang, In Seop

    2016-09-01

    In this work, ammonia removal paths in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) under different initial pH conditions (pH 7.0, 8.0, and 8.6) were investigated. At a neutral pH condition (pH 7.0), MFC used an electrical energy of 27.4% and removed 23.3% of total ammonia by electrochemical pathway for 192h. At the identical pH condition, 36.1% of the total ammonia was also removed by the biological path suspected to be biological ammonia oxidation process (e.g., Anammox). With the initial pH increased, the electrochemical removal efficiency decreased to less than 5.0%, while the biological removal efficiency highly increased to 61.8%. In this study, a neutral pH should be maintained in the anode to utilize MFCs for ammonia recovery via electrochemical pathways from wastewater stream. PMID:27090407

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Predicting the effects of microbial activity on the corrosion of copper nuclear fuel waste disposal containers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) of copper nuclear fuel waste containers may occur in a disposal vault located 500-1000 m underground in the granitic rock of the Canadian Shield. The extent and diversity of microbial activity in the vault is expected to be limited initially because of the aggressive conditions produced by γ-radiation, elevated temperatures and desiccation of the clay-based buffer in which the containers will be embedded. Experimental results on the heat- and radiation-sensitivity of the natural microbiota in buffer material are presented. The data suggest that the low water activity in the buffer material will severely limit the growth of microbes near the container. The most likely form of MIC involves sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Electrochemical experiments using a clay-covered copper electrode have shown that sulphide ions produced by SRB could diffuse through buffer material and induce corrosion of the container. A method to predict the long-term corrosion behaviour is presented. (author)

  13. 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.

  14. Perspective of harnessing energy from landfill leachate via microbial fuel cells: novel biofuels and electrogenic physiologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Dong; Wang, Ting; Huang, Xinghua; Dolfing, Jan; Xie, Bing

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur are highly concentrated in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill leachate, which usually frustrates conventional leachate treatment technologies from the perspective of energy costs. Therefore, the possibility of converting leachate to a new energy source via microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has been examined recently. This paper summarizes the power output and energy recovery efficiency of the leachate-fed MFCs according to different feeding patterns, cell structures, and loading rates. Also, we assess potential energy-generating chemicals in leachate like nitrogen and sulfur compounds and propose alternative pathways, which may lift strict ratios between organic carbon and nitrogen content in conventional denitrification of leachate and are expected to achieve a higher voltage than traditional organic-oxygen based cells. Although currently power output of leachate-fed MFCs is limited, it seems well possible that dynamic characteristics of MSW leachates and microbial physiologies underlying some bio-electrochemically efficient activities (e.g., direct interspecies electron transfer) could be stimulated in MFC systems to improve the present status. PMID:26239072

  15. Metals as electron acceptors in single-chamber microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan; Wu, Yining; Puranik, Sampada; Lei, Yu; Vadas, Timothy; Li, Baikun

    2014-12-01

    Two typical oxidized-status metals (Fe(III) and Cr(VI)) were studied as electron acceptors on cathodes in single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs) to explore novel sustainable technology for metal treatment. The batch-mode tests indicated that the voltages of SCMFCs steadily increased with Fe(III) concentrations (10, 30, and 50 mg L-1) and Cr(VI) concentrations (1, 3, and 10 mg L-1). The maximum power density was 658 ± 6 mW m-2 at 50 mg L-1 of Fe(III), and 419 ± 4 mW m-2 at 10 mg L-1 Cr(VI). The conversion efficiency of Cr(VI) and Fe(III) were high (>89%), and coulombic efficiency ranged 23-100%. Cr(VI) concentration of 10 mg L-1 started to irreversibly inhibit SCMFCs. The open circuit potentials (OCPs) well reflected the organic substrate removal in anode and metal reduction on cathode. Cathode liner sweep voltammetry (LSV) showed the electrochemical activity increased with metal concentrations, and the cathode of Fe(III) had better LSV performance than Cr(VI). Microbial community analysis of biofilms showed that the DNA band patterns of anode biofilms were similar, while cathode biofilms varied with electron acceptors. This study demonstrated the high power generation of SCMFCs with metals as electron acceptors, and revealed the great potential of expanding MFCs for diverse waste treatment.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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). PMID:26611399

  20. 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...

  1. [Development of a low-cost single chamber microbial fuel cell type BOD sensor].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Feng; Liu, Zhi; Zhou, Ben; Zhou, Shun-gui; Rao, Li-qun; Wang, Yue-qiang

    2010-07-01

    The principle of the detector is based on the effect of microbial toxicity of water sample on the electricity generation in microbial fuel cell (MFC). The performance of the MFC-type biotoxicity detector was evaluated with the synthetic water containing heavy metals of Cd2+ and Cu2+. The experimental results demonstrated that: (1) relative to the conventional methods, the MFC-type detector is easy to operate, and suitable for on-line measurements with high sensitivity; (2) it only requires 4 h to complete measurements, and can get ready for next measurement within 4 h; (3) there is a significant linear correlation between the concentration of toxic metal(s) and inhibition ratios in Coulombic yields of MFC. As the IC20 (concentration causing 20% inhibition) of Cd2+, Cu2+ and mixed metals (Cd2+ and Cu2+) were 0.6, 0.8 and 0.25 mg/L, the regression coefficients were shown to be 0.9960, 0.9744 and 0.9907. PMID:20825031

  2. 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. PMID:25950933

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Application of acetate, lactate, and fumarate as electron donors in microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that use bacteria as the catalysts to oxidize organic and inorganic matter and generate current. Up to now, several classes of extracellular electron transfer mechanisms have been elucidated for various microorganisms. Shewanellaceae and Geobacteraceae families include the most of model exoelectrogenic microorganisms. Desulfuromonas acetoxidans bacterium inhabits aquatic sedimental sulfur-containing environments and is philogenetically close to representatives of Geobacteraceae family. Two chamber microbial fuel cell (0.3 l volume) was constructed with application of D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384 as anode biocatalyst. Acetic, lactic and fumaric acids were separately applied as organic electron donors for bacterial growth in constructed MFC. Bacterial cultivation in MFC was held during twenty days. Lactate oxidation caused electric power production with the highest value up to 0.071 mW on 64 hour of D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384 growth. Addition of acetic and fumaric acids into bacterial growth medium caused maximal power production up to 0.075 and 0.074 mW respectively on the 40 hour of their growth. Increasing of incubation time up to twentieth day caused decrease of generated electric power till 0.018 mW, 0.042 mW and 0.047 mW under usage of lactic, acetic and fumaric acids respectively by investigated bacteria. Power generation by D. acetoxidans IMV B-7384 was more stabile and durable under application of acetic and fumaric acids as electron donors in constructed MFC, than under addition of lactic acid in the same concentration into the growth medium.

  6. Comprehensive Study on Ceramic Membranes for Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternak, Grzegorz; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27093487

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial Fuel Cells using Mixed Cultures of Wastewater for Electricity Generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas and coal) are the main resources for generating electricity. However, they have been major contributors to environmental problems. One potential alternative to explore is the use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which generate electricity using microorganisms. MFCs uses catalytic reactions activated by microorganisms to convert energy preserved in the chemical bonds between organic molecules into electrical energy. MFC has the ability to generate electricity during the wastewater treatment process while simultaneously treating the pollutants. This study investigated the potential of using different types of mixed cultures (raw sewage, mixed liquor from the aeration tank and return waste activated sludge) from an activated sludge treatment plant in MFCs for electricity generation and pollutant removals (COD and total kjeldahl nitrogen, TKN). The MFC in this study was designed as a dual-chambered system, in which the chambers were separated by a NafionTM membrane using a mixed culture of wastewater as a bio catalyst. The maximum power density generated using activated sludge was 9.053 mW/ cm2, with 26.8 % COD removal and 40 % TKN removal. It is demonstrated that MFC offers great potential to optimize power generation using mixed cultures of wastewater. (author)

  13. 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)

  14. Danish Experiences with Deposit Probe Measurements in Grate and Pulverized Fuel Biomass Power Boilers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Stine Broholm; Jensen, Peter Arendt; Jappe Frandsen, Flemming;

    2012-01-01

    the flue gas temperature leads to increased deposition rates and deposits with higher contents of Si and Ca and lower contents of K and Cl. The shedding behavior is influenced by both probe surface temperature, flue gas temperature and deposits chemistry. The influence of temperature on the degree...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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%.

  1. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26673789

  2. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Fast detection and quantification of Escherichia coli using the base principle of the microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Taegyu; Han, Jong-In

    2013-11-30

    Escherichia coli is an important microbial indicator of fecal contamination, making accurate quantitative detection of E. coli a key to ensuring public health. In this study, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was used as a detection unit of an E. coli sensor, and specific enzymes expressed in E. coli, such as β-D-galactosidase (GAL) and β-D-glucuronidase (GUS), were exploited as biological detection elements. As substrates, 4-aminophenyl-β-D-galactopyranoside (4-APGal) were used for GAL detection, whereas 8-hydroxyquinoline glucuronide (8-HQG) and 4-nitrophenyl β-D-glucuronide (PNPG) were used for GUS detection. Once these substrates were hydrolyzed by GAL or GUS, they became electrochemically active products, which were, in turn, oxidized on the anode of the MFC reactor. The power output of the MFC reactor increased sharply when E. coli in the reactor reached the critical concentration. Accordingly, the time required to reach the highest voltage output was recorded as a detection time (DT), and a negative linear relationship was established between DT and the logarithm of the initial concentration of E. coli in the samples studied. The DTs of laboratory samples were 140 min and 560 min for initial concentrations of 1.9 × 10(7) CFU/mL and 42 CFU/mL at 44.5 °C. Moreover, the DTs for GUS assays were further shortened by induction with methyl β-D-glucuronide sodium salt (MetGlu). The quantitative relationship between DTs and initial E. coli concentrations established from replicate laboratory sample assays allowed estimation of the E. coli concentration in environmental samples, but with approximately 100 min of lag time. The lag time was also observed with E. coli samples that were prepared by starving cells in a laboratory. PMID:24095789

  6. Upgrading to lead firm position via international acquisition: learning from the global biomass power plant industry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ulrich Elmer; Fold, Niels; Hansen, Teis

    2016-01-01

    This article examines the case of a Chinese firm that has upgraded to lead firm position in the global biomass power plant industry mainly through acquisitions of technological frontier firms in Denmark. Sustaining the lead firm position was, however, challenged by difficulties in developing...... innovative capability. Drawing on the literature on (i) firm-level technological capability and (ii) knowledge transfer in international acquisitions, we explain the reasons for insufficient innovative capability building. Based on these empirical findings, we suggest maintaining the existing upgrading...

  7. The status quo and prospect of biomass power generation in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhuang Huiyong; Zhang Yanru

    2009-01-01

    Facing the pressure of fossil energy exhaustion and environment pollution, people begin to search for clean and renewable energy to partly substitute fossil energy and realize sustainable development. As the fourth type of ener-gy, biomass energy has many advantages: wide distribution, large quantity, being renewable, clean, storable and trans-portable and so on. By adopting thermo-chemical and biochemical technologies, biomass energy can be converted to high quality solid, liquid and gaseous energy products, and provide convenient heat and power energy for human being's production and daily life. This paper presented the status quo of biomass power generation industry in China and also introduced briefly the future development models.

  8. Model of risk analysis on site selection of biomass power plant based on stochastic robust interval method%随机鲁棒区间-生物质电厂选址风险分析模型

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈聪; 黄国和; 李永平; 李萌文

    2013-01-01

    The transport cost of biomass fuels accounts for a large proportion of the total cost of the operation of biomass power plant. Optimizing biomass power plant site can largely mitigate the transport cost and reduce the pollutant emissions from the transportation process of biomass fuels. Therefore, it is significant to optimize the biomass power plant sit. However, the biomass power system contains many uncertainties, because that many parameters can hardly be acquired as deterministic values but expressed as interval and/or stochastic formats. For example, the supply demand of biomass fuels can be expressed as probability distributions;also, interval values can describe the uncertain parameters such as the biomass fuels price, which fluctuates between lower and upper bounds. Energy systems would become insecurity and with a high risk without considering these uncertainties. Security is a priority in the operation of biomass power plant. In this study, a stochastic robust interval model (SRIM) was developed for the biomass power plant site selection under uncertainties, through incorporating interval-parameter programming (IPP) and robust optimization (RO) within two-stage programming (TSP) framework. In SRIM, decision variables were divided into two subsets:those that must be determined before the realizations of random variables were known, and those that were determined after the realized random variables were available. The SRIM can deal with the uncertainties described in the terms of the interval values and probability distributions, moreover, it can also reflect economic penalties as corrective measures or recourse against any infeasibilities arising due to a particular realization of an uncertain event. In the SRIM modeling formulation, penalties were exercised with the recourse against any infeasibility, and robustness measures were introduced to examine the variability of the second stage costs that were above the expected levels. The SRIM was generally

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Performance of pilot-scale microbial fuel cells treating wastewater with associated bioenergy production in the Caribbean context

    OpenAIRE

    Tota-Maharaj, Kiran; Paul, Parneet

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology represents a form of renewable energy that generates bioelectricity from what would otherwise be considered a waste stream. MFCs may be ideally suited to the small island developing state (SIDS) context, such as Trinidad and Tobago where seawater as the main electrolyte is readily available and economical renewable and sustainable electricity is also deemed a priority. Hence this project tested two identical laboratory-scaled MFC systems that were specific...

  12. Surface Area Expansion of Electrodes with Grass-like Nanostructures to Enhance Electricity Generation in Microbial Fuel Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Al Atraktchi, Fatima Al-Zahraa; Zhang, Yifeng; Safaa Noori, Jafar; Angelidaki, Irini

    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 nanostructure (termed nanograss) were used. A two-chamber MFC with plain silicium electrodes achieved a maximum power density of 0.002 mW/m2, while an electrode with nanograss of titanium and gold deposi...

  13. Optimal Sizing of a Hybrid Grid-Connected Photovoltaic–Wind–Biomass Power System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnau González

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Hybrid renewable energy systems (HRES are a trendy alternative to enhance the renewable energy deployment worldwide. They effectively take advantage of scalability and flexibility of these energy sources, since combining two or more allows counteracting the weaknesses of a stochastic renewable energy source with the strengths of another or with the predictability of a non-renewable energy source. This work presents an optimization methodology for minimum life cycle cost of a HRES based on solar photovoltaic, wind and biomass power. Biomass power seeks to take advantage of locally available forest wood biomass in the form of wood chips to provide energy in periods when the PV and wind power generated are not enough to match the existing demand. The results show that a HRES combining the selected three sources of renewable energy could be installed in a rural township of about 1300 dwellings with an up-front investment of US $7.4 million, with a total life cycle cost of slightly more than US $30 million. Such a system would have benefits in terms of energy autonomy and environment quality improvement, as well as in term of job opportunity creation.

  14. Biomass power plants and health problems among nearby residents: A case study in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chudchawal Juntarawijit

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Electricity generation from biomass has become a boom business. However, currently, concerns over their environmental and health impact have emerged. This study aimed to explore these health problems by studying two small biomass power plants in Thailand. Materials and Methods: Data concerning chronic diseases and health symptoms was collected from 392 people by trained interviewers by the use of a questionnaire. Results: Residents living within 1 km from the power plants had a higher prevalence of allergies (Odds ratio = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.5-4.0, asthma (OR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.0-4.4 and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.0-8.4. The risks of other symptoms, itching/rash, eye irritation, cough, stuffy nose, allergic symptoms, sore throat, and difficulty breathing among those living within 0.5 km from the power plants (OR = 2.5-8.5 were even more marked. Conclusions: It has been concluded that without a proper control, pollution from the biomass power plants can cause significant health problems to the nearby residents.

  15. Tactical supply chain planning for a forest biomass power plant under supply uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uncertainty in biomass supply is a critical issue that needs to be considered in the production planning of bioenergy plants. Incorporating uncertainty in supply chain planning models provides improved and stable solutions. In this paper, we first reformulate a previously developed non-linear programming model for optimization of a forest biomass power plant supply chain into a linear programming model. The developed model is a multi-period tactical-level production planning problem and considers the supply and storage of forest biomass as well as the production of electricity. It has a one-year planning horizon with monthly time steps. Next, in order to incorporate uncertainty in monthly available biomass into the planning, we develop a two-stage stochastic programming model. Finally, to balance the risk and profit, we propose a bi-objective model. The results show that uncertainty in availability of biomass has an additional cost of $0.4 million for the power plant. Using the proposed stochastic optimization model could reduce this cost by half. - Highlights: • Developed a two-stage stochastic optimization model to consider supply uncertainty. • Maximized the profit of a forest biomass power plant value chain. • Minimized two risk measures, variability index and downside risk, to manage risks. • Stochastic optimization model provided feasible solution for all scenarios. • Results showed a trade-off between profit and risk management

  16. A Two-Stage Microbial Fuel Cell and Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Membrane Bioreactor (MFC-AFMBR) System for Effective Domestic Wastewater Treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Ren, Lijiao; Ahn, Yongtae; Logan, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising technology for energy-efficient domestic wastewater treatment, but the effluent quality has typically not been sufficient for discharge without further treatment. A two-stage laboratory-scale combined treatment process, consisting of microbial fuel cells and an anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactor (MFC-AFMBR), was examined here to produce high quality effluent with minimal energy demands. The combined system was operated continuously for 50 d...

  17. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27172836

  1. Analytical applications of microbial fuel cells. Part I: Biochemical oxygen demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Sacco, Natalia J; Bonetto, Maria C; Hilding-Ohlsson, Astrid; Cortón, Eduardo

    2015-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical devices, where usually the anode (but sometimes the cathode, or both) contains microorganisms able to generate and sustain an electrochemical gradient which is used typically to generate electrical power. In the more studied set-up, the anode contains heterotrophic bacteria in anaerobic conditions, capable to oxidize organic molecules releasing protons and electrons, as well as other by-products. Released protons could reach the cathode (through a membrane or not) whereas electrons travel across an external circuit originating an easily measurable direct current flow. MFCs have been proposed fundamentally as electric power producing devices or more recently as hydrogen producing devices. Here we will review the still incipient development of analytical uses of MFCs or related devices or set-ups, in the light of a non-restrictive MFC definition, as promising tools to asset water quality or other measurable parameters. An introduction to biological based analytical methods, including bioassays and biosensors, as well as MFCs design and operating principles, will also be included. Besides, the use of MFCs as biochemical oxygen demand sensors (perhaps the main analytical application of MFCs) is discussed. In a companion review (Part 2), other new analytical applications are reviewed used for toxicity sensors, metabolic sensors, life detectors, and other proposed applications. PMID:24856922

  2. 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.

