3 years ago

Enhancement of bioelectricity generation for an air-cathode microbial fuel cell using polyvinyl alcohol-membrane electrode assemblies

Enhancement of bioelectricity generation for an air-cathode microbial fuel cell using polyvinyl alcohol-membrane electrode assemblies
This study applied polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) film as the air-cathode membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of the microbial fuel cell (MFC) to estimate the electricity generation at various ethyl acetate (EA) concentrations. PVA-MEA can be produced by compressing carbon cloth with PVA hydrogel fabricated by freezing and thawing, and further drying the compressed product. The PVA-MEA thus prepared could serve as an air-cathode. The self-developed PVA-MEA exhibited excellent water absorption (water uptake: 149.4±0.04%) and an excellent swelling ratio (12.15±0.17%), capable of accelerating proton transmission through water molecules to the cathode to participate in the reduction reaction. When the concentration of EA increased from 26.2mg/L to 1048mg/L, the biofilm on the anode surface increased from 8mg biomass/L to 274mg biomass/L, attaining an average closed-circuit voltage (CCV) of 382–425mV, an average open-circuit voltage of 468–682mV, and a maximum power density of 59–143mW/m2; moreover, the Coulombic efficiency (Ec) was elevated from 0.22% to 13.57%, by approximately 62 times. For the Monod kinetic parameters, the half-saturation constant was 3.74mg/L, and the maximal CCV output was 425mV. The PVA-MEA developed in the study could serve as an air-cathode MEA of an AC-MFC without having any modification material added to the cathode surface, achieving maximum voltage output with low concentrations of EA.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1369703X17302553

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