3 years ago

Improvement in methanogenesis by incorporating transition metal nanoparticles and granular activated carbon composites in microbial electrolysis cells

Improvement in methanogenesis by incorporating transition metal nanoparticles and granular activated carbon composites in microbial electrolysis cells
Electromethanogenesis is a form of electrobiofuel production through a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) where methane (CH4) is directly produced from an electrical current and carbon dioxide (CO2) using a cathode. With the aim of maximizing methanogenesis in an MEC, this study utilized granular activated carbon (GAC) and a transition metal catalyst to fabricate nickel (Ni) nanoparticle (NP)-loaded GAC (NiNP/GAC) composites and incorporated these into MECs. In this set-up, GAC acted as the main electrical conduit for direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) between exoelectrogens and methanogenic electrotrophs, and the Ni NPs served as a catalyst to further improve microbe-to-GAC electron transfer. The NiNP/GAC-composites were prepared using two different methods (microwave irradiation and solution plasma ionization). The Ni NPs were determined to be well doped on the GAC surface according to a field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy analysis. Adding GAC into MECs improved CH4 production. The NiNP/GAC composites prepared by solution plasma ionization showed the highest CH4 production (20.7 ml), followed by the NiNP/GAC composite prepared by microwave irradiation (19.6 ml), bare GAC (15.6 ml), and GAC-free control (9.6 ml). In the methanogenic MECs, 40.6% of CH4 was produced from an electrode reaction (i.e., reduction of CO2 to CH4), and the remaining 59.4% was generated by nonelectrode reactions.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0360319917324977

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