  3. A microbial fuel cell driven capacitive deionization technology for removal of low level dissolved ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Cuijie; Hou, Chia-Hung; Chen, Shaohua; Yu, Chang-Ping

    2013-04-01

    The microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an emerging technology, which uses exoelectrogenic microorganisms to oxidize organic matter in the wastewater to produce electricity. However, the low energy output limits its application in practice. Capacitive deionization (CDI), an electrochemically controlled method for deionization by the adsorption of ions in the electrical double layer region at an electrode-solution interface, requires a low external power supply. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the MFC driven CDI (MFC-CDI) technology to integrate deionization with wastewater treatment and electricity production. Taking advantage of the low potential requirement of CDI, voltage generated from a continuous flow MFC could be used to drive the CDI to achieve removal of the electrolyte to a stable status. The results indicated that among the three connection types of MFCs including single-, series-, and parallel-configuration, the parallel connection of two MFCs resulted in the highest potential (0.63V) applied to CDI and the conductivity removal of NaCl solution was more than 60%. The electrosorption capacities under different electrolyte concentrations of 50, 100 and 150 mg L(-1) were 150, 346 and 295 μg g(-1), respectively. These results suggest that the new MFC-CDI technology, which utilizes energy recovery from the wastewater, has great potential to be an energy saving technology to remove low level dissolved ions from aqueous solutions for the water and wastewater treatment processes. PMID:23375820

  4. Effect of electron mediators on current generation and fermentation in a microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sund, C.J.; McMasters, S.; Crittenden, S.R.; Sumner, J.J. [Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, Adelphi, MD (United States). US Army Research Laboratory; Harrell, L.E. [US Military Academy, West Point, NY (United States). Dept. of Physics

    2007-09-15

    Effects of select electron mediators [9,10-anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonic acid disodium salt (AQDS), safranine O, resazurin, methylene blue, and humic acids] on metabolic end-products and current production from cellulose digestion by Clostridium cellulolyticum in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were studied using capillary electrophoresis and traditional electrochemical techniques. Addition of the mediator resazurin greatly enhanced current production but did not appear to alter the examined fermentation end-products compared to MFCs with no mediator. Assays for lactate, acetate, and ethanol indicate that the presence of safranine O, methylene blue, and humic acids alters metabolite production in the MFC: safranine O decreased the examined metabolites, methylene blue increased lactate formation, and humic acids increased the examined metabolites. Mediator standard redox potentials (E{sub 0}) reported in the literature do not coincide with redox potentials in MFCs due presumably to the electrolytic complexity of media that supports bacterial survival and growth. Current production in MFCs: (1) can be effected by the mediator redox potential while in the media, which may be significantly shifted from E{sub 0}, and (2) depended on the ability of the mediator to access the bacterial electron source, which may be cytoplasmic. In addition, some electron mediators had significant effects on metabolic end-products and therefore the metabolism of the organism itself.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A novel pilot-scale stacked microbial fuel cell for efficient electricity generation and wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shijia; Li, Hui; Zhou, Xuechen; Liang, Peng; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Jiang, Yong; Huang, Xia

    2016-07-01

    A novel stacked microbial fuel cell (MFC) which had a total volume of 72 L with granular activated carbon (GAC) packed bed electrodes was constructed and verified to present remarkable power generation and COD removal performance due to its advantageous design of stack and electrode configuration. During the fed-batch operation period, a power density of 50.9 ± 1.7 W/m(3) and a COD removal efficiency of 97% were achieved within 48 h. Because of the differences among MFC modules in the stack, reversal current occurred in parallel circuit connection with high external resistances (>100 Ω). This reversal current consequently reduced the electrochemical performance of some MFC modules and led to a lower power density in parallel circuit connection than that in independent circuit connection. While increasing the influent COD concentrations from 200 to 800 mg/L at hydraulic retention time of 1.25 h in continuous operation mode, the power density of stacked MFC increased from 25.6 ± 2.5 to 42.1 ± 1.2 W/m(3) and the COD removal rates increased from 1.3 to 5.2 kg COD/(m(3) d). This study demonstrated that this novel MFC stack configuration coupling with GAC packed bed electrode could be a feasible strategy to effectively scale up MFC systems. PMID:27131320

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26936021

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:27295573

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27502051

  2. 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. PMID:27282165

  3. Enhanced surface functionality and microbial fuel cell performance of chitosan membranes through phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holder, Shima L; Lee, Ching-Hwa; Popuri, Srinivasa R; Zhuang, Meng-Xin

    2016-09-20

    The effects of plasticization and cross-linking on the performance of chitosan as promising proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for bioelectricity generation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were investigated. The physico-chemical properties of chitosan (CS), sorbitol-chitosan (S-CS), phosphorylated-chitosan (CS-P) and phosphorylated-sorbitol-chitosan (S-CS-P) membranes were investigated by FESEM-EDS, FTIR-ATR, XRD, TGA, tensile strength and sorption studies. The performance of the fabricated PEMs was assessed by power density and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Maximum power densities achieved were 130.03, 20.76, 94.59 and 7.42mW/m(2) for CS-P, S-CS-P, S-CS and CS membranes respectively. Phosphorylation of the CS membranes increased CEC and tensile strength, attributed to an increase in bonded amide and phosphate ionic surface groups. Further, 49.07% COD removal from municipal wastewater was achieved with CS-P membranes. Thus, through chemical modifications, the physico-chemical and mechanical properties of natural abundant biopolymer chitosan can be enhanced for its use as an environmentally sustainable PEM in MFC technology. PMID:27261749

  4. The effect of flavin electron shuttles in microbial fuel cells current production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Velasquez-Orta, Sharon B. [Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom). School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences; Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom). School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials; Head, Ian M.; Curtis, Thomas P. [Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom). School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences; Scott, Keith [Newcastle Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom). School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials; Lloyd, Jonathan R.; Canstein, Harald von [Manchester Univ. (United Kingdom). School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

    2010-02-15

    The effect of electron shuttles on electron transfer to microbial fuel cell (MFC) anodes was studied in systems where direct contact with the anode was precluded. MFCs were inoculated with Shewanella cells, and flavins used as the electron shuttling compound. In MFCs with no added electron shuttles, flavin concentrations monitored in the MFCs' bulk liquid increased continuously with FMN as the predominant flavin. The maximum concentrations were 0.6 {mu}M for flavin mononucleotide and 0.2 {mu}M for riboflavin. In MFCs with added flavins, micro-molar concentrations were shown to increase current and power output. The peak current was at least four times higher in MFCs with high concentrations of flavins (4.5-5.5 {mu}M) than in MFCs with low concentrations (0.2-0.6 {mu}M). Although high power outputs (around 150 mW/m{sup 2}) were achieved in MFCs with high concentrations of flavins, a Clostridium-like bacterium along with other reactor limitations affected overall coulombic efficiencies (CE) obtained, achieving a maximum CE of 13%. Electron shuttle compounds (flavins) permitted bacteria to utilise a remote electron acceptor (anode) that was not accessible to the cells allowing current production until the electron donor (lactate) was consumed. (orig.)

  5. 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.

  6. Performance comparison of microbial fuel cells equipped with different membrane electrode assemblies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It is important for practical use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to not only develop new materials including electrodes and proton exchange membranes but also to understand the bacterial community structure related to electricity generation. Here, four kinds of novel membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were made. Four lactate fed MFCs equipped with the membranes were characterized by electrochemical, molecular-dependent and molecular-independent methods. MFC1 equipped with Nafion 117-type MEA (18 μm thickness) exhibited the highest performance. Although the other MEAs with different configurations of three kinds of polymers; poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride), polyallylamine hydrochloride and poly (2-acrylamino-2-methyl -1-propanesulfonic acid) had thicknesses of about 0.3 μm (MEA 2 and 3) and 1.0 μm (MEA4), their power densities were lower. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and phylogenetic analyses showed that anaerobic bacteria dominated in anode biofilms of MFC1. A bacterium completely corresponding to nucleotide sequence of one of the DGGE bands was isolated from the anode biofilm in MFC1. Interestingly, BLAST search indicated that the bacterium (named strain RO1) belonged to the genus of gram positive bacterium, Propioniferax. It was confirmed that strain RO1 was capable of producing electricity and constructing biofilm on the anode surface in pure culture MFC. These results suggested that the property of MEA affects significantly the bacterial community structure, thereby influencing the MFC-performance.

  7. 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.

  8. Separation and detection of amino acid metabolites of Escherichia coli in microbial fuel cell with CE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Ma, Lihong; Lin, Ping; Xu, Kaixuan

    2016-07-01

    In this work, CE-LIF was employed to investigate the amino acid metabolites produced by Escherichia coli (E. coli) in microbial fuel cell (MFC). Two peptides, l-carnosine and l-alanyl-glycine, together with six amino acids, cystine, alanine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, arginine were separated and detected in advance by a CE-LIF system coupled with a homemade spontaneous injection device. The injection device was devised to alleviate the effect of electrical discrimination for analytes during sample injection. All analytes could be completely separated within 8 min with detection limits of 20-300 nmol/L. Then this method was applied to analyze the substrate solution containing amino acid metabolites produced by E. coli. l-carnosine, l-alanyl-glycine, and cystine were used as the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur source for the E. coli culture in the MFC to investigate the amino acid metabolites during metabolism. Two MFCs were used to compare the activity of metabolism of the bacteria. In the sample collected at the running time 200 h of MFC, the amino acid methionine was discovered as the metabolite with the concentrations 23.3 μg/L. PMID:27121957

  9. 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. PMID:19943685

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Use of Novel Reinforced Cation Exchange Membranes for Microbial Fuel Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This work has been focused on the synthesis and characterization of different blended membranes SPEEK-35PVA (Water), SPEEK-35PVA (DMAc) prepared by casting and nanofiber-reinforced proton exchange membranes Nafion-PVA-15, Nafion-PVA-23 and SPEEK/PVA-PVB. The two first reinforced membranes were made up of Nafion® polymer deposited between polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers. The last composite membrane is considered because the PVA is a hydrophilic polymer which forms homogeneous blends with SPEEK suitable to obtain high proton conductivity, while the hydrophobic PVB can produce blends in a phase separation morphology in which very low water uptake can be found. The synthesized membranes showed an outstanding stability, high proton conductivity, and enhanced mechanical and barrier properties. The membranes were characterized in single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs) using electrochemically enriched high sodic saline hybrid H-inocula (Geobacter metallireducen, Desulfurivibrio alkaliphilus, and Marinobacter adhaerens) as biocatalyst. The best performance was obtained with Nafion-PVA-15 membrane, which achieved a maximum power density of 1053 mW/m3 at a cell voltage of 340 mV and displayed the lowest total internal resistance (Rint ≈ 522 Ω). This result is in agreement with the low oxygen permeability and the moderate conductivity found in this kind of membranes. These results are encouraging towards obtaining high concentrated sodic saline model wastewater exploiting MFCs

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Microbial fuel cells for direct electrical energy recovery from urban wastewaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capodaglio, A G; Molognoni, D; Dallago, E; Liberale, A; Cella, R; Longoni, P; Pantaleoni, L

    2013-01-01

    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/m(3), 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. PMID:24453885

  16. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27172836

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Influence of substrate concentration and feed frequency on ammonia inhibition in microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tice, Ryan C.; Kim, Younggy

    2014-12-01

    Excessive amounts of ammonia are known to inhibit exoelectrogenic activities in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, the threshold ammonia concentration that triggers toxic effects is not consistent among literature papers, indicating that ammonia inhibition can be affected by other operational factors. Here, we examined the effect of substrate concentration and feed frequency on the capacity of exoelectrogenic bacteria to resist against ammonia inhibition. The high substrate condition (2 g L-1 sodium acetate, 2-day feed) maintained high electricity generation (between 1.1 and 1.9 W m-2) for total ammonia concentration up to 4000 mg-N L-1. The less frequent feed condition (2 g L-1 sodium acetate, 6-day feed) and the low substrate condition (0.67 g L-1 sodium acetate, 2-day feed) resulted in substantial decreases in electricity generation at total ammonia concentration of 2500 and 3000 mg-N L-1, respectively. It was determined that the power density curve serves as a better indicator than continuously monitored electric current for predicting ammonia inhibition in MFCs. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal gradually decreased at high ammonia concentration even without ammonia inhibition in electricity generation. The experimental results demonstrated that high substrate concentration and frequent feed substantially enhance the capacity of exoelectrogenic bacteria to resist against ammonia inhibition.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27388419

  10. Characterization of wastewater treatment by two microbial fuel cells in continuous flow operation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Keiichi; Watanabe, Tomohide; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Syutsubo, Kazuaki

    2016-01-01

    A two serially connected single-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was applied to the treatment of diluted molasses wastewater in a continuous operation mode. In addition, the effect of series and parallel connection between the anodes and the cathode on power generation was investigated experimentally. The two serially connected MFC process achieved 79.8% of chemical oxygen demand removal and 11.6% of Coulombic efficiency when the hydraulic retention time of the whole process was 26 h. The power densities were 0.54, 0.34 and 0.40 W m(-3) when electrodes were in individual connection, serial connection and parallel connection modes, respectively. A high open circuit voltage was obtained in the serial connection. Power density decreased at low organic loading rates (OLR) due to the shortage of organic matter. Power generation efficiency tended to decrease as a result of enhancement of methane fermentation at high OLRs. Therefore, high power density and efficiency can be achieved by using a suitable OLR range. PMID:26109271

  11. 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.

  12. New process for copper migration by bioelectricity generation in soil microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Song, Hailiang; Yu, Ran; Cao, Xian; Fang, Zhou; Li, Xianning

    2016-07-01

    The soil microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising biotechnology for the bioelectricity recovery as well as the remediation soil. Moreover, there were no studies on the heavy metal pollution in a soil MFC yet. A soil MFC was constructed to remediate the contaminated soil, and the electric field was generated from the oxidation of the acetate at the anode. We demonstrated the copper migration, the power generation, and the pH variation in the soil and the electrodes. The maximal voltage and the power density of 539 mV and 65.77 m W/m(2) were obtained in the soil MFC. The chemical fractionation of copper (Cu) was analyzed with a modified BCR sequential extraction method. The soluble Cu form and the total Cu contents from the anode to the cathode increased, and the difference between them kept growing over time. The Cu fractions in the soil and the electrodes were converted with the change of the dramatic pH from the anode to the cathode. There was a focusing effect leading to the change of the Cu forms, and the extractable acid form content increased in the three fifths where the acid and the alkali fronts met. PMID:27005277

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:22486712

  18. 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 biodegradable organic content of domestic wastewater. A stable current density of 282±23mA/m2 was obtained with domestic wastewater containing a BOD5 of 317±15mg O2/L at 22±2°C, 1.53±0.04mS/cm and pH 6.9±0.1. The current density showed a linear relationship with BOD5 concentration ranging from 17±0.5mg O2/L...... 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...

  19. 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 %.

  20. Bioelectricity generation and microcystins removal in a blue-green algae powered microbial fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bioelectricity production from blue-green algae was examined in a single chamber tubular microbial fuel cell (MFC). The blue-green algae powered MFC produced a maximum power density of 114 mW/m2 at a current density of 0.55 mA/m2. Coupled with the bioenergy generation, high removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nitrogen were also achieved in MFCs. Over 78.9% of total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), 80.0% of soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), 91.0% of total nitrogen (total-N) and 96.8% ammonium-nitrogen (NH3-N) were removed under closed circuit conditions in 12 days, which were much more effective than those under open circuit and anaerobic reactor conditions. Most importantly, the MFC showed great ability to remove microcystins released from blue-green algae. Over 90.7% of MC-RR and 91.1% of MC-LR were removed under closed circuit conditions (500 Ω). This study showed that the MFC could provide a potential means for electricity production from blue-green algae coupling algae toxins removal.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:27085948

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Comparison of Anodic Community in Microbial Fuel Cells with Iron Oxide-Reducing Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, Hiroshi; Ishida, Mitsuyoshi; Yamashita, Takahiro

    2016-04-28

    The group of Fe(III) oxide-reducing bacteria includes exoelectrogenic bacteria, and they possess similar properties of transferring electrons to extracellular insoluble-electron acceptors. The exoelectrogenic bacteria can use the anode in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as the terminal electron acceptor in anaerobic acetate oxidation. In the present study, the anodic community was compared with the community using Fe(III) oxide (ferrihydrite) as the electron acceptor coupled with acetate oxidation. To precisely analyze the structures, the community was established by enrichment cultures using the same inoculum used for the MFCs. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed considerable differences between the structure of the anodic communities and that of the Fe(III) oxide-reducing community. Geobacter species were predominantly detected (>46%) in the anodic communities. In contrast, Pseudomonas (70%) and Desulfosporosinus (16%) were predominant in the Fe(III) oxide-reducing community. These results demonstrated that Geobacter species are the most specialized among Fe(III)-reducing bacteria for electron transfer to the anode in MFCs. In addition, the present study indicates the presence of a novel lineage of bacteria in the genus Pseudomonas that highly prefers ferrihydrite as the terminal electron acceptor in acetate oxidation. PMID:26767577

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah Almatouq

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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, pHcathode, 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.

  3. Biodegradation and surfactant-mediated biodegradation of diesel fuel by 218 microbial consortia are not correlated to cell surface hydrophobicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owsianiak, Mikolaj; Szulc, Alicja; Chrzanowski, Lukasz; Bogacki, Mariusz [Poznan Univ. of Technology (Poland). Inst. of Chemical Technology and Engineering; Cyplik, Pawel; Olejnik-Schmidt, Agniezka K. [Poznan Univ. of Life Sciences (Poland). Dept. of Biotechnology and Food Microbiology; Heipieper, Hermann J. [Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Environmental Biotechnology

    2009-09-15

    In this study, we elucidated the role of cell surface hydrophobicity (microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons method, MATH) and the effect of anionic rhamnolipids and nonionic Triton X-100 surfactants on biodegradation of diesel fuel employing 218 microbial consortia isolated from petroleum-contaminated soils. Applied enrichment procedure with floating diesel fuel as a sole carbon source in liquid cultures resulted in consortia of varying biodegradation potential and diametrically different cell surface properties, suggesting that cell surface hydrophobicity is a conserved parameter. Surprisingly, no correlations between cell surface hydrophobicity and biodegradation of diesel fuel were found. Nevertheless, both surfactants altered cell surface hydrophobicity of the consortia in similar manner: increased for the hydrophilic and decreased for the hydrophobic cultures. In addition to this, the surfactants exhibited similar influence on diesel fuel biodegradation: Increase was observed for initially slow-degrading cultures and the opposite for fast degraders. This indicates that in the surfactant-mediated biodegradation, effectiveness of surfactants depends on the specification of microorganisms and not on the type of surfactant. In contrary to what was previously reported for pure strains, cell surface hydrophobicity, as determined by MATH, is not a good descriptor of biodegrading potential for mixed cultures. (orig.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Simultaneous processes of electricity generation and ceftriaxone sodium degradation in an air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Qing; Kong, Fanying; Zheng, Hongtao; Yin, Jinling; Cao, Dianxue; Ren, Yueming; Wang, Guiling

    2011-03-01

    A single chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) with an air-cathode is successfully demonstrated using glucose-ceftriaxone sodium mixtures or ceftriaxone sodium as fuel. Results show that the ceftriaxone sodium can be biodegraded and produce electricity simultaneously. Interestingly, these ceftriaxone sodium-glucose mixtures play an active role in production of electricity. The maximum power density is increased in comparison to 1000 mg L-1 glucose (19 W m-3) by 495% for 50 mg L-1 ceftriaxone sodium + 1000 mg L-1 glucose (113 W m-3), while the maximum power density is 11 W m-3 using 50 mg L-1 ceftriaxone sodium as the sole fuel. Moreover, ceftriaxone sodium biodegradation rate reaches 91% within 24 h using the MFC in comparison with 51% using the traditional anaerobic reactor. These results indicate that some toxic and bio-refractory organics such as antibiotic wastewater might be suitable resources for electricity generation using the MFC technology.

