Performance explorations of single chamber microbial fuel cells by using various microelectrodes applied to biocathodes

Edoardo Guerrini, Matteo Grattieri, Stefano P. Trasatti, Massimiliano Bestetti, Pierangela Cristiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Correlations among biofilm activity, chemistry and power production of membraneless, single chamber microbial fuel cells (MFC) were established using four microelectrodes. Each different (pH, redox, conductivity, S-2) microelectrode was assembled, calibrated and located close to the cathode. Power productivity of five MFCs was explained in terms of response of the microelectrodes. pH variation demonstrated that a proton gradient