  7. Enhanced Activated Carbon Cathode Performance for Microbial Fuel Cell by Blending Carbon Black

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2014-02-04

    Activated carbon (AC) is a useful and environmentally sustainable catalyst for oxygen reduction in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but there is great interest in improving its performance and longevity. To enhance the performance of AC cathodes, carbon black (CB) was added into AC at CB:AC ratios of 0, 2, 5, 10, and 15 wt % to increase electrical conductivity and facilitate electron transfer. AC cathodes were then evaluated in both MFCs and electrochemical cells and compared to reactors with cathodes made with Pt. Maximum power densities of MFCs were increased by 9-16% with CB compared to the plain AC in the first week. The optimal CB:AC ratio was 10% based on both MFC polarization tests and three electrode electrochemical tests. The maximum power density of the 10% CB cathode was initially 1560 ± 40 mW/m2 and decreased by only 7% after 5 months of operation compared to a 61% decrease for the control (Pt catalyst, 570 ± 30 mW/m2 after 5 months). The catalytic activities of Pt and AC (plain or with 10% CB) were further examined in rotating disk electrode (RDE) tests that minimized mass transfer limitations. The RDE tests showed that the limiting current of the AC with 10% CB was improved by up to 21% primarily due to a decrease in charge transfer resistance (25%). These results show that blending CB in AC is a simple and effective strategy to enhance AC cathode performance in MFCs and that further improvement in performance could be obtained by reducing mass transfer limitations. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

  8. Impact of salinity on cathode catalyst performance in microbial fuel cells (MFCs)

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Xi

    2011-10-01

    Several alternative cathode catalysts have been proposed for microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but effects of salinity (sodium chloride) on catalyst performance, separate from those of conductivity on internal resistance, have not been previously examined. Three different types of cathode materials were tested here with increasingly saline solutions using single-chamber, air-cathode MFCs. The best MFC performance was obtained using a Co catalyst (cobalt tetramethoxyphenyl porphyrin; CoTMPP), with power increasing by 24 ± 1% to 1062 ± 9 mW/m2 (normalized to the projected cathode surface area) when 250 mM NaCl (final conductivity of 31.3 mS/cm) was added (initial conductivity of 7.5 mS/cm). This power density was 25 ± 1% higher than that achieved with Pt on carbon cloth, and 27 ± 1% more than that produced using an activated carbon/nickel mesh (AC) cathode in the highest salinity solution. Linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) was used to separate changes in performance due to solution conductivity from those produced by reductions in ohmic resistance with the higher conductivity solutions. The potential of the cathode with CoTMPP increased by 17-20 mV in LSVs when the NaCl addition was increased from 0 to 250 mM independent of solution conductivity changes. Increases in current were observed with salinity increases in LSVs for AC, but not for Pt cathodes. Cathodes with CoTMPP had increased catalytic activity at higher salt concentrations in cyclic voltammograms compared to Pt and AC. These results suggest that special consideration should be given to the type of catalyst used with more saline wastewaters. While Pt oxygen reduction activity is reduced, CoTMPP cathode performance will be improved at higher salt concentrations expected for wastewaters containing seawater. © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Altering Anode Thickness To Improve Power Production in Microbial Fuel Cells with Different Electrode Distances

    KAUST Repository

    Ahn, Yongtae

    2013-01-17

    A better understanding of how anode and separator physical properties affect power production is needed to improve energy and power production by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Oxygen crossover from the cathode can limit power production by bacteria on the anode when using closely spaced electrodes [separator electrode assembly (SEA)]. Thick graphite fiber brush anodes, as opposed to thin carbon cloth, and separators have previously been examined as methods to reduce the impact of oxygen crossover on power generation. We examined here whether the thickness of the anode could be an important factor in reducing the effect of oxygen crossover on power production, because bacteria deep in the electrode could better maintain anaerobic conditions. Carbon felt anodes with three different thicknesses were examined to see the effects of thicker anodes in two configurations: widely spaced electrodes and SEA. Power increased with anode thickness, with maximum power densities (604 mW/m 2, 0.32 cm; 764 mW/m2, 0.64 cm; and 1048 mW/m2, 1.27 cm), when widely spaced electrodes (4 cm) were used, where oxygen crossover does not affect power generation. Performance improved slightly using thicker anodes in the SEA configuration, but power was lower (maximum of 689 mW/m2) than with widely spaced electrodes, despite a reduction in ohmic resistance to 10 Ω (SEA) from 51-62 Ω (widely spaced electrodes). These results show that thicker anodes can work better than thinner anodes but only when the anodes are not adversely affected by proximity to the cathode. This suggests that reducing oxygen crossover and improving SEA MFC performance will require better separators. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  10. Electricity generation of single-chamber microbial fuel cells at low temperatures

    KAUST Repository

    Cheng, Shaoan

    2011-01-01

    Practical applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for wastewater treatment will require operation of these systems over a wide range of wastewater temperatures. MFCs at room or higher temperatures (20-35°C) are relatively well studied compared those at lower temperatures. MFC performance was examined here over a temperature range of 4-30°C in terms of startup time needed for reproducible power cycles, and performance. MFCs initially operated at 15°C or higher all attained a reproducible cycles of power generation, but the startup time to reach stable operation increased from 50h at 30°C to 210h at 15°C. At temperatures below 15°C, MFCs did not produce appreciable power even after one month of operation. If an MFC was first started up at temperature of 30°C, however, reproducible cycles of power generation could then be achieved at even the two lowest temperatures of 4°C and 10°C. Power production increased linearly with temperature at a rate of 33±4mW°C-1, from 425±2mWm-2 at 4°C to 1260±10mWm-2 at 30°C. Coulombic efficiency decreased by 45% over this same temperature range, or from CE=31% at 4°C to CE=17% at 30°C. These results demonstrate that MFCs can effectively be operated over a wide range of temperatures, but our findings have important implications for the startup of larger scale reactors where low wastewater temperatures could delay or prevent adequate startup of the system. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  11. Adaptation to high current using low external resistances eliminates power overshoot in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Hong, Yiying

    2011-10-01

    One form of power overshoot commonly observed with mixed culture microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is doubling back of the power density curve at higher current densities, but the reasons for this type of overshoot have not been well explored. To investigate this, MFCs were acclimated to different external resistances, producing a range of anode potentials and current densities. Power overshoot was observed for reactors acclimated to higher (500 and 5000. Ω) but not lower (5 and 50. Ω) resistances. Acclimation of the high external resistance reactors for a few cycles to low external resistance (5. Ω), and therefore higher current densities, eliminated power overshoot. MFCs initially acclimated to low external resistances exhibited both higher current in cyclic voltammograms (CVs) and higher levels of redox activity over a broader range of anode potentials (-0.4 to 0. V; vs. a Ag/AgCl electrode) based on first derivative cyclic voltammetry (DCV) plots. Reactors acclimated to higher external resistances produced lower current in CVs, exhibited lower redox activity over a narrower anode potential range (-0.4 to -0.2. V vs. Ag/AgCl), and failed to produce higher currents above ∼-0.3. V (vs. Ag/AgCl). After the higher resistance reactors were acclimated to the lowest resistance they also exhibited similar CV and DCV profiles. Our findings show that to avoid overshoot, prior to the polarization and power density tests the anode biofilm must adapt to low external resistances to be capable of higher currents. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  12. Self-potential and Complex Conductivity Monitoring of In Situ Hydrocarbon Remediation in Microbial Fuel Cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, C.; Revil, A.; Ren, Z.; Karaoulis, M.; Mendonca, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination of soil and groundwater in both non-aqueous phase liquid and dissolved forms generated from spills and leaks is a wide spread environmental issue. Traditional cleanup of hydrocarbon contamination in soils and ground water using physical, chemical, and biological remedial techniques is often expensive and ineffective. Recent studies show that the microbial fuel cell (MFC) can simultaneously enhance biodegradation of hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater and yield electricity. Non-invasive geophysical techniques such as self-potential (SP) and complex conductivity (induced polarization) have shown the potential to detect and characterize the nature of electron transport mechanism of in situ bioremediation of organic contamination plumes. In this study, we deployed both SP and complex conductivity in lab scale MFCs to monitor time-laps geophysical response of degradation of hydrocarbons by MFC. Two different sizes of MFC reactors were used in this study (DI=15 cm cylinder reactor and 94.5cm x 43.5 cm rectangle reactor), and the initial hydrocarbon concentration is 15 g diesel/kg soil. SP and complex conductivity measurements were measured using non-polarizing Ag/AgCl electrodes. Sensitivity study was also performed using COMSOL Multiphysics to test different electrode configurations. The SP measurements showed stronger anomalies adjacent to the MFC than locations afar, and both real and imaginary parts of complex conductivity are greater in areas close to MFC than areas further away and control samples without MFC. The joint use of SP and complex conductivity could in situ evaluate the dynamic changes of electrochemical parameters during this bioremediation process at spatiotemporal scales unachievable with traditional sampling methods. The joint inversion of these two methods to evaluate the efficiency of MFC enhanced hydrocarbon remediation in the subsurface.

  13. Coupling microbial fuel cells with a membrane photobioreactor for wastewater treatment and bioenergy production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tse, Hei Tsun; Luo, Shuai; Li, Jian; He, Zhen

    2016-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and membrane photobioreactors are two emerging technologies for simultaneous wastewater treatment and bioenergy production. In this study, those two technologies were coupled to form an integrated treatment system, whose performance was examined under different operating conditions. The coupled system could achieve 92-97 % removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) and nearly 100 % removal of ammonia. Extending the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the membrane photobioreactor to 3.0 days improved the production of algal biomass from 44.4 ± 23.8 to 133.7 ± 12.9 mg L(-1) (based on the volume of the treated water). When the MFCs were operated in a loop mode, their effluent (which was the influent to the algal reactor) contained nitrate and had a high pH, leading to the decreased algal production in the membrane photobioreactor. Energy analysis showed that the energy consumption was mainly due to the recirculation of the anolyte and the catholyte in the MFCs and that decreasing the recirculation rates could significantly reduce energy consumption. The energy production was dominated by indirect electricity generation from algal biomass. The highest energy production of 0.205 kWh m(-3) was obtained with the highest algal biomass production, resulting in a theoretically positive energy balance of 0.033 kWh m(-3). Those results have demonstrated that the coupled system could be an alternative approach for energy-efficient wastewater treatment and using wastewater effluent for algal production.

  14. Conversion of orange peel waste biomass to bioelectricity using a mediator-less microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miran, Waheed; Nawaz, Mohsin; Jang, Jiseon; Lee, Dae Sung

    2016-03-15

    Microorganisms have the potential to become a game-changer in sustainable energy production in the coming generations. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as an alternative renewable technology can capture bioenergy (electricity) from carbon-based sources by utilizing microorganisms as biocatalysts. This study demonstrated that MFC technology can be explored for bioelectricity production from orange peel waste (OPW), an agricultural byproduct and an organic substrate, without any chemical pretreatment or the addition of extra mediators. A maximum voltage generation of 0.59 ± 0.02 V (at 500 Ω) was achieved in a dual chamber MFC during stable voltage generation stages. The maximum power density and current density obtained were 358.8 ± 15.6 mW/m(2) and 847 ± 18.4 mA/m(2), respectively. Key components of OPW, namely pectin and cellulose, were also tested in their pure form, with pectin giving a stable current, while no significant current generation was achieved using cellulose alone as the substrate, thus demonstrating the absence of cellulose-degrading bacteria. Maximum pectinase and polygalacturonase enzyme activities of 18.55 U/g and 9.04 U/g (per gram of substrate), respectively were achieved during orange peel degradation in MFCs. Bacterial identification using 16S rRNA analysis of the initial inoculum fed to the MFC, the biofilm attached to the anode, and the anode suspension, showed significant diversity in community composition. A well-known exoelectrogen, Pseudomonas, was present among the predominant genera in the anode biofilm. PMID:26780146

  15. Diffusion layer characteristics for increasing the performance of activated carbon air cathodes in microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2016-01-01

    The characteristics of several different types of diffusion layers were systematically examined to improve the performance of activated carbon air cathodes used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). A diffusion layer of carbon black and polytetrafluoroethylene (CB + PTFE) that was pressed onto a stainless steel mesh current collector achieved the highest cathode performance. This cathode also had a high oxygen mass transfer coefficient and high water pressure tolerance (>2 m), and it had the highest current densities in abiotic chronoamperometry tests compared to cathodes with other diffusion layers. In MFC tests, this cathode also produced maximum power densities (1610 ± 90 mW m−2) that were greater than those of cathodes with other diffusion layers, by 19% compared to Gore-Tex (1350 ± 20 mW m−2), 22% for a cloth wipe with PDMS (1320 ± 70 mW m−2), 45% with plain PTFE (1110 ± 20 mW m−2), and 19% higher than those of cathodes made with a Pt catalyst and a PTFE diffusion layer (1350 ± 50 mW m−2). The highly porous diffusion layer structure of the CB + PTFE had a relatively high oxygen mass transfer coefficient (1.07 × 10−3 cm s−1) which enhanced oxygen transport to the catalyst. The addition of CB enhanced cathode performance by increasing the conductivity of the diffusion layer. Oxygen mass transfer coefficient, water pressure tolerance, and the addition of conductive particles were therefore critical features for achieving higher performance AC air cathodes.

  16. Air-cathode structure optimization in separator-coupled microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2011-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) with 30% wet-proofed air cathodes have previously been optimized to have 4 diffusion layers (DLs) in order to limit oxygen transfer into the anode chamber and optimize performance. Newer MFC designs that allow close electrode spacing have a separator that can also reduce oxygen transfer into the anode chamber, and there are many types of carbon wet-proofed materials available. Additional analysis of conditions that optimize performance is therefore needed for separator-coupled MFCs in terms of the number of DLs and the percent of wet proofing used for the cathode. The number of DLs on a 50% wet-proofed carbon cloth cathode significantly affected MFC performance, with the maximum power density decreasing from 1427 to 855mW/m 2 for 1-4 DLs. A commonly used cathode (30% wet-proofed, 4 DLs) produced a maximum power density (988mW/m 2) that was 31% less than that produced by the 50% wet-proofed cathode (1 DL). It was shown that the cathode performance with different materials and numbers of DLs was directly related to conditions that increased oxygen transfer. The coulombic efficiency (CE) was more affected by the current density than the oxygen transfer coefficient for the cathode. MFCs with the 50% wet-proofed cathode (2 DLs) had a CE of >84% (6.8A/m 2), which was substantially larger than that previously obtained using carbon cloth air-cathodes lacking separators. These results demonstrate that MFCs constructed with separators should have the minimum number of DLs that prevent water leakage and maximize oxygen transfer to the cathode. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  17. Enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments using microbial fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► One of the 1st studies on sediments MFC-enhanced hydrocarbon degradation. ► MFCs realizes close-to-aerobic biodegradation in anaerobic sediments. ► MFC-enhanced in situ biodegradation is 12× fold of the background sediments. ► Wicking electrode design increases DO in sediments while enhancing degradation. ► Results offers a passive, effective remedy for cleaning HC contaminated sediments. - Abstract: A sediment microbial fuel cell (MFC) was tested to determine if electron transfer from the anaerobic zone of contaminated sediments to the overlying aerobic water could facilitate an enhanced and aerobic equivalent degradation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Results indicate that voltages as high as 190 mV (2162 mW/m3) were achieved in a sediment MFC with an anode buried in sediments containing TPH concentrations at approximately 16,000 mg kg−1. Additionally, after approximately 66 days, the TPH degradation rates were 2% and 24% in the open-circuit control sediment MFC and active sediment MFC, respectively. Therefore, it appears that applying MFC technology to contaminated sediments enhances natural biodegradation by nearly 12 fold. Additionally, a novel sediment MFC was designed to provide a cost-effective method of passive oxidation or indirect aerobic degradation of contaminants in an otherwise anaerobic environment. In addition, the use of a wicking air cathode in this study maintained dissolved oxygen concentrations 1–2 mg l−1 higher than submerged cathodes, demonstrating that this technology can be applied to environments with either aerobic or anaerobic overlying water and an anaerobic matrix, such as shallow lagoon, ponds, and marshes, and groundwater.

  18. Membrane-less cloth cathode assembly (CCA) for scalable microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Li; Zhou, Shungui; Wang, Yueqiang; Liu, Chengshuai; Geng, Shu

    2009-08-15

    One of the main challenges for scaling up microbial fuel cell (MFC) technologies is developing low-cost cathode architectures that can generate high power output. This study developed a simple method to convert non-conductive material (canvas cloth) into an electrically conductive and catalytically active cloth cathode assembly (CCA) in one step. The membrane-less CCA was simply constructed by coating the cloth with conductive paint (nickel-based or graphite-based) and non-precious metal catalyst (MnO(2)). Under the fed-batch mode, the tubular air-chamber MFCs equipped with Ni-CCA and graphite-CCA generated the maximum power densities of 86.03 and 24.67 mW m(-2) (normalized to the projected cathode surface area), or 9.87 and 2.83 W m(-3) (normalized to the reactor liquid volume), respectively. The higher power output of Ni-CCA-MFC was associated with the lower volume resistivity of Ni-CCA (1.35 x 10(-2)Omega cm) than that of graphite-CCA (225 x 10(-2)Omega cm). At an external resistance of 100 Omega, Ni-CCA-MFC and graphite-CCA-MFC removed approximately 95% COD in brewery wastewater within 13 and 18d, and achieved coulombic efficiencies of 30.2% and 19.5%, respectively. The accumulated net water loss through the cloth by electro-osmotic drag exhibited a linear correlation (R(2)=0.999) with produced coulombs. With a comparable power production, such CCAs only cost less than 5% of the previously reported membrane cathode assembly. The new cathode configuration here is a mechanically durable, economical system for MFC scalability. PMID:19556120

  19. High performance monolithic power management system with dynamic maximum power point tracking for microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbay, Celal; Carreon-Bautista, Salvador; Sanchez-Sinencio, Edgar; Han, Arum

    2014-12-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) that can directly generate electricity from organic waste or biomass is a promising renewable and clean technology. However, low power and low voltage output of MFCs typically do not allow directly operating most electrical applications, whether it is supplementing electricity to wastewater treatment plants or for powering autonomous wireless sensor networks. Power management systems (PMSs) can overcome this limitation by boosting the MFC output voltage and managing the power for maximum efficiency. We present a monolithic low-power-consuming PMS integrated circuit (IC) chip capable of dynamic maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to maximize the extracted power from MFCs, regardless of the power and voltage fluctuations from MFCs over time. The proposed PMS continuously detects the maximum power point (MPP) of the MFC and matches the load impedance of the PMS for maximum efficiency. The system also operates autonomously by directly drawing power from the MFC itself without any external power. The overall system efficiency, defined as the ratio between input energy from the MFC and output energy stored into the supercapacitor of the PMS, was 30%. As a demonstration, the PMS connected to a 240 mL two-chamber MFC (generating 0.4 V and 512 μW at MPP) successfully powered a wireless temperature sensor that requires a voltage of 2.5 V and consumes power of 85 mW each time it transmit the sensor data, and successfully transmitted a sensor reading every 7.5 min. The PMS also efficiently managed the power output of a lower-power producing MFC, demonstrating that the PMS works efficiently at various MFC power output level. PMID:25365216

  20. Enhanced current and power density of micro-scale microbial fuel cells with ultramicroelectrode anodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Hao; Rangaswami, Sriram; Lee, Hyung-Sool; Chae, Junseok

    2016-09-01

    We present a micro-scale microbial fuel cell (MFC) with an ultramicroelectrode (UME) anode, with the aim of creating a miniaturized high-current/power-density converter using carbon-neutral and renewable energy sources. Micro-scale MFCs have been studied for more than a decade, yet their current and power densities are still an order of magnitude lower than those of their macro-scale counterparts. In order to enhance the current/power densities, we engineer a concentric ring-shaped UME, with a width of 20 μm, to facilitate the diffusion of ions in the vicinity of the micro-organisms that form biofilm on the UME. The biofilm extends approximately 15 μm from the edge of the UME, suggesting the effective biofilm area increases. Measured current/power densities per the effective area and the original anode area are 7.08  ±  0.01 A m-2 & 3.09  ±  0.04 W m-2 and 17.7  ±  0.03 A m-2 & 7.72  ±  0.09 W m-2, respectively. This is substantially higher than any prior work in micro-scale MFCs, and very close, or even higher, to that of macro-scale MFCs. A Coulombic efficiency, a measure of how efficiently an MFC harvests electrons from donor substrate, of 70%, and an energy conversion efficiency of 17% are marked, highlighting the micro-scale MFC as an attractive alternative within the existing energy conversion portfolio.

  1. Carbon-Based Air-Breathing Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Merino-Jimenez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A comparison between different carbon-based gas-diffusion air-breathing cathodes for microbial fuel cells (MFCs is presented in this work. A micro-porous layer (MPL based on carbon black (CB and an activated carbon (AC layer were used as catalysts and applied on different supporting materials, including carbon cloth (CC, carbon felt (CF, and stainless steel (SS forming cathode electrodes for MFCs treating urine. Rotating ring disk electrode (RRDE analyses were done on CB and AC to: (i understand the kinetics of the carbonaceous catalysts; (ii evaluate the hydrogen peroxide production; and (iii estimate the electron transfer. CB and AC were then used to fabricate electrodes. Half-cell electrochemical analysis, as well as MFCs continuous power performance, have been monitored. Generally, the current generated was higher from the MFCs with AC electrodes compared to the MPL electrodes, showing an increase between 34% and 61% in power with the AC layer comparing to the MPL. When the MPL was used, the supporting material showed a slight effect in the power performance, being that the CF is more powerful than the CC and the SS. These differences also agree with the electrochemical analysis performed. However, the different supporting materials showed a bigger effect in the power density when the AC layer was used, being the SS the most efficient, with a power generation of 65.6 mW·m−2, followed by the CC (54 mW·m−2 and the CF (44 mW·m−2.

  2. Comparative metagenomics of anode-associated microbiomes developed in rice paddy-field microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouzuma, Atsushi; Kasai, Takuya; Nakagawa, Gen; Yamamuro, Ayaka; Abe, Takashi; Watanabe, Kazuya

    2013-01-01

    In sediment-type microbial fuel cells (sMFCs) operating in rice paddy fields, rice-root exudates are converted to electricity by anode-associated rhizosphere microbes. Previous studies have shown that members of the family Geobacteraceae are enriched on the anodes of rhizosphere sMFCs. To deepen our understanding of rhizosphere microbes involved in electricity generation in sMFCs, here, we conducted comparative analyses of anode-associated microbiomes in three MFC systems: a rice paddy-field sMFC, and acetate- and glucose-fed MFCs in which pieces of graphite felt that had functioned as anodes in rice paddy-field sMFC were used as rhizosphere microbe-bearing anodes. After electric outputs became stable, microbiomes associated with the anodes of these MFC systems were analyzed by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and Illumina shotgun metagenomics. Pyrotag sequencing showed that Geobacteraceae bacteria were associated with the anodes of all three systems, but the dominant Geobacter species in each MFC were different. Specifically, species closely related to G. metallireducens comprised 90% of the anode Geobacteraceae in the acetate-fed MFC, but were only relatively minor components of the rhizosphere sMFC and glucose-fed MFC, whereas species closely related to G. psychrophilus were abundantly detected. This trend was confirmed by the phylogenetic assignments of predicted genes in shotgun metagenome sequences of the anode microbiomes. Our findings suggest that G. psychrophilus and its related species preferentially grow on the anodes of rhizosphere sMFCs and generate electricity through syntrophic interactions with organisms that excrete electron donors. PMID:24223712

  3. A novel ecological role of the Firmicutes identified in thermophilic microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrighton, Kelly C; Agbo, Peter; Warnecke, Falk; Weber, Karrie A; Brodie, Eoin L; DeSantis, Todd Z; Hugenholtz, Philip; Andersen, Gary L; Coates, John D

    2008-11-01

    Significant effort is currently focused on microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as a source of renewable energy. Most studies concentrate on operation at mesophilic temperatures. However, anaerobic digestion studies have reported on the superiority of thermophilic operation and demonstrated a net energy gain in terms of methane yield. As such, our studies focused on MFC operation and microbiology at 55 degrees C. Over a 100-day operation, these MFCs were stable and achieved a power density of 37 mW m(-2) with a coulombic efficiency of 89%. To infer activity and taxonomic identity of dominant members of the electricity-producing community, we performed phylogenetic microarray and clone library analysis with small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) and ribosomal RNA gene (16S rDNA). The results illustrated the dominance (80% of clone library sequences) of the Firmicutes in electricity production. Similarly, rRNA sequences from Firmicutes accounted for 50% of those taxa that increased in relative abundance from current-producing MFCs, implying their functional role in current production. We complemented these analyses by isolating the first organisms from a thermophilic MFC. One of the isolates, a Firmicutes Thermincola sp. strain JR, not only produced more current than known organisms (0.42 mA) in an H-cell system but also represented the first demonstration of direct anode reduction by a member of this phylum. Our research illustrates the importance of using a variety of molecular and culture-based methods to reliably characterize bacterial communities. Consequently, we revealed a previously unidentified functional role for Gram-positive bacteria in MFC current generation. PMID:18769460

  4. Comparative metagenomics of anode-associated microbiomes developed in rice paddy-field microbial fuel cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Kouzuma

    Full Text Available In sediment-type microbial fuel cells (sMFCs operating in rice paddy fields, rice-root exudates are converted to electricity by anode-associated rhizosphere microbes. Previous studies have shown that members of the family Geobacteraceae are enriched on the anodes of rhizosphere sMFCs. To deepen our understanding of rhizosphere microbes involved in electricity generation in sMFCs, here, we conducted comparative analyses of anode-associated microbiomes in three MFC systems: a rice paddy-field sMFC, and acetate- and glucose-fed MFCs in which pieces of graphite felt that had functioned as anodes in rice paddy-field sMFC were used as rhizosphere microbe-bearing anodes. After electric outputs became stable, microbiomes associated with the anodes of these MFC systems were analyzed by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and Illumina shotgun metagenomics. Pyrotag sequencing showed that Geobacteraceae bacteria were associated with the anodes of all three systems, but the dominant Geobacter species in each MFC were different. Specifically, species closely related to G. metallireducens comprised 90% of the anode Geobacteraceae in the acetate-fed MFC, but were only relatively minor components of the rhizosphere sMFC and glucose-fed MFC, whereas species closely related to G. psychrophilus were abundantly detected. This trend was confirmed by the phylogenetic assignments of predicted genes in shotgun metagenome sequences of the anode microbiomes. Our findings suggest that G. psychrophilus and its related species preferentially grow on the anodes of rhizosphere sMFCs and generate electricity through syntrophic interactions with organisms that excrete electron donors.

  5. Effects of inoculation sources on the enrichment and performance of anode bacterial consortia in sensor typed microbial fuel cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phuong Tran

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells are a recently emerging technology that promises a number of applications in energy recovery, environmental treatment and monitoring. In this study, we investigated the effect of inoculating sources on the enrichment of electrochemically active bacterial consortia in sensor-typed microbial fuel cells (MFCs. Several MFCs were constructed, operated with modified artificial wastewater and inoculated with different microbial sources from natural soil, natural mud, activated sludge, wastewater and a mixture of those sources. After enrichment, the MFCs inoculated with the natural soil source generated higher and more stable currents (0.53±0.03 mA, in comparisons with the MFCs inoculated with the other sources. The results from denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE showed that there were significant changes in bacterial composition from the original inocula to the enriched consortia. Even more interestingly, Pseudomonas sp. was found dominant in the natural soil source and also in the corresponding enriched consortium. The interactions between Pseudomonas sp. and other species in such a community are probably the key for the effective and stable performance of the MFCs.

  6. Bacterial cellulose-polyaniline nano-biocomposite: A porous media hydrogel bioanode enhancing the performance of microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashkour, Mehrdad; Rahimnejad, Mostafa; Mashkour, Mahdi

    2016-09-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are one of the possible renewable energy supplies which microorganisms play an active role in bio-oxidize reactions of a substrate such as glucose. Electrode materials and surface modifications are highly effective tools in enhancing MFCs' Performance. In this study, new composite anodes are fabricated. Bacterial cellulose (BC) is used as continuous phase and polyaniline (PANI) as dispersed one which is synthesized by in situ chemical oxidative polymerization on BC's fibers. With hydrogel nature of BC as a novel feature and polyaniline conductivity there meet the favorable conditions to obtain an active microbial biofilm on anode surface. Maximum power density of 117.76 mW/m2 in current density of 617 mA/m2 is achieved for BC/PANI anode. The amounts demonstrate a considerable enhancement compared with graphite plate (1 mW/m2 and 10 mA/m2).

  7. Carbon foam anode modified by urea and its higher electrochemical performance in marine benthic microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yubin; Lu, Zhikai; Zai, Xuerong; Wang, Jian

    2015-08-01

    Electrode materials have an important effect on the property of microbial fuel cell (MFC). Carbon foam is utilized as an anode and further modified by urea to improve its performance in marine benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) with higher voltage and output power. The electrochemical properties of plain carbon foam (PC) and urea-modified carbon foam (UC) are measured respectively. Results show that the UC obtains better wettability after its modification and higher anti-polarization ability than the PC. A novel phenomenon has been found that the electrical potential of the modified UC anode is nearly 100 mV lower than that of the PC, reaching -570 ±10 mV ( vs. SCE), and that it also has a much higher electron transfer kinetic activity, reaching 9399.4 mW m-2, which is 566.2-fold higher than that from plain graphite anode (PG). The fuel cell containing the UC anode has the maximum power density (256.0 mW m-2) among the three different BMFCs. Urea would enhance the bacteria biofilm formation with a more diverse microbial community and maintain more electrons, leading to a lower anodic redox potential and higher power output. The paper primarily analyzes why the electrical potential of the modified anode becomes much lower than that of others after urea modification. These results can be utilized to construct a novel BMFC with higher output power and to design the conditioner of voltage booster with a higher conversion ratio. Finally, the carbon foam with a bigger pore size would be a potential anodic material in conventional MFC.

  8. [Effects of Oil Pollutants on the Performance of Marine Benthonic Microbial Fuel Cells and Its Acceleration of Degradation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Yao; Fu, Yu-bin; Liang, Sheng-kang; Chen, Wei; Liu, Zhao-hui

    2015-08-01

    Degradation of oil pollutants under the sea is slow for its oxygen-free environment which has caused long-term harm to ocean environment. This paper attempts to accelerate the degradation of the sea oil pollutants through electro catalysis by using the principle of marine benthonic microbial fuel cells (BMFCs). The influence of oil pollutants on the battery performance is innovatively explored by comparing the marine benthonic microbial fuel cells ( BMFCs-A) containing oil and oil-free microbial fuel cells (BMFCs-B). The acceleration effect of BMFCs is investigated by the comparison between the oil-degrading rate and the number of heterotrophic bacteria of the BMFCs-A and BMFCs-B on their anodes. The results show that the exchange current densities in the anode of the BMFCs-A and BMFCs-B are 1. 37 x 10(-2) A x m(-2) and 1.50 x 10(-3) A x m(-2) respectively and the maximum output power densities are 105.79 mW x m(-2) and 83.60 mW x m(-2) respectively. The exchange current densities have increased 9 times and the maximum output power density increased 1. 27 times. The anti-polarization ability of BMFCs-A is improved. The heterotrophic bacteria numbers of BMFCs-A and BMFCs-C on their anodes are (66 +/- 3.61) x 10(7) CFU x g(-1) and (7.3 +/- 2.08) x 10(7) CFU x g(-1) respectively and the former total number has increased 8 times, which accelerates the oil-degrading rate. The degrading rate of the oil in the BMFCs-A is 18.7 times higher than that in its natural conditions. The BMFCs can improve its electrochemical performance, meanwhile, the degradation of oil pollutants can also be accelerated. A new model of the marine benthonic microbial fuel cells on its acceleration of oil degradation is proposed in this article.

  9. Role of metal/silicon semiconductor contact engineering for enhanced output current in micro-sized microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Mink, Justine E.

    2013-11-25

    We show that contact engineering plays an important role to extract the maximum performance from energy harvesters like microbial fuel cells (MFCs). We experimented with Schottky and Ohmic methods of fabricating contact areas on silicon in an MFC contact material study. We utilized the industry standard contact material, aluminum, as well as a metal, whose silicide has recently been recognized for its improved performance in smallest scale integration requirements, cobalt. Our study shows that improvements in contact engineering are not only important for device engineering but also for microsystems. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Energy generation by fermentation of glucose in a batch flow microbial fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badea, Silviu-Laurentiu; Enache, Stanica; Tamaian, Radu; Buga, Mihaela-Ramona; Pirvu, Cristian; Varlam, Mihai

    2016-04-01

    In the last years, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have emerged like a novel research technologies for production of sustainable and clean electricity energy through bioxidation of organic materials, representing a promising alternative to combustion energy sources. In this study, production of bioelectricity in MFC in batch system (dual chambered MFC) was investigated. A dual chambered MFC from glass was built for this purpose. Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an active biocatalyst was explored for power generation. Graphite plates were used as electrodes and glucose as substrate. Saccharomyces cerevisiae was initially grown on a period of 72h at 30 degree Celsius, on medium of modified Sabouraud liquid medium containing 30 g glucose/L. A volume of inoculated medium (80 mL) was transferred in the anode compartment of MFC together with 20 mL glucose 1M, while neutral red was used as mediator (electron shuttle) in concentration of 200 μM in anaerobic anode chamber. Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) was used as oxidizing agent in the cathode in wide concentration range (400 μM-40 000 μM). Cathodic compartment was loaded initially with 40 mM potassium permanganate, and afterwards was supplied two times more with KMnO4 of the same concentration, in order to maintain MFC functionality. The MFC was operated on a water bath heated by a combined hot-plate magnetic-stirrer device at 30 degree Celsius and mixed at 180 rpm. The maximum open circuit potential (OCV) recorded of about 0.6 V was reached after the 3rd loading with 40 milimolles of potassium permanganate. Using a potentiostat, the polarization curve was recorded by varying the potential between 0.5 V and 0.0 V, while the intensity of current increased from 0.0 to about 1.5 mA respectively, corresponding to an anodic current density of about 0.81 A/m2. In order to optimize the design and performance of the MFC, the goal of the further research is to use variously concentrations of potassium permanganate. Furthermore, a dual

  11. A study on the electricity generation from cow dung using microbial fuel cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiv K Bharadwaj

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs use bacteria as biocatalyst to convert biodegradable substrates into electricity.  The natural cow dung was found more suitable as it generated 150.9 mV Open Circuit Voltage (OCV against 3.2 mV OCV generated by the sterile cow dung in       the H-shaped MFC.  On configuration, a MFC with 50 % cow dung and a salt bridge (5 cm × 2 cm containing a mixture of 10 % sodium chloride and 5 % agar, electrodes of 32.20 cm2 surface area and phenol red (0.1 % as exogenous mediator was found ideal. Furthermore, five electrogenic bacteria were isolated from the cow dung and individually studied for their electrogenic properties.  The bacterial isolate CD64 was found best among the isolates, as it generated 710.7 mV OCV at 37 ºC, pH 7.0 with LB medium as anolyte against vinegar as catholyte.  Based on the phenotypic characteristics and 16S rDNA sequencing, isolate CD64 was identified as Bacillus sp. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

  12. Streamlining of commercial Berl saddles: A new material to improve the performance of microbial fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an upcoming technology that allows oxidizing organic matter to generate current by microorganism's activity. To render MFCs a cost-effective and energy sustainable technology, low-cost materials can be employed as support for bacteria growth and proliferation. With this purpose in mind, ceramic Berl saddles were opportunely covered by a thin and conductive carbon layer, thus obtaining an innovative low-cost anode material able to efficiently recover the electrons released by bacteria metabolisms. The conductive layer was obtained by using α-D-glucose deposition process within the following steps: impregnation, caramelization, and pyrolysis. In this way, a homogenous coating of polycrystalline graphitic carbon was successfully obtained and characterized by several methods. The carbon-coated Berl saddles were then tested as anode material in a two-compartment MFC prototype, in batch mode and using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as active microorganisms. The MFC performances were evaluated using electrochemical techniques. The carbon-coated Berl saddles showed a maximum power density of 130 mW m−2 (29.6 mA L−1) which is about 2–3 times higher than the values reported in literature by using commercial anode materials. In particular, we have carefully estimated the production and process costs of these carbon-coated Berl saddles used in our MFC prototype, obtaining a value comparable to the commercial carbon felt employed in the same MFC apparatus. All these results confirm that our innovative carbon-coated Berl saddles not only satisfy the electrical requirements, but also favor an optimal bacteria adhesion and can be produced as a low-cost anode for scaling-up MFC. - Highlights: • Berl saddles were opportunely covered by a conductive carbon layer. • New and easy electrode preparation methods offer a low-cost solution for MFC anode. • Power density using coated Berl saddles is comparable to commercial materials. • Coated

  13. Influence of substrate on electricity generation of Shewanella loihica PV-4 in microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background The substrate, serving as carbon and energy source, is one of the major factors affecting the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). We utilized BIOLOG system to rapidly screen substrates for electricigens, and further evaluated influence of these substrates on electricity generation of Shewanella loihica PV-4 in MFCs. Results Three of most favorable substrates (lactate acid, formic acid and cyclodextrin) with OD590/750 of 0.952, 0.880 and 0.849 as well as three of most unfavorable substrates (galactose, arabinose and glucose) with OD590/750 of 0.248, 0.137 and 0.119 were selected by BIOLOG system under aerobic conditions. The chronoamperometry results showed that MFCs fed with these substrates exhibited different current behaviors. Cyclic voltammograms results showed that arabinose, galactose and glucose promoted electron transfer from outer membrane c-Cyts of cells to the electrode surface. Lactic acid, formic acid and cyclodextrin produced lower quantity of electric charge of 10.13 C, 9.83 C and 10.10 C, the corresponding OD600 value was 0.180, 0.286 and 0.152 in BES; while galactose, arabinose and glucose generated higher quantity of electric charge of 12.34 C, 13.42 C and 17.45 C, and increased OD600 values were 0.338, 0.558 and 0.409 in BES. SEMs results showed that plenty of plump and stretched cells as well as appendages were observed when lactic acid, formic acid, and cyclodextrin were utilized as substrates, while sparse cells in short shape were obtained when galactose, arabinose and glucose were used as substrates. Conclusions These results suggest that substrate not only has important role in electrochemical performances of MFCs but also in biological properties of electricigens. Lactic acid, formic acid, and cyclodextrin beneficial for cell growth under aerobic conditions are unfavourable for planktonic cell growth and current generation under anaerobic conditions, while consumptions of galactose, arabinose and glucose adverse to cell

  14. Initial development and structure of biofilms on microbial fuel cell anodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keller Jürg

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial fuel cells (MFCs rely on electrochemically active bacteria to capture the chemical energy contained in organics and convert it to electrical energy. Bacteria develop biofilms on the MFC electrodes, allowing considerable conversion capacity and opportunities for extracellular electron transfer (EET. The present knowledge on EET is centred around two Gram-negative models, i.e. Shewanella and Geobacter species, as it is believed that Gram-positives cannot perform EET by themselves as the Gram-negatives can. To understand how bacteria form biofilms within MFCs and how their development, structure and viability affects electron transfer, we performed pure and co-culture experiments. Results Biofilm viability was maintained highest nearer the anode during closed circuit operation (current flowing, in contrast to when the anode was in open circuit (soluble electron acceptor where viability was highest on top of the biofilm, furthest from the anode. Closed circuit anode Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms were considerably thinner compared to the open circuit anode (30 ± 3 μm and 42 ± 3 μm respectively, which is likely due to the higher energetic gain of soluble electron acceptors used. The two Gram-positive bacteria used only provided a fraction of current produced by the Gram-negative organisms. Power output of co-cultures Gram-positive Enterococcus faecium and either Gram-negative organisms, increased by 30-70% relative to the single cultures. Over time the co-culture biofilms segregated, in particular, Pseudomonas aeruginosa creating towers piercing through a thin, uniform layer of Enterococcus faecium. P. aeruginosa and E. faecium together generated a current of 1.8 ± 0.4 mA while alone they produced 0.9 ± 0.01 and 0.2 ± 0.05 mA respectively. Conclusion We postulate that this segregation may be an essential difference in strategy for electron transfer and substrate capture between the Gram-negative and the Gram

  15. Thauera humireducens sp. nov., a humus-reducing bacterium isolated from a microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Gui-Qin; Zhang, Jun; Kwon, Soon-Wo; Zhou, Shun-Gui; Han, Lu-Chao; Chen, Ming; Ma, Chen; Zhuang, Li

    2013-03-01

    A Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming bacterium, designated SgZ-1(T), was isolated from the anode biofilm of a microbial fuel cell. The strain had the ability to grow under anaerobic condition via the oxidation of various organic compounds coupled to the reduction of anthraquione-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) to anthrahydroquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AHQDS). Growth occurred in TSB in the presence of 0-5.5 % (w/v) NaCl (optimum 0-1 %), at 10-45 °C (optimum 25-37 °C) and at pH 6.0-10.0 (optimum 8.0-8.5). Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain SgZ-1(T) belonged to the genus Thauera. The highest level of 16S rRNA gene sequences similarity (96.7 %) was found to be with Thauera aminoaromatica S2(T) and Thauera selenatis AX(T), and lower values were obtained when compared with other recognized Thauera species. Chemotaxonomic analysis revealed that strain SgZ-1(T) contained Q-8 as the predominant quinone, and putrescine and 2-hydroxyputrescine as the major polyamines. The major cellular fatty acids (>5 %) were C16 : 1ω6c and/or C16 : 1ω7c (44.6 %), C16 : 0 (18.8 %), and C18 : 1ω6c and/or C18 : 1ω7c (12.7 %). Based on its phenotypic and phylogenetic properties, chemotaxonomic analysis and the results of physiological and biochemical tests, strain SgZ-1(T) ( = KACC 16524(T) = CCTCC M 2011497(T)) was designated the type strain of a novel species of the genus Thauera, for which the name Thauera humireducens sp. nov. was proposed.

  16. Sustainable Power Generation in Continuous Flow Microbial Fuel Cell Treating Actual Wastewater: Influence of Biocatalyst Type on Electricity Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zainab Z. Ismail

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs have the potential to simultaneously treat wastewater for reuse and to generate electricity. This study mainly considers the performance of an upflow dual-chambered MFC continuously fueled with actual domestic wastewater and alternatively biocatalyzed with aerobic activated sludge and strain of Bacillus Subtilis. The behavior of MFCs during initial biofilm growth and characterization of anodic biofilm were studied. After 45 days of continuous operation, the biofilms on the anodic electrode were well developed. The performance of MFCs was mainly evaluated in terms of COD reductions and electrical power output. Results revealed that the COD removal efficiency was 84% and 90% and the stabilized power outputs were clearly observed achieving a maximum value of 120 and 270 mW/m2 obtained for MFCs inoculated with mixed cultures and Bacillus Subtilis strain, respectively.

  17. Microbial reefs in the Black Sea fueled by anaerobic oxidation of methane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michaelis, W.; Seifert, R.; Nauhaus, K.;

    2002-01-01

    of densely aggregated archaea ( phylogenetic ANME-1 cluster) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus group). If incubated in vitro, these mats perform anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction. Obviously, anaerobic microbial consortia can generate both carbonate...

  18. Characterization of the COD removal, electricity generation, and bacterial communities in microbial fuel cells treating molasses wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    The chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal, electricity generation, and microbial communities were compared in 3 types of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) treating molasses wastewater. Single-chamber MFCs without and with a proton exchange membrane (PEM), and double-chamber MFC were constructed. A total of 10,000 mg L(-1) COD of molasses wastewater was continuously fed. The COD removal, electricity generation, and microbial communities in the two types of single-chamber MFCs were similar, indicating that the PEM did not enhance the reactor performance. The COD removal in the single-chamber MFCs (89-90%) was higher than that in the double-chamber MFC (50%). However, electricity generation in the double-chamber MFC was higher than that in the single-chamber MFCs. The current density (80 mA m(-2)) and power density (17 mW m(-2)) in the double-chamber MFC were 1.4- and 2.2-times higher than those in the single-chamber MFCs, respectively. The bacterial community structures in single- and double-chamber MFCs were also distinguishable. The amount of Proteobacteria in the double-chamber MFC was 2-3 times higher than those in the single-chamber MFCs. For the archaeal community, Methanothrix (96.4%) was remarkably dominant in the single-chamber MFCs, but Methanobacterium (35.1%), Methanosarcina (28.3%), and Methanothrix (16.2%) were abundant in the double-chamber MFC.

  19. Surface-to-surface biofilm transfer: a quick and reliable startup strategy for mixed culture microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogl, Andreas; Bischof, Franz; Wichern, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The startup of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is known to be prone to failure or result in erratic performance impeding the research. The aim of this study was to advise a quick launch strategy for laboratory-scale MFCs that ensures steady operation performance in a short period of time. Different startup strategies were investigated and compared with membraneless single chamber MFCs. A direct surface-to-surface biofilm transfer (BFT) in an operating MFC proved to be the most efficient method. It provided steady power densities of 163 ± 13 mWm(-2) 4 days after inoculation compared to 58 ± 15 mWm(-2) after 30 days following a conventional inoculation approach. The in situ BFT eliminates the need for microbial acclimation during startup and reduces performance fluctuations caused by shifts in microbial biodiversity. Anaerobic pretreatment of the substrate and addition of suspended enzymes from an operating MFC into the new MFC proved to have a beneficial effect on startup and subsequent operation. Polarization methods were applied to characterize the startup phase and the steady state operation in terms of power densities, internal resistance and power overshoot during biofilm maturation. Applying this method a well-working MFC can be multiplied into an array of identically performing MFCs. PMID:27120629

  20. Effect of electric impulse for improved energy generation in mediatorless dual chamber microbial fuel cell through electroevolution of Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandy, Arpita; Kumar, Vikash; Kundu, Patit P

    2016-05-15

    The main emphasis of this study is to understand the electroactive behavior of a microbe in microbial fuel cell (MFC) under specific selection pressure. This study explores potential of a non-electrogenic microbe for power production in a mediatorless MFC under the influence of a specific stress. Electric pulse of specific magnitude has been applied to Escherichia coli cells in a MFC and compared the results with unpulsed (control) MFC. Maximum power density of 187.77 mW/m(2) and 284.44 mW/m(2) for the control and experimental MFC has been observed at corresponding current density of 1444.44 mA/m(2) and 1777.77 mA/m(2). The results show improved performance for the pulsed (experimental) system, despite of initial downfall with respect to the control system. This suggests bacterial adaptation against electrical pulses which leads to evolution of an efficient electrogen. This observation is further confirmed by analyzing the results of Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Electrochemical Impedence Spectroscopy (EIS), enlightening different attributes like electrochemical property, bacterial morphology and impedance. The study is focused on development of a microbial fuel cell catalysed by E. coli, through triggering electroactive property in the microbe by exposing it to external stress. This study is unique in nature as it is mediatorless, economical and describes about a new method of natural bacterial evolution. PMID:26774096

  1. A Terrestrial Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell-based Biosensor for Biochemical Oxygen Demand of Synthetic Rice Washed Wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logroño, Washington; Guambo, Alex; Pérez, Mario; Kadier, Abudukeremu; Recalde, Celso

    2016-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells represent an innovative technology which allow simultaneous waste treatment, electricity production, and environmental monitoring. This study provides a preliminary investigation of the use of terrestrial Single chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (SMFCs) as biosensors. Three cells were created using Andean soil, each one for monitoring a BOD concentration of synthetic washed rice wastewater (SRWW) of 10, 100, and 200 mg/L for SMFC1, SMFC2 and SMFC3, respectively. The results showed transient, exponential, and steady stages in the SMFCs. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) peaks were reached during the elapsed time of the transient stages, according to the tested BOD concentrations. A good linearity between OCV and time was observed in the increasing stage. The average OCV in this stage increased independently of the tested concentrations. SMFC1 required less time than SMFC2 to reach the steady stage, suggesting the BOD concentration is an influencing factor in SMFCs, and SMFC3 did not reach it. The OCV ratios were between 40.6-58.8 mV and 18.2-32.9 mV for SMFC1 and SMFC2. The reproducibility of the SMFCs was observed in four and three cycles for SMFC1 and SMFC2, respectively. The presented SMFCs had a good response and reproducibility as biosensor devices, and could be an alternative for environmental monitoring.

  2. Utility of Ochrobactrum anthropi YC152 in a Microbial Fuel Cell as an Early Warning Device for Hexavalent Chromium Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guey-Horng; Cheng, Chiu-Yu; Liu, Man-Hai; Chen, Tzu-Yu; Hsieh, Min-Chi; Chung, Ying-Chien

    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 the microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based biosensor indicated its potential as a reliable biosensor system. The MFC voltage decreased as the Cr(VI) concentration in the MFC increased. Two satisfactory linear relationships were observed between the Cr(VI) concentration and voltage output for various Cr(VI) concentration ranges (0.0125-0.3 mg/L and 0.3-5 mg/L). The MFC biosensor is a simple device that can accurately measure Cr(VI) concentrations in drinking water, groundwater, and electroplating wastewater in 45 min with low deviations (water. Thus, the developed MFC biosensor has potential as an early warning detection device for Cr(VI) determination even if O. anthropi YC152 is a possible opportunistic pathogen. PMID:27537887

  3. Efficient decolorization of real dye wastewater and bioelectricity generation using a novel single chamber biocathode-microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalathil, Shafeer; Lee, Jintae; Cho, Moo Hwan

    2012-09-01

    Large scale applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have been severely hindered by several problems such as high internal resistance, low power output, expensive materials, and complicated configuration. To address these issues, a granular activated carbon based single chamber microbial fuel cell (GACB-SCMFC) has been designed using GAC-biocathodes without using any expensive materials for the simultaneous decolorization of real dye wastewater and electricity generation. The GACB-SCMFC produced a power density of 8 W/m(3) which indicates the GAC-biocathode can be a good alternative to platinum and other chemical catalysts. The dye wastewater was primarily treated at the anode and further polishing steps were occurred at the aerobic cathode. Toxicity measurement shows that the effluent after GACB-SCMFC operation was much less toxic compared to the original dye wastewater. Additional advantage of the GACB-SCMFC is that pH was automatically adjusted from 12.2 to 8 during 48 h of hydraulic retention time (HRT). PMID:22728177

  4. Electricity Generation with the Novel 3D Electrode from Swim Wastewater in a Dual-chamber Microbial Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lai Mei-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The swine wastewater has the characteristics of high concentration of organic matter, suspended solids and more high ammonia nitrogen, odor, complex pollution ingredient and large emissions. Microbial fuel cells (MFC is an electrochemical and biological systems related to chemical energy into electrical energy. A two-chambered cubic microbial fuel cell was used to evaluate the effect of a novel 3D electrode which made of iron and copper on the electricity generation. The swine wastewater containing total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD 3300±300 mg/L was used as the feedstock in anode chamber, and the potassium ferricyanide was used as electron acceptor in cathode chamber. The MFC reactor was incubated with the initial pH 7.0 in a air-shaker with a temperature (ca. 35°C and 100 rpm in fed-batch mode. A fixed external resistance (R of 100 Ω was connected between the electrodes and the closed circuit potentials of the MFCs were recorded every 2 min. The results show that using iron 3D electrode has the peak electricity generation of 176 mV at the first two day and maintained the stable electricity voltage of 110 mV during the 5th to 15th days. The COD removal efficiency could reach 80%. Using copper 3D electrode only can generate the peak electricity of 33.1 mV and stable electricity of 27 mV with the COD removal efficiency of 70%.

  5. Utility of Ochrobactrum anthropi YC152 in a Microbial Fuel Cell as an Early Warning Device for Hexavalent Chromium Determination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guey-Horng Wang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 the microbial fuel cell (MFC-based biosensor indicated its potential as a reliable biosensor system. The MFC voltage decreased as the Cr(VI concentration in the MFC increased. Two satisfactory linear relationships were observed between the Cr(VI concentration and voltage output for various Cr(VI concentration ranges (0.0125–0.3 mg/L and 0.3–5 mg/L. The MFC biosensor is a simple device that can accurately measure Cr(VI concentrations in drinking water, groundwater, and electroplating wastewater in 45 min with low deviations (<10%. The use of the biosensor can help in preventing the violation of effluent regulations and the maximum allowable concentration of Cr(VI in water. Thus, the developed MFC biosensor has potential as an early warning detection device for Cr(VI determination even if O. anthropi YC152 is a possible opportunistic pathogen.

  6. Wastewater treatment, energy recovery and desalination using a forward osmosis membrane in an air-cathode microbial osmotic fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    Werner, Craig M.

    2013-02-01

    A microbial osmotic fuel cell (MOFC) has a forward osmosis (FO) membrane situated between the electrodes that enable desalinated water recovery along with power generation. Previous designs have required aerating the cathode chamber water, offsetting the benefits of power generation by power consumption for aeration. An air-cathode MOFC design was developed here to improve energy recovery, and the performance of this new design was compared to conventional microbial fuel cells containing a cation (CEM) or anion exchange membrane (AEM). Internal resistance of the MOFC was reduced with the FO membrane compared to the ion exchange membranes, resulting in a higher maximum power production (43W/m3) than that obtained with an AEM (40W/m3) or CEM (23W/m3). Acetate (carbon source) removal reached 90% in the MOFC; however, a small amount of acetate crossed the membrane to the catholyte. The initial water flux declined by 28% from cycle 1 to cycle 3 of operation but stabilized at 4.1L/m2/h over the final three batch cycles. This decline in water flux was due to membrane fouling. Overall desalination of the draw (synthetic seawater) solution was 35%. These results substantially improve the prospects for simultaneous wastewater treatment and seawater desalination in the same reactor. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

  7. A Terrestrial Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell-based Biosensor for Biochemical Oxygen Demand of Synthetic Rice Washed Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Washington Logroño

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells represent an innovative technology which allow simultaneous waste treatment, electricity production, and environmental monitoring. This study provides a preliminary investigation of the use of terrestrial Single chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (SMFCs as biosensors. Three cells were created using Andean soil, each one for monitoring a BOD concentration of synthetic washed rice wastewater (SRWW of 10, 100, and 200 mg/L for SMFC1, SMFC2 and SMFC3, respectively. The results showed transient, exponential, and steady stages in the SMFCs. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV peaks were reached during the elapsed time of the transient stages, according to the tested BOD concentrations. A good linearity between OCV and time was observed in the increasing stage. The average OCV in this stage increased independently of the tested concentrations. SMFC1 required less time than SMFC2 to reach the steady stage, suggesting the BOD concentration is an influencing factor in SMFCs, and SMFC3 did not reach it. The OCV ratios were between 40.6–58.8 mV and 18.2–32.9 mV for SMFC1 and SMFC2. The reproducibility of the SMFCs was observed in four and three cycles for SMFC1 and SMFC2, respectively. The presented SMFCs had a good response and reproducibility as biosensor devices, and could be an alternative for environmental monitoring.

  8. Effect of composites based nickel foam anode in microbial fuel cell using Acetobacter aceti and Gluconobacter roseus as a biocatalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthikeyan, Rengasamy; Krishnaraj, Navanietha; Selvam, Ammaiyappan; Wong, Jonathan Woon-Chung; Lee, Patrick K H; Leung, Michael K H; Berchmans, Sheela

    2016-10-01

    This study explores the use of materials such as chitosan (chit), polyaniline (PANI) and titanium carbide (TC) as anode materials for microbial fuel cells. Nickel foam (NF) was used as the base anode substrate. Four different types of anodes (NF, NF/PANI, NF/PANI/TC, NF/PANI/TC/Chit) are thus prepared and used in batch type microbial fuel cells operated with a mixed consortium of Acetobacter aceti and Gluconobacter roseus as the biocatalysts and bad wine as a feedstock. A maximum power density of 18.8Wm(-3) (≈2.3 times higher than NF) was obtained in the case of the anode modified with a composite of PANI/TC/Chit. The MFCs running under a constant external resistance of (50Ω) yielded 14.7% coulombic efficiency with a maximum chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal of 87-93%. The overall results suggest that the catalytic materials embedded in the chitosan matrix show the best performance and have potentials for further development. PMID:26970695

  9. Biomass power for rural development. Technical progress report, April 1, 1997--June 30, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neuhauser, E.

    1997-08-01

    Detailed task progress reports and schedules are provided for the DOE/USDA sponsored Biomass Power for Rural Development project. The focus of the project is on developing commercial energy crops for power generation by the year 2000. The New York based Salix Consortium project is a multi-partner endeavor, implemented in three stages. Phase-I, Final Design and Project Development, will conclude with the preparation of construction and/or operating permits, feedstock production plans, and contracts ready for signature. Field trials of willow (Salix) have been initiated at several locations in New York (Tully, Lockport, King Ferry, La Fayette, Massena, and Himrod) and co-firing tests are underway at Greenidge Station (NYSEG) and Dunkirk Station (NMPC). Phase-H of the project will focus on scale-up of willow crop acreage, construction of co-firing facilities at Dunkirk Station (NMPC), and final modifications for Greenidge Station. Cofiring willow is also under consideration for GPU`s Seward Station where testing is under way. There will be an evaluation of the energy crop as part of the gasification trials occurring at BED`s McNeill power station. Phase-III will represent fullscale commercialization of the energy crop and power generation on a sustainable basis.

  10. Biomass power for rural development. Technical progress report, October 1--December 31, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neuhauser, E.

    1998-05-01

    The focus of the DOE/USDA sponsored biomass power for rural development project is to develop commercial energy crops for power generation by the year 2000. The New York based Salix Consortium project is a multi-partner endeavor, implemented in three stages. Phase-1, Final Design and Project Development, will conclude with the preparation of construction and/or operating permits, feedstock production plans, and contracts ready for signature. Field trials of willow (Salix) have been initiated at several locations in New York (Tully, Lockport, King Ferry, La Fayette, Massena, and Himrod) and co-firing tests are underway at Greenidge Station (NYSEG) and Dunkirk Station (NMPC). Phase-2 of the project will focus on scale-up of willow crop acreage, construction of co-firing facilities at Dunkirk Station (NMPC), and final modifications for Greenidge Station. Cofiring willow is also under consideration for GPU`s Seward Station where testing is underway. There will be an evaluation of the energy crop as part of the gasification trials occurring at BED`s McNeill Power Station. Phase-3 will represent fullscale commercialization of the energy crop and power generation on a sustainable basis. During the fourth quarter of 1997 the Consortium submitted a Phase-2 proposal. A few of the other more important milestones are outlined below. The first quarter of 1998 will be dominated by pre-planting activity in the spring.

  11. Microbial metabolism fuels ecosystem-scale organic matter transformations: an integrated biological and chemical perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrighton, K. C.; Narrowe, A. B.; Angle, J.; Stefanik, K. S.; Daly, R. A.; Johnston, M.; Miller, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater saturated sediments and soils represent vital ecosystems due to their nutrient cycling capacities and their prominent contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. However, the diversity of microorganisms and metabolic pathways involved in carbon cycling, and the impacts of these processes on other biogeochemical cycles remain poorly understood. Major advances in DNA sequencing have helped forge linkages between the previously disconnected biological and chemical components of these systems. Here, we present data on the use of assembly-based metagenomics to generate hypotheses on microbial carbon degradation and biogeochemical cycling in waterlogged sediments and soils. DNA sequencing from a fresh water aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River in Rifle, CO yielded extensive genome recovery from multiple previously unknown bacterial lineages. Fermentative metabolisms encoded by these genomes drive nitrogen, hydrogen, and sulfur cycling in this subsurface system. We are also applying a similar approach to identify microbial processes in a freshwater wetland on Lake Erie, OH. Given the increased diversity (increased richness, decreased evenness, and strain variation) of wetland sediment microbial communities, we modified methods for specialized assembly of long taxonomic marker gene amplicons (EMIRGE) to create a biogeographical map of Fungi, Archaea, and Bacteria along depth and hydrological transects. This map reveals that the microbial community associated with the top two depths (>7 cm) is significantly different from bottom depths (7-40 cm). Dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecular weight and the presence of oxidized terminal electron acceptors best predict differences in microbial community structure. Laboratory mesocosms amended with pore-water DOM, in situ soil communities, and variable oxygen conditions link DOM composition and redox to microbial metabolic networks, biogeochemical cycles, and green house gas emission. Organism identities from

  12. Electricity Production Through Treatment of Simulated Wastewater of Food Industries Using Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC with Nafions Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Jaafarzadeh

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Microbial fuel cells are the electrochemical exchangers that convert the microbial reduced power, generated via the metabolism of organic substrate, to electrical energy. The aim of this study is to find out the rate of produced electricity and also treatment rate of simulated wastewater of food industries using dual chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC without mediator and catalyst. Materials and Methods: MFC used in this study was consisted of two compartments including anaerobic anode chamber containing simulated food industries wastewater as synthetic substrate and aerobic cathode chamber containing phosphate buffer, respectively. These two chambers were separated by proton exchange membrane made of Nafion. Produced voltage and current intensity were measured using a digital ohm meter and the amount of electricity was calculated by Ohms law. Effluent from the anode compartment was tested for COD, BOD5, NH3, P, TSS, VSS, SO42- and alkalinity in accordance with the Standard Methods. Results: In this study, maximum current intensity and power production at anode surface in the OLR of 0.79 Kg/m3.d were measured as 1.71 mA and 140 mW/m2, respectively. The maximum voltage of 0.422 V was obtained in the OLR of 0.36 Kg/m3.d. The greatest columbic efficiency of the system was 15% in the OLR of 0.18 Kg/m3.d. Maximum removal efficiency of COD, BOD5, NH3, P, TSS, VSS, SO42- and alkalinity, were obtained 78, 72, 66, 7, 56, 49, 26 and 40%, respectively.Conclusion: The findings showed that the MFC can be used as a new technology to produce electricity from renewable organic materials and for the treatment of different municipal and industrial wastewaters such as food industries.

  13. Characterization of bacterial and archaeal communities in air-cathode microbial fuel cells, open circuit and sealed-off reactors

    KAUST Repository

    Chehab, Noura A.

    2013-06-18

    A large percentage of organic fuel consumed in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) is lost as a result of oxygen transfer through the cathode. In order to understand how this oxygen transfer affects the microbial community structure, reactors were operated in duplicate using three configurations: closed circuit (CC; with current generation), open circuit (OC; no current generation), and sealed off cathodes (SO; no current, with a solid plate placed across the cathode). Most (98 %) of the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was removed during power production in the CC reactor (maximum of 640 ± 10 mW/m 2), with a low percent of substrate converted to current (coulombic efficiency of 26.5 ± 2.1 %). Sealing the cathode reduced COD removal to 7 %, but with an open cathode, there was nearly as much COD removal by the OC reactor (94.5 %) as the CC reactor. Oxygen transfer into the reactor substantially affected the composition of the microbial communities. Based on analysis of the biofilms using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, microbes most similar to Geobacter were predominant on the anodes in the CC MFC (72 % of sequences), but the most abundant bacteria were Azoarcus (42 to 47 %) in the OC reactor, and Dechloromonas (17 %) in the SO reactor. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens were most predominant, with sequences most similar to Methanobacterium in the CC and SO reactor, and Methanocorpusculum in the OC reactors. These results show that oxygen leakage through the cathode substantially alters the bacterial anode communities, and that hydrogenotrophic methanogens predominate despite high concentrations of acetate. The predominant methanogens in the CC reactor most closely resembled those in the SO reactor, demonstrating that oxygen leakage alters methanogenic as well as general bacterial communities. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  14. Characterization of two diesel fuel degrading microbial consortia enriched from a non acclimated, complex source of microorganisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varese Giovanna C

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The bioremediation of soils impacted by diesel fuels is very often limited by the lack of indigenous microflora with the required broad substrate specificity. In such cases, the soil inoculation with cultures with the desired catabolic capabilities (bioaugmentation is an essential option. The use of consortia of microorganisms obtained from rich sources of microbes (e.g., sludges, composts, manure via enrichment (i.e., serial growth transfers on the polluting hydrocarbons would provide bioremediation enhancements more robust and reproducible than those achieved with specialized pure cultures or tailored combinations (co-cultures of them, together with none or minor risks of soil loading with unrelated or pathogenic allocthonous microorganisms. Results In this work, two microbial consortia, i.e., ENZ-G1 and ENZ-G2, were enriched from ENZYVEBA (a complex commercial source of microorganisms on Diesel (G1 and HiQ Diesel (G2, respectively, and characterized in terms of microbial composition and hydrocarbon biodegradation capability and specificity. ENZ-G1 and ENZ-G2 exhibited a comparable and remarkable biodegradation capability and specificity towards n-C10 to n-C24 linear paraffins by removing about 90% of 1 g l-1 of diesel fuel applied after 10 days of aerobic shaken flask batch culture incubation at 30°C. Cultivation dependent and independent approaches evidenced that both consortia consist of bacteria belonging to the genera Chryseobacterium, Acinetobacter, Psudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Alcaligenes and Gordonia along with the fungus Trametes gibbosa. However, only the fungus was found to grow and remarkably biodegrade G1 and G2 hydrocarbons under the same conditions. The biodegradation activity and specificity and the microbial composition of ENZ-G1 and ENZ-G2 did not significantly change after cryopreservation and storage at -20°C for several months. Conclusions ENZ-G1 and ENZ-G2 are very similar highly enriched consortia

  15. Sustainable design of high-performance microsized microbial fuel cell with carbon nanotube anode and air cathode

    KAUST Repository

    Mink, Justine E.

    2013-08-27

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising alternative energy source that both generates electricity and cleans water. Fueled by liquid wastes such as wastewater or industrial wastes, the microbial fuel cell converts waste into energy. Microsized MFCs are essentially miniature energy harvesters that can be used to power on-chip electronics, lab-on-a-chip devices, and/or sensors. As MFCs are a relatively new technology, microsized MFCs are also an important rapid testing platform for the comparison and introduction of new conditions or materials into macroscale MFCs, especially nanoscale materials that have high potential for enhanced power production. Here we report a 75 μL microsized MFC on silicon using CMOS-compatible processes and employ a novel nanomaterial with exceptional electrochemical properties, multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), as the on-chip anode. We used this device to compare the usage of the more commonly used but highly expensive anode material gold, as well as a more inexpensive substitute, nickel. This is the first anode material study done using the most sustainably designed microsized MFC to date, which utilizes ambient oxygen as the electron acceptor with an air cathode instead of the chemical ferricyanide and without a membrane. Ferricyanide is unsustainable, as the chemical must be continuously refilled, while using oxygen, naturally found in air, makes the device mobile and is a key step in commercializing this for portable technology such as lab-on-a-chip for point-of-care diagnostics. At 880 mA/m2 and 19 mW/m2 the MWCNT anode outperformed the others in both current and power densities with between 6 and 20 times better performance. All devices were run for over 15 days, indicating a stable and high-endurance energy harvester already capable of producing enough power for ultra-low-power electronics and able to consistently power them over time. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  16. Electrospun fibers for high performance anodes in microbial fuel cells. Optimizing materials and architecture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Shuiliang

    2010-04-15

    A novel porous conducting nanofiber mat (PCNM) with nanostructured polyaniline (nanoPANi) on the fiber surface was successfully prepared by simple oxidative polymerization. The composite PCNM displayed a core/shell structure with highly rough surface. The thickness and the morphology of PANi layer on the electrospun polyamide (PA) fiber surface could be controlled by varying aniline concentration and temperature. The combination of the advantages of electrospinning technique and nanostructured PANi, let the PA/PANi composite PCNM possess more than five good properties, i.e. high conductivity of 6.759 S.m{sup -1}, high specific surface area of 160 m2.g{sup -1}, good strength of 82.88 MPa for mat and 161.75 MPa for highly aligned belts, good thermal properties with 5% weight loss temperature up to 415 C and excellent biocompatibility. In the PA/PANi composite PCNM, PANi is the only conducting component, its conductivity of 6.759 S.m{sup -1} which is measured in dry-state, is not enough for electrode. Moreover, the conductivity decreases in neutral pH environment due to the de-doping of proton. However, the method of spontaneous growth of nanostructured PANi on electrospun fiber mats provides an effective method to produce porous electrically conducting electrospun fiber mats. The combination advantages of nanostructured PANi with the electrospun fiber mats, extends the applications of PANi and electrospun nanofibers, such as chemical- and bio-sensors, actuators, catalysis, electromagnetic shielding, corrosion protection, separation membranes, electro-optic devices, electrochromic devices, tissue engineering and many others. The electrical conductivity of electrospun PCNM with PANi as the only conducting component is too low for application of as anode in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). So, we turn to electrospun carbon fiber due to its high electrical conductivity and environmental stability. The current density is greatly dependent on the microorganism density of anode

  17. Recent advances in the detection and quantification of microbial contamination in fuel systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Passman, Frederick J. [Biodeterioration Control Associates, Inc., Princeton, NJ (United States); Maradukhel, Gulerana; Merks, Michael [LuminUltra Technologies Ltd., Fredericton, NB (Canada)

    2013-06-01

    Quantification of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in fuels and fuel-associated waters was first presented at the 6th International Fuels Colloquium in 2007. At the time, two issues limited the overall usefulness of A TP as a test parameter: inability to detect dormant microbes and inability to differentiate between bacteria and fungi. Recent research has addressed both of these issues. This paper presents protocols for detecting dormant microbes - identified as microbes that are not metabolically active in the sampled fluid, but which can become active under appropriate conditions - and for differentiating fungi from bacteria. The newly developed protocols achieve > 90% detection of bacterial endospores in fuels and fuel-associated water. They also provide > 90% differentiation between bacterial and fungal contaminants in these fluids. (orig.)

  18. Microbial contamination of stored hydrocarbon fuels and its control Contaminação microbiana de combustíveis hidrocarbonados e o seu controle

    OpenAIRE

    Gaylarde, Christine C.; Bento, Fátima M.; Joan Kelley

    1999-01-01

    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 m...

  19. Monetization of External Costs Using Lifecycle Analysis—A Comparative Case Study of Coal-Fired and Biomass Power Plants in Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingling Wang

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the structures of external costs are built in line with coal-fired and biomass power plant life cycle activities in Northeast China. The external cost of coal-fired and biomass power plants was compared, using the lifecycle approach. In addition, the external costs of a biomass power plant are calculated for each stage for comparison with those of a coal-fired power plant. The results highlight that the external costs of a coal-fired plant are 0.072 US $/kWh, which are much higher than that of a biomass power plant, 0.00012 US$/kWh. The external cost of coal-fired power generation is as much as 90% of the current price of electricity generated by coal, while the external cost of a biomass power plant is 1/1000 of the current price of electricity generated by biomass. In addition, for a biomass power plant, the external cost associated with SO2, NOX, and PM2.5 are particularly lower than those of a coal-fired power plant. The prospect of establishing precise estimations for external cost mechanisms and sustainable energy policies is discussed to show a possible direction for future energy schemes in China. The paper has significant value for supporting the biomass power industry and taxing or regulating coal-fired power industry to optimize the energy structure in China.

  20. Biomass power for rural development. Technical progress report, May 1, 1996--December 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neuhauser, E.

    1996-02-01

    Developing commercial energy crops for power generation by the year 2000 is the focus of the DOE/USDA sponsored Biomass Power for Rural Development project. The New York based Salix Consortium project is a multi-partner endeavor, implemented in three stages. Phase-I, Final Design and Project Development, will conclude with the preparation of construction and/or operating permits, feedstock production plans, and contracts ready for signature. Field trials of willow (Salix) have been initiated at several locations in New York (Tully, Lockport, King Ferry, La Facette, Massena, and Himrod) and co-firing tests are underway at Greenidge Station (NYSEG). Phase-II of the project will focus on scale-up of willow crop acreage, construction of co-firing facilities at Dunkirk Station (NMPC), and final modifications for Greenidge Station. There will be testing of the energy crop as part of the gasification trials expected to occur at BED`s McNeill power station and potentially at one of GPU`s facilities. Phase-III will represent full-scale commercialization of the energy crop and power generation on a sustainable basis. Willow has been selected as the energy crop of choice for many reasons. Willow is well suited to the climate of the Northeastern United States, and initial field trials have demonstrated that the yields required for the success of the project are obtainable. Like other energy crops, willow has rural development benefits and could serve to diversify local crop production, provide new sources of income for participating growers, and create new jobs. Willow could be used to put a large base of idle acreage back into crop production. Additionally, the willow coppicing system integrates well with current farm operations and utilizes agricultural practices that are already familiar to farmers.

  1. Monetization of External Costs Using Lifecycle Analysis—A Comparative Case Study of Coal-Fired and Biomass Power Plants in Northeast China

    OpenAIRE

    Lingling Wang; Tsunemi Watanabe; Zhiwei Xu

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the structures of external costs are built in line with coal-fired and biomass power plant life cycle activities in Northeast China. The external cost of coal-fired and biomass power plants was compared, using the lifecycle approach. In addition, the external costs of a biomass power plant are calculated for each stage for comparison with those of a coal-fired power plant. The results highlight that the external costs of a coal-fired plant are 0.072 US $/kWh, which are much hig...

  2. Development of anode zone using dual-anode system to reduce organic matter crossover in membraneless microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jisu; Kim, Bongkyu; An, Junyeong; Lee, Yoo Seok; Chang, In Seop

    2016-08-01

    To prevent the occurrence of the organic crossover in membraneless microbial fuel cells (ML-MFCs), dual-anode MFC (DA-MFC) was designed from multi-anode concept to ensure anode zone. The anode zone addressed increase the utilization of organic matter in ML-MFCs, as the result, the organic crossover was prevented and performance of MFCs were enhanced. The maximum power of the DA-MFC was 0.46mW, which is about 1.56 times higher than the ML-MFC (0.29mW). Furthermore, the DA-MFC had advantage in correlation of organic substance concentration and dissolved oxygen concentration, and even electric over-potential. In addition, in terms of cathode fouling, the DA-MFC showed clearer surface. Hence, the anode zone should be considered in the advanced ML-MFC for practically use in wastewater treatment process, and also for scale-up of MFCs.

  3. Dual-Doped Molybdenum Trioxide Nanowires: A Bifunctional Anode for Fiber-Shaped Asymmetric Supercapacitors and Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Minghao; Cheng, Xinyu; Zeng, Yinxiang; Wang, Zilong; Tong, Yexiang; Lu, Xihong; Yang, Shihe

    2016-06-01

    A novel in situ N and low-valence-state Mo dual doping strategy was employed to significantly improve the conductivity, active-site accessibility, and electrochemical stability of MoO3 , drastically boosting its electrochemical properties. Consequently, our optimized N-MoO3-x nanowires exhibited exceptional performances as a bifunctional anode material for both fiber-shaped asymmetric supercapacitors (ASCs) and microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The flexible fiber-shaped ASC and MFC device based on the N-MoO3-x anode could deliver an unprecedentedly high energy density of 2.29 mWh cm(-3) and a remarkable power density of 0.76 μW cm(-1) , respectively. Such a bifunctional fiber-shaped N-MoO3-x electrode opens the way to integrate the electricity generation and storage for self-powered sources.

  4. Scalable air cathode microbial fuel cells using glass fiber separators, plastic mesh supporters, and graphite fiber brush anodes

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan

    2011-01-01

    The combined use of brush anodes and glass fiber (GF1) separators, and plastic mesh supporters were used here for the first time to create a scalable microbial fuel cell architecture. Separators prevented short circuiting of closely-spaced electrodes, and cathode supporters were used to avoid water gaps between the separator and cathode that can reduce power production. The maximum power density with a separator and supporter and a single cathode was 75±1W/m3. Removing the separator decreased power by 8%. Adding a second cathode increased power to 154±1W/m3. Current was increased by connecting two MFCs connected in parallel. These results show that brush anodes, combined with a glass fiber separator and a plastic mesh supporter, produce a useful MFC architecture that is inherently scalable due to good insulation between the electrodes and a compact architecture. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Exploring redox-mediating characteristics of textile dye-bearing microbial fuel cells: thionin and malachite green.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Yann; Xu, Bin; Qin, Lian-Jie; Lan, John Chi-Wei; Hsueh, Chung-Chuan

    2014-10-01

    Prior studies indicated that biodecolorized intermediates of azo dyes could act as electron shuttles to stimulate wastewater decolorization and bioelectricity generation (WD&BG) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study tended to explore whether non-azo textile dyes (i.e., thionin and malachite green) could also own such redox-mediating capabilities for WD&BG. Prior findings mentioned that OH and/or NH2 substitute-containing auxochrome compounds (e.g., 2-aminophenol and 1,2-dihydroxybenzene) could effectively mediate electron transport in MFCs for simultaneous WD&BG. This work clearly suggested that the presence of electron-mediating textile dyes (e.g., thionin and malachite green (MG)) in MFCs is promising to stimulate color removal and bioelectricity generation. That is, using MFCs as operation strategy for wastewater biodecolorization is economically promising in industrial applications due to autocatalytic acceleration of electron-flux for WD&BG in MFCs.

  6. [Progress of research on the microbial fuel cells in the application of environment pollution treatment--a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yonggang; Sun, Guoping; Xu, Meiying

    2010-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical reactors that have the capacity to convert chemical energy of biodegradable organic chemicals to electrical energy, and developed rapidly in the past few years. With an increasing concern for energy crisis and environment pollution, MFCs has became a promising technology in the researches of environment pollution treatments and biology electricity. In this paper, we offered a comprehensive review of the recent research progress of MFCs in environment pollution treatment, includes denitrification, desufurization, organic pollutants degradation, heavy metal reduction and landfill leachate treatment. Also, we pointed out the challenges and problems which were bottle necks for a wide application of MFCs and the potential future development. PMID:20815229

  7. Enhanced response of microbial fuel cell using sulfonated poly ether ether ketone membrane as a biochemical oxygen demand sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyaru, Sivasankaran; Dharmalingam, Sangeetha

    2014-03-25

    The present study is focused on the development of single chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC) using sulfonated poly ether ether ketone (SPEEK) membrane to determine the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) matter present in artificial wastewater (AW). The biosensor produces a good linear relationship with the BOD concentration up to 650 ppm when using artificial wastewater. This sensing range was 62.5% higher than that of Nafion(®). The most serious problem in using MFC as a BOD sensor is the oxygen diffusion into the anode compartment, which consumes electrons in the anode compartment, thereby reducing the coulomb yield and reducing the electrical signal from the MFC. SPEEK exhibited one order lesser oxygen permeability than Nafion(®), resulting in low internal resistance and substrate loss, thus improving the sensing range of BOD. The system was further improved by making a double membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with an increased electrode surface area which provide high surface area for electrically active bacteria.

  8. Optimization of a microbial fuel cell for wastewater treatment using recycled scrap metals as a cost-effective cathode material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Olivier; Tan, Zi; Shen, Yujia; Ng, How Y

    2013-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) for wastewater treatment is still hindered by the prohibitive cost of cathode material, especially when platinum is used to catalyze oxygen reduction. In this study, recycled scrap metals could be used efficiently as cathode material in a specially-designed MFC. In terms of raw power, the scrap metals ranked as follows: W/Co > Cu/Ni > Inconel 718 > carpenter alloy; however, in terms of cost and long term stability, Inconel 718 was the preferred choice. Treatment performance--assessed on real and synthetic wastewater--was considerably improved either by filling the anode compartment with carbon granules or by operating the MFC in full-loop mode. The latter option allowed reaching 99.7% acetate removal while generating a maximum power of 36 W m(-3) at an acetate concentration of 2535 mg L(-1). Under these conditions, the energy produced by the system averaged 0.1 kWh m(-3) of wastewater treated.

  9. In-line deoxygenation for organic carbon detections in seawater using a marine microbial fuel cell-biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quek, Soon Bee; Cheng, Liang; Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf

    2015-04-01

    Assimilable organic carbon (AOC) is a key predictor for membrane biofouling in seawater desalination reverse osmosis (SWRO). Microbial fuel cells have been considered as biosensors for the detection of biodegradable organics. However, the presence of dissolved oxygen (DO) is known to completely suppress the signal production (i.e., current) of a typical MFC. This study describes AOC detection in normal oxygenated seawater by coupling an electrochemical cell for DO removal with a MFC-biosensor for AOC detection. The electrochemical deoxygenation for oxygen removal caused no interference in the AOC detection. A linear relationship (R(2)=0.991) between the AOC concentration and current production from the MFC biosensor was achieved. The coupling of an electrochemical cell with a MFC-biosensor can be effectively used as an online, rapid and inexpensive measure of AOC concentrations and hence as an indicator for biofouling potential of seawater. PMID:25679497

  10. Development of anode zone using dual-anode system to reduce organic matter crossover in membraneless microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jisu; Kim, Bongkyu; An, Junyeong; Lee, Yoo Seok; Chang, In Seop

    2016-08-01

    To prevent the occurrence of the organic crossover in membraneless microbial fuel cells (ML-MFCs), dual-anode MFC (DA-MFC) was designed from multi-anode concept to ensure anode zone. The anode zone addressed increase the utilization of organic matter in ML-MFCs, as the result, the organic crossover was prevented and performance of MFCs were enhanced. The maximum power of the DA-MFC was 0.46mW, which is about 1.56 times higher than the ML-MFC (0.29mW). Furthermore, the DA-MFC had advantage in correlation of organic substance concentration and dissolved oxygen concentration, and even electric over-potential. In addition, in terms of cathode fouling, the DA-MFC showed clearer surface. Hence, the anode zone should be considered in the advanced ML-MFC for practically use in wastewater treatment process, and also for scale-up of MFCs. PMID:26972026

  11. In-line deoxygenation for organic carbon detections in seawater using a marine microbial fuel cell-biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quek, Soon Bee; Cheng, Liang; Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf

    2015-04-01

    Assimilable organic carbon (AOC) is a key predictor for membrane biofouling in seawater desalination reverse osmosis (SWRO). Microbial fuel cells have been considered as biosensors for the detection of biodegradable organics. However, the presence of dissolved oxygen (DO) is known to completely suppress the signal production (i.e., current) of a typical MFC. This study describes AOC detection in normal oxygenated seawater by coupling an electrochemical cell for DO removal with a MFC-biosensor for AOC detection. The electrochemical deoxygenation for oxygen removal caused no interference in the AOC detection. A linear relationship (R(2)=0.991) between the AOC concentration and current production from the MFC biosensor was achieved. The coupling of an electrochemical cell with a MFC-biosensor can be effectively used as an online, rapid and inexpensive measure of AOC concentrations and hence as an indicator for biofouling potential of seawater.

  12. The performance of the microbial fuel cell-coupled constructed wetland system and the influence of the anode bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tingting; Fang, Zhou; Yu, Ran; Cao, Xian; Song, Hailiang; Li, Xianning

    2016-01-01

    In order to analyse the influences of substrate and electrode on the performance of microbial fuel cell-coupled constructed wetland (CW-MFC), the electrical generation efficiencies, the decolourization mechanism of reactive brilliant red X-3B, and the microbial communities in the anode were investigated. The closed circuit reactor fed with a mixture of X-3B and glucose (166.7 mg/L X-3B and 140 mg/L glucose) (the mixture CC reactor) got a decolourization rate of 92.79%, which was higher than the open circuit reactor (the mixture OC reactor) and the reactor fed with X-3B (the X-3B reactor). The mixture CC reactor got a maximum power density of 0.200 W/m(3), which was much higher than the X-3B reactor. The intermediates produced by X-3B decolourization were further degraded in CW-MCs. The PCR-denatured gradient gel electrophoresis analysis indicated the dominance of Proteobacteria-like 16S rRNA gnen sequences. The brightest band was detected to be dominant by a Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens-like sequence. The electrogenic bacteria-associated sequences, such as Geobacter metallireducens and Desulfobulbaceae, both existed in the closed circuit and the open circuit reactors, accompanied with Desulfobacterium sp., Klebsiella sp., Aminobacter sp., Flavobacterium sp., Thauera aromatic, and Sphingomonas sp. The abundances of Geobacter sulfurreducens and Betaproteobacteria in the mixture CC reactor were 32.2% and 7.2%, respectively, and were higher than those in the mixture OC reactor. In summary, substrate and electrode can promote the performance of the CW-MFC and have effects on the microbial community in the anode of the CW-MFC. PMID:26652300

  13. Preliminary Study on E.coli Microbial Fuel Cell and On-electrode Taming of the Biocatalyst

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郗名悦; 孙彦平

    2008-01-01

    A mediator microbial ruel cell(MFC)was constructed by using E.coil as biocatalyst and new methylene blue as electron mediator.E coli cells were carried out in anaerobic growth prior to inoculating them into the MFC in order to pre-adapt bacterial metabolism in an anaerobic environment,the electricity generation of MFC Was tested,its maximum power density reached 263.94 mW/m2 with the corresponding current density 1 287.50 mA/m2.the internal resistance of MFC was 200 Ω.and capability of the MFC was even better than those reported so far.Moreover,on-electrode taming method was adopted to improve electrochemical activity of E.coli.namety a combination of E.coli taming and electricity generation simultaneously in the same MFC without scraping off the biofilm of MFC,after the 4th on-electrode taming,the tamed E.coli MFC showed a 54%improvement in peak current density,being 612.50 mA/m2.and a 64%improvement in the maximum poweroutput,behag 166.67mW/m2.compared with that of parental E coli MFC.And the maturation time of tamed biofilm Was obviously duced to 240 min,quickening up l times compared with that of parental E coli biofilm.Kev words:microbial fuel cell;E.coli;taming;biofilm

  14. Power management system for a 2.5 W remote sensor powered by a sediment microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-01

    One of the challenges in using wireless sensors that require high power to monitor the environment is finding a renewable power source that can produce enough power. Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are considered an alternative renewable power source for remote monitoring, but current research on SMFCs has demonstrated that they can only produce several to tens of mW of continuous power. This limits the use of SMFCs as an alternative renewable remote power source to mW-level power. Such low power is only enough to operate a low-power sensors. However, there are many remote sensors that require higher power, on the order of watts. Current technology using a SMFC to power a remote sensor requiring watts-level intermittent power is limited because of limitations of power management technology. Our goal was to develop a power management system (PMS) that enables a SMFC to operate a remote sensor consuming 2.5 W of power. We designed a custom PMS to store microbial energy in capacitors and use the stored energy in short bursts. Our results demonstrate that SMFCs can be a viable alternative renewable power source for remote sensors requiring high power. (author)

  15. Anodic biofilms in microbial fuel cells harbor low numbers of higher-power-producing bacteria than abundant genera

    KAUST Repository

    Kiely, Patrick D.

    2010-07-15

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode communities often reveal just a few genera, but it is not known to what extent less abundant bacteria could be important for improving performance. We examined the microbial community in an MFC fed with formic acid for more than 1 year and determined using 16S rRNA gene cloning and fluorescent in situ hybridization that members of the Paracoccus genus comprised most (~30%) of the anode community. A Paracoccus isolate obtained from this biofilm (Paracoccus denitrificans strain PS-1) produced only 5.6 mW/m 2, whereas the original mixed culture produced up to 10 mW/m 2. Despite the absence of any Shewanella species in the clone library, we isolated a strain of Shewanella putrefaciens (strain PS-2) from the same biofilm capable of producing a higher-power density (17.4 mW/m2) than the mixed culture, although voltage generation was variable. Our results suggest that the numerical abundance of microorganisms in biofilms cannot be assumed a priori to correlate to capacities of these predominant species for high-power production. Detailed screening of bacterial biofilms may therefore be needed to identify important strains capable of high-power generation for specific substrates. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  16. Time-course correlation of biofilm properties and electrochemical performance in single-chamber microbial fuel cells

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Zhiyong

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between anode microbial characteristics and electrochemical parameters in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was analyzed by time-course sampling of parallel single-bottle MFCs operated under identical conditions. While voltage stabilized within 4. days, anode biofilms continued growing during the six-week operation. Viable cell density increased asymptotically, but membrane-compromised cells accumulated steadily from only 9% of total cells on day 3 to 52% at 6. weeks. Electrochemical performance followed the viable cell trend, with a positive correlation for power density and an inverse correlation for anode charge transfer resistance. The biofilm architecture shifted from rod-shaped, dispersed cells to more filamentous structures, with the continuous detection of Geobacter sulfurreducens-like 16S rRNA fragments throughout operation and the emergence of a community member related to a known phenazine-producing Pseudomonas species. A drop in cathode open circuit potential between weeks two and three suggested that uncontrolled biofilm growth on the cathode deleteriously affects system performance. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Graphene/biofilm composites for enhancement of hexavalent chromium reduction and electricity production in a biocathode microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Tian-Shun; Jin, Yuejuan; Bao, Jingjing; Kang, Dongzhou; Xie, Jingjing

    2016-11-01

    In this study, a simple method of biocathode fabrication in a Cr(VI)-reducing microbial fuel cell (MFC) is demonstrated. A self-assembling graphene was decorated onto the biocathode microbially, constructing a graphene/biofilm, in situ. The maximum power density of the MFC with a graphene biocathode is 5.7 times that of the MFC with a graphite felt biocathode. Cr(VI) reduction was also enhanced, resulting in 100% removal of Cr(VI) within 48h, at 40mg/L Cr(VI), compared with only 58.3% removal of Cr(VI) in the MFC with a graphite felt biocathode. Cyclic voltammogram analyses showed that the graphene biocathode had faster electron transfer kinetics than the graphite felt version. Energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) analysis revealed a possible adsorption-reduction mechanism for Cr(VI) reduction via the graphene biocathode. This study attempts to improve the efficiency of the biocathode in the Cr(VI)-reducing MFC, and provides a useful candidate method for the treatment of Cr(VI) contaminated wastewater, under neutral conditions. PMID:27262274

  18. Characterization of Carbon Nanotube/Graphene on Carbon Cloth as an Electrode for Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung-Yin Tsai

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells (MFCs, which can generate low-pollution power through microbial decomposition, have become a potentially important technology with applications in environmental protection and energy recovery. The electrode materials used in MFCs are crucial determinants of their capacity to generate electricity. In this study, we investigate the performance of using carbon nanotube (CNT and graphene-modified carbon-cloth electrodes in a single-chamber MFC. We develop a process for fabricating carbon-based modified electrodes and Escherichia coli HB101 in an air-cathode MFC. The results show that the power density of MFCs can be improved by applying a coat of either graphene or CNT to a carbon-cloth electrode, and the graphene-modified electrode exhibits superior performance. In addition, the enhanced performance of anodic modification by CNT or graphene was greater than that of cathodic modification. The internal resistance decreased from 377 kΩ for normal electrodes to 5.6 kΩ for both electrodes modified by graphene with a cathodic catalyst. Using the modified electrodes in air-cathode MFCs can enhance the performance of power generation and reduce the associated costs.

  19. Efficient solar-to-fuels production from a hybrid microbial-water-splitting catalyst system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torella, Joseph P; Gagliardi, Christopher J; Chen, Janice S; Bediako, D Kwabena; Colón, Brendan; Way, Jeffery C; Silver, Pamela A; Nocera, Daniel G

    2015-02-24

    Photovoltaic cells have considerable potential to satisfy future renewable-energy needs, but efficient and scalable methods of storing the intermittent electricity they produce are required for the large-scale implementation of solar energy. Current solar-to-fuels storage cycles based on water splitting produce hydrogen and oxygen, which are attractive fuels in principle but confront practical limitations from the current energy infrastructure that is based on liquid fuels. In this work, we report the development of a scalable, integrated bioelectrochemical system in which the bacterium Ralstonia eutropha is used to efficiently convert CO2, along with H2 and O2 produced from water splitting, into biomass and fusel alcohols. Water-splitting catalysis was performed using catalysts that are made of earth-abundant metals and enable low overpotential water splitting. In this integrated setup, equivalent solar-to-biomass yields of up to 3.2% of the thermodynamic maximum exceed that of most terrestrial plants. Moreover, engineering of R. eutropha enabled production of the fusel alcohol isopropanol at up to 216 mg/L, the highest bioelectrochemical fuel yield yet reported by >300%. This work demonstrates that catalysts of biotic and abiotic origin can be interfaced to achieve challenging chemical energy-to-fuels transformations.

  20. Electrochemically exfoliated graphene anodes with enhanced biocurrent production in single-chamber air-breathing microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najafabadi, Amin Taheri; Ng, Norvin; Gyenge, Előd

    2016-07-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) present promising options for environmentally sustainable power generation especially in conjunction with waste water treatment. However, major challenges remain including low power density, difficult scale-up, and durability of the cell components. This study reports enhanced biocurrent production in a membrane-free MFC, using graphene microsheets (GNs) as anode and MnOx catalyzed air cathode. The GNs are produced by ionic liquid assisted simultaneous anodic and cathodic electrochemical exfoliation of iso-molded graphite electrodes. The GNs produced by anodic exfoliation increase the MFC peak power density by over 300% compared to plain carbon cloth (i.e., 2.85Wm(-2) vs 0.66Wm(-2), respectively), and by 90% compared to conventional carbon black (i.e., Vulcan XC-72) anode. These results exceed previously reported power densities for graphene-containing MFC anodes. The fuel cell polarization results are corroborated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicating three times lower charge transfer resistance for the GN anode. Material characterizations suggest that the best performing GN samples were of relatively smaller size (~500nm), with higher levels of ionic liquid induced surface functionalization during the electrochemical exfoliation process.

  1. Electrochemically exfoliated graphene anodes with enhanced biocurrent production in single-chamber air-breathing microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najafabadi, Amin Taheri; Ng, Norvin; Gyenge, Előd

    2016-07-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) present promising options for environmentally sustainable power generation especially in conjunction with waste water treatment. However, major challenges remain including low power density, difficult scale-up, and durability of the cell components. This study reports enhanced biocurrent production in a membrane-free MFC, using graphene microsheets (GNs) as anode and MnOx catalyzed air cathode. The GNs are produced by ionic liquid assisted simultaneous anodic and cathodic electrochemical exfoliation of iso-molded graphite electrodes. The GNs produced by anodic exfoliation increase the MFC peak power density by over 300% compared to plain carbon cloth (i.e., 2.85Wm(-2) vs 0.66Wm(-2), respectively), and by 90% compared to conventional carbon black (i.e., Vulcan XC-72) anode. These results exceed previously reported power densities for graphene-containing MFC anodes. The fuel cell polarization results are corroborated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicating three times lower charge transfer resistance for the GN anode. Material characterizations suggest that the best performing GN samples were of relatively smaller size (~500nm), with higher levels of ionic liquid induced surface functionalization during the electrochemical exfoliation process. PMID:26926591

  2. Selective enrichment of electrogenic bacteria for fuel cell application: Enumerating microbial dynamics using MiSeq platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamshi Krishna, K; Venkata Mohan, S

    2016-08-01

    This study is intended to examine the effect of pretreatment on selective enrichment of electrogenic bacteria from mixed culture. It has been observed that the iodopropane and heat-shock pretreatments suppress the growth of non-exoelectrons, while selecting only a limited number of strains belonging to genera Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas and Prevotella while untreated control inoculum showed more diverse community comprising of both exoelectrogens and non-exoelectrogens. High power output was observed in iodopropane (180mW/m(2)) pretreated microbial fuel cell (MFC) compared to heat-shock pretreated MFC (128mW/m(2)) and untreated control (92mW/m(2)). Coulombic efficiency of iodopropane and heat-shock pretreated MFC was higher compared to untreated control MFC, while drop in pH and volatile fatty acids (VFA) production was less in iodopropane pretreated MFC signifying the shifts in bacterial community structure toward electrogenesis instead of fermentation. These results signify the role of iodopropane and heat pretreatments on enrichment of electrogenic bacteria for fuel cell application. PMID:27061058

  3. Characterization of Strain Pseudomonas sp.Q1 in Microbial Fuel Cell for Treatment of Quinoline-Contaminated Water

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Cui-Ping; CHEN Shan-Shan; LIU Guang-Li; ZHANG Ren-Duo; XIE Jian

    2012-01-01

    To find new strain in the microbial fuel cell (MFC) for quinoline removal from wastewater and soil,a facultative anaerobic bacterium strain was isolated from the anode of MFC,utilizing quinoline as the carbon source and electron donor.Based on the 16S rRNA sequence analysis,the bacterium strain was Gram-negative and identified as Pseudomonas sp.Q1 according to its morphology and physiochemical properties.The strain was inoculated into a double-chambered MFC using various quinoline concentratious (0,50,75,86,100,150,200 and 300 mg L-1) combining with 300 mg L-1 glucose as the fuel.Results showed that electricity was generated from the MFC,in which quinoline was degraded simultaneously.The values of Coulombic efficiency (CE) increased with the increase of quinoline concentrations from 0 to 100 mg L-1 then decreased with the increase of quinoline concentration from 100 to 300 mg L-1,and the maximum CE 36.7% was obtained at the quinoline concentration of 100 mg L-1.The cyclic voltammetry analysis suggested that the mechanism of electron transfer was through excreting mediators produced by the strain Q1.The MFC should be a potential method for the treatment of quinoline-contaminated water and soil.

  4. 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)

  5. Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Biomass Power Plant in Morocco and a Photovoltaic Installation in Algeria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents an overview of cost-benefit analysis general methodology, describing its principles and basic characteristics. This methodology was applied to two case studies analyzed in the project INTERSUDMED, one biomass power plant fed by energy crops in El Hajeb (Morocco) and the other a photovoltaic installation in Djanet (Algeria). Both cases have been selected among the ones analyzed in the INTERSUDMED Project because of their interesting social implications and possible alternatives, that make them most suitable for cost-benefit analysis application. Finally, this report addresses the conclusions of both studies and summarizes the most relevant obtained results. (Author) 13 refs

  6. Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Biomass Power Plant in Morocco and a Photovoltaic Installation in Algeria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galan, A.; Gonzalez Leal, J.; Varela, M.

    1999-07-01

    This report presents an overview of cost-benefit analysis general methodology, describing its principles and basic characteristics. This methodology was applied to two case studies analyzed in the project INTERSUDMED, one biomass power plant fed by energy crops in El Hajeb (Morocco) and the other a photovoltaic installation in Djanet (Algeria). Both cases have been selected among the ones analyzed in the INTERSUDMED Project because of their interesting social implications and possible alternatives, that make them most suitable for cost-benefit analysis application. Finally, this report addresses the conclusions of both studies and summarizes the most relevant obtained results. (Author) 13 refs.

  7. Sacrificing power for more cost-effective treatment: A techno-economic approach for engineering microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Zachary A; Ma, Zhaokun; Trivedi, Christopher B; Spear, John R; Xu, Pei

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, however, the system's cost-effectiveness has been overlooked. In this study, two new anode materials - hard felt (HF) and carbon foam (CF) - were evaluated against the standard graphite brush (GB) to determine if using inexpensive materials with less than ideal properties can achieve more cost-effective treatment than high-cost, high-performing materials. Using domestic wastewater as the substrate, power densities for the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were 393, 339 and 291 mW m(-2) normalized by cathodic surface area, respectively. Higher power densities correlated with larger anodic surface areas and anodic current densities but not with electrical conductivity. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that redox systems used for extracellular electron transport in the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were similar (-0.143 ± 0.046, -0.158 ± 0.004 and -0.100 ± 0.014 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and that the electrochemical kinetics of the MFCs showed no correlation with their respective electrical conductivity. 16S rRNA sequencing showed the GB, HF and CF microbial community compositions were not statistically different while organic removal rates were nearly identical for all MFCs. The HF-MFC generated a power output to electrode cost (W $(-1)) 1.9 times greater than the GB-MFC, despite producing 14% less power and 15% less anodic current, while having 2.6 times less anodic surface area, 2.1 times larger charge transfer resistance and an electrical conductivity three orders of magnitude lower. The results demonstrate that inexpensive materials are capable of achieving more cost-effective treatment than high-performing materials despite generating lower power when treating real wastewater.

  8. The effect of salinity, redox mediators and temperature on anaerobic biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in microbial fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adelaja, Oluwaseun, E-mail: o.adelaja@my.westminster.ac.uk; Keshavarz, Tajalli, E-mail: t.keshavarz@westminster.ac.uk; Kyazze, Godfrey, E-mail: g.kyazze@westminster.ac.uk

    2015-02-11

    Highlights: • Effective degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures was achieved using MFC. • Adapted anaerobic microbial consortium was used as inoculum. • Bio-electricity generation was enhanced by 30-fold when riboflavin, was added. • Optimum MFC performance was obtained at mesophilic and moderately saline conditions. • Stable MFC performance was obtained during prolonged fed-batch MFC operation. - Abstract: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) need to be robust if they are to be applied in the field for bioremediation. This study investigated the effect of temperature (20–50 °C), salinity (0.5–2.5% (w/v) as sodium chloride), the use of redox mediators (riboflavin and anthraquinone-2-sulphonate, AQS) and prolonged fed-batch operation (60 days) on biodegradation of a petroleum hydrocarbon mix (i.e. phenanthrene and benzene) in MFCs. The performance criteria were degradation efficiency, % COD removal and electrochemical performance. Good electrochemical and degradation performance were maintained up to a salinity of 1.5% (w/v) but deteriorated by 35-fold and 4-fold respectively as salinity was raised to 2.5%w/v. Degradation rates and maximum power density were both improved by approximately 2-fold at 40 °C compared to MFC performance at 30 °C but decreased sharply by 4-fold when operating temperature was raised to 50 °C. The optimum reactor performance obtained at 40 °C was 1.15 mW/m{sup 2} maximum power density, 89.1% COD removal and a degradation efficiency of 97.10%; at moderately saline (1% w/v) conditions the maximum power density was 1.06 mW/m{sup 2}, 79.1% COD removal and 91.6% degradation efficiency. This work suggests the possible application of MFC technology in the effective treatment of petroleum hydrocarbons contaminated site and refinery effluents.

  9. Bioelectricity Generation and Bioremediation of an Azo-Dye in a Microbial Fuel Cell Coupled Activated Sludge Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Mohammad Danish; Abdulateif, Huda; Ismail, Iqbal M; Sabir, Suhail; Khan, Mohammad Zain

    2015-01-01

    Simultaneous bioelectricity generation and dye degradation was achieved in the present study by using a combined anaerobic-aerobic process. The anaerobic system was a typical single chambered microbial fuel cell (SMFC) which utilizes acid navy blue r (ANB) dye along with glucose as growth substrate to generate electricity. Four different concentrations of ANB (50, 100, 200 and 400 ppm) were tested in the SMFC and the degradation products were further treated in an activated sludge post treatment process. The dye decolorization followed pseudo first order kinetics while the negative values of the thermodynamic parameter ∆G (change in Gibbs free energy) shows that the reaction proceeds with a net decrease in the free energy of the system. The coulombic efficiency (CE) and power density (PD) attained peak values at 10.36% and 2,236 mW/m2 respectively for 200 ppm of ANB. A further increase in ANB concentrations results in lowering of cell potential (and PD) values owing to microbial inhibition at higher concentrations of toxic substrates. Cyclic voltammetry studies revealed a perfect redox reaction was taking place in the SMFC. The pH, temperature and conductivity remain 7.5-8.0, 27(±2°C and 10.6-18.2 mS/cm throughout the operation. The biodegradation pathway was studied by the gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy technique, suggested the preferential cleavage of the azo bond as the initial step resulting in to aromatic amines. Thus, a combined anaerobic-aerobic process using SMFC coupled with activated sludge process can be a viable option for effective degradation of complex dye substrates along with energy (bioelectricity) recovery.

  10. Bioelectricity Generation and Bioremediation of an Azo-Dye in a Microbial Fuel Cell Coupled Activated Sludge Process.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Danish Khan

    Full Text Available Simultaneous bioelectricity generation and dye degradation was achieved in the present study by using a combined anaerobic-aerobic process. The anaerobic system was a typical single chambered microbial fuel cell (SMFC which utilizes acid navy blue r (ANB dye along with glucose as growth substrate to generate electricity. Four different concentrations of ANB (50, 100, 200 and 400 ppm were tested in the SMFC and the degradation products were further treated in an activated sludge post treatment process. The dye decolorization followed pseudo first order kinetics while the negative values of the thermodynamic parameter ∆G (change in Gibbs free energy shows that the reaction proceeds with a net decrease in the free energy of the system. The coulombic efficiency (CE and power density (PD attained peak values at 10.36% and 2,236 mW/m2 respectively for 200 ppm of ANB. A further increase in ANB concentrations results in lowering of cell potential (and PD values owing to microbial inhibition at higher concentrations of toxic substrates. Cyclic voltammetry studies revealed a perfect redox reaction was taking place in the SMFC. The pH, temperature and conductivity remain 7.5-8.0, 27(±2°C and 10.6-18.2 mS/cm throughout the operation. The biodegradation pathway was studied by the gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy technique, suggested the preferential cleavage of the azo bond as the initial step resulting in to aromatic amines. Thus, a combined anaerobic-aerobic process using SMFC coupled with activated sludge process can be a viable option for effective degradation of complex dye substrates along with energy (bioelectricity recovery.

  11. Sacrificing power for more cost-effective treatment: A techno-economic approach for engineering microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Zachary A; Ma, Zhaokun; Trivedi, Christopher B; Spear, John R; Xu, Pei

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, however, the system's cost-effectiveness has been overlooked. In this study, two new anode materials - hard felt (HF) and carbon foam (CF) - were evaluated against the standard graphite brush (GB) to determine if using inexpensive materials with less than ideal properties can achieve more cost-effective treatment than high-cost, high-performing materials. Using domestic wastewater as the substrate, power densities for the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were 393, 339 and 291 mW m(-2) normalized by cathodic surface area, respectively. Higher power densities correlated with larger anodic surface areas and anodic current densities but not with electrical conductivity. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that redox systems used for extracellular electron transport in the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were similar (-0.143 ± 0.046, -0.158 ± 0.004 and -0.100 ± 0.014 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and that the electrochemical kinetics of the MFCs showed no correlation with their respective electrical conductivity. 16S rRNA sequencing showed the GB, HF and CF microbial community compositions were not statistically different while organic removal rates were nearly identical for all MFCs. The HF-MFC generated a power output to electrode cost (W $(-1)) 1.9 times greater than the GB-MFC, despite producing 14% less power and 15% less anodic current, while having 2.6 times less anodic surface area, 2.1 times larger charge transfer resistance and an electrical conductivity three orders of magnitude lower. The results demonstrate that inexpensive materials are capable of achieving more cost-effective treatment than high-performing materials despite generating lower power when treating real wastewater. PMID:27395791

  12. A novel approach to recycle bacterial culture waste for fermentation reuse via a microbial fuel cell-membrane bioreactor system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian; Zhu, Yuan; Zhuang, Liangpeng; Otsuka, Yuichiro; Nakamura, Masaya; Goodell, Barry; Sonoki, Tomonori; He, Zhen

    2015-09-01

    Biochemical production processes require water and nutrient resources for culture media preparation, but aqueous waste is generated after the target products are extracted. In this study, culture waste (including cells) produced from a lab-scale fermenter was fed into a microbial fuel cell-membrane bioreactor (MFC-MBR) system. Electrical energy was generated via the interaction between the microbial consortia and the solid electrode in the MFC. The treated wastewater was reclaimed in this process which was reused as a solvent and a nutrient source in subsequent fermentation. Polarization testing showed that the MFC produced a maximum current density of 37.53 A m(-3) with a maximum power density of 5.49 W m(-3). The MFC was able to generate 0.04 kWh of energy per cubic meter of culture waste treated. The lab-scale fermenters containing pure cultures of an engineered Pseudomonas spp. were used to generate 2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic acid (PDC), a high value platform chemical. When the MFC-MBR-treated wastewater was used for the fermenter culture medium, a specific bacterial growth rate of 1.00 ± 0.05 h(-1) was obtained with a PDC production rate of 708.11 ± 64.70 mg PDC L(-1) h(-1). Comparable values for controls using pure water were 0.95 ± 0.06 h(-1) and 621.01 ± 22.09 mg PDC L(-1) h(-1) (P > 0.05), respectively. The results provide insight on a new approach for more sustainable bio-material production while at the same time generating energy, and suggest that the treated wastewater can be used as a solvent and a nutrient source for the fermentation production of high value platform chemicals.

  13. Comparison of electrochemical and microbiological characterization of microbial fuel cells equipped with SPEEK and Nafion membrane electrode assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kei; Owen, Rubaba; Mok, Joann; Mochihara, Hiroki; Hosokawa, Takuya; Kubota, Hiroko; Sakamoto, Hisatoshi; Matsuda, Atsunori; Tashiro, Yosuke; Futamata, Hiroyuki

    2016-09-01

    Microbial fuel cells equipped with SPEEK-MEA (SPEEK-MFC) and Nafion-MEA (Nafion-MFC) were constructed with organic waste as electron donor and lake sediment as inoculum and were then evaluated comprehensively by electrochemical and microbial analyses. The proton conductivity of SPEEK was several hundreds-fold lower than that of Nafion 117, whereas the oxygen mass and diffusion transfer coefficients of SPEEK were 10-fold lower than those of Nafion 117. It was difficult to predict which was better membrane for MFC based on the feature of membrane. Analyses of polarization curves indicated that the potential of electricity production was similar in both MFCs, as the SPEEK-MFC produced 50-80% of the practical current density generated by the Nafion-MFC. Chronopotentiometry analyses indicated that the Nafion-MEA kept the performance longer than the SPEEK-MEA for long period, whereas performance of both anodes improved on time. Multidimensional scaling analyses based on DGGE profiles revealed the anolytic and biofilm communities of the SPEEK-MFC had developed differently from those of the Nafion-MFC. Clone library analyses indicated that Geobacter spp. represented 6.3% of the biofilm bacterial community in the Nafion-MFC but not detected in the SPEEK-MFC. Interestingly, the clone closely related to Acetobacterium malicum strain HAAP-1, belonging to the homoacetogens, became dominant in both anolytic and biofilm communities of the SPEEK-MFC. It was suggested that the lower proton conductivity of SPEEK-MEA allowed the bacteria closely related to strain HAAP-1 to be dominant specifically in SPEEK-MFC. These results indicated that Nafion-MFC ranked with SPEEK-MFC and that MEAs had strong selective pressure for electricity-producing bacterial community. PMID:27215833

  14. Trends and challenges in the microbial production of lignocellulosic bioalcohol fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, Christian; Farwick, Alexander; Benisch, Feline; Brat, Dawid; Dietz, Heiko; Subtil, Thorsten; Boles, Eckhard [Frankfurt Univ., Frankfurt am Main (Germany). Inst. of Molecular Biosciences

    2010-07-15

    Bioalcohols produced by microorganisms from renewable materials are promising substitutes for traditional fuels derived from fossil sources. For several years already ethanol is produced in large amounts from feedstocks such as cereals or sugar cane and used as a blend for gasoline or even as a pure biofuel. However, alcohols with longer carbon chains like butanol have even more suitable properties and would better fit with the current fuel distribution infrastructure. Moreover, ethical concerns contradict the use of food and feed products as a biofuel source. Lignocellulosic biomass, especially when considered as a waste material offers an attractive alternative. However, the recalcitrance of these materials and the inability of microorganisms to efficiently ferment lignocellulosic hydrolysates still prevent the production of bioalcohols from these plentiful sources. Obviously, no known organism exist which combines all the properties necessary to be a sustainable bioalcohol producer. Therefore, breeding technologies, genetic engineering and the search for undiscovered species are promising means to provide a microorganism exhibiting high alcohol productivities and yields, converting all lignocellulosic sugars or are even able to use carbon dioxide or monoxide, and thereby being highly resistant to inhibitors and fermentation products, and easy to cultivate in huge bioreactors. In this review, we compare the properties of various microorganisms, bacteria and yeasts, as well as current research efforts to develop a reliable lignocellulosic bioalcohol producing organism. (orig.)

  15. Use of Carbon Mesh Anodes and the Effect of Different Pretreatment Methods on Power Production in Microbial Fuel Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Xin

    2009-09-01

    Flat electrodes are useful in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as close electrode spacing improves power generation. Carbon cloth and carbon paper materials typically used in hydrogen fuel cells, however, are prohibitively expensive for use in MFCs. An inexpensive carbon mesh material was examined here as a substantially less expensive alternative to these materials for the anode in an MFC. Pretreatment of the carbon mesh was needed to ensure adequate MFC performance. Heating the carbon mesh in a muffle furnace (450°C for 30 min) resulted in a maximum power density of 922 mW/m2 (46 W/m3) with this heat-treated anode, which was 3% more power than that produced using a mesh anode cleaned with acetone (893 mW/m2; 45 W/m3). This power density with heating was only 7% less than that achieved with carbon cloth treated by a high temperature ammonia gas process (988 mW/m2; 49 W/m3). When the carbon mesh was treated by the ammonia gas process, powerincreased to 1015 mW/m2 (51 W/m3). Analysis of the cleaned or heated surfaces showed these processes decreased atomic O/C ratio, indicating removal of contaminants that interfered with charge transfer. Ammonia gas treatment also increased the atomic N/C ratio, suggesting that this process produced nitrogen related functional groups that facilitated electron transfer. These results show that low cost heat-treated carbon mesh materials can be used as the anode in an MFC, providing good performance and even exceeding performance of carbon cloth anodes. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

  16. Bioelectricity Generation in a Microbial Fuel Cell with a Self-Sustainable Photocathode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to construct an MFC with a photosynthetic algae cathode, which is maintained by self-capturing CO2 released from the anode and utilizing solar energy as energy input. With this system, a maximum power density of 187 mW/m2 is generated when the anode off gas is piped into the catholyte under light illumination, which is higher than that of 21 mW/m2 in the dark, demonstrating the vital contribution of the algal photosynthesis. However, an unexpected maximum power density of 146 mW/m2 is achieved when the anode off gas is not piped into the catholyte. Measurements of cathodic microenvironments reveal that algal photosynthesis still takes place for oxygen production under this condition, suggesting the occurrence of CO2 crossover from anode to cathode through the Nafion membrane. The results of this study provide further understanding of the algae-based microbial carbon capture cell (MCC and are helpful in improving MCC performance.

  17. 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.

  18. The influence of operational and design parameters on vertical redox profiles in sub-surface flow constructed wetlands: surveying the optimal scenario for microbial fuel cell implementation

    OpenAIRE

    Garfi, Marianna; Corbella Vidal, Clara; Puigagut Juárez, Jaume

    2013-01-01

    The objective of the present work was to determine the optimal redox gradient that can be obtained in sub-surface flow constructed wetlands (SSF CWs) to maximize the energy production with microbial fuel cells (MFCs). To this aim, a pilot plant based on SSF CW was evaluated for vertical redox profiles. Key operational and design parameters surveyed that influences redox conditions in SSF CW were the presence of plants (Phragmites australis) and the flow regime (continuous and discontinuous fl...

  19. Three biomass power plants in New England first five years of challenges and solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Generating electricity from biomass fuels, through stand-alone power plants, represents a renewal of a half-century old plus, renewable technology. New England has generated its electricity sequentially, and still in parallel, from hydro, coal, oil, and nuclear sources during this period, and most recently during the 1980's, from a mixture of various alternate technologies including wood waste fuels and domestic waste fuels. Three plants located in New Hampshire and Maine, of identical power-island design, were constructed in eighteen months, and began operation in the period December, 1987 through March, 1988. These plants almost from the start have experienced an outstanding record of operation, dependability, and reliability. This paper will describe how each plant has fit into its respective location and environment, the personnel, technical and administrative support required, the biomass wood waste production and supply infra-structure which has developed around these facilities; and the technical problems and challenges which arose and were resolved in the process of handling a cantankerous, bulk fuel and turning it into a reliable supply of electricity. These plants are designed around a zero discharge concept. The author will discuss the design features built in, and operating practices which have evolved, to effectively use waste water internally, minimize air emissions, and recycle 100% of its solid waste as an effective fertilizer and soil conditioner

  20. Comparison of microbial consortia in refuse-derived fuel (RDF) preparations between Japan and Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakka, Makiko; Kimura, Tetsuya; Sakka, Kazuo

    2006-12-01

    Refuse-derived fuels (RDF) pellets manufactured in Japan have been reported to contain a relatively high number of viable bacterial cells, and these bacteria generated a large amount of hydrogen gas during fermentation under wet conditions. In this study, we compared hydrogen gas generation from RDF pellets manufactured in Japan and in Germany and found that a large amount of hydrogen gas was generated from the Japanese RDF pellets but not from the German ones. This difference can be explained by the absence and presence of a biodegradation process before molding of raw garbage into RDF pellets. That is, the German process includes a biodegradation (or biological drying) process with forced aeration for a week, and this appears to reduce BOD in the garbage. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of 16S rRNA gene followed by DNA sequencing indicated that microbiotas of the RDF pellets manufactured in Japan and in Germany were very different. PMID:17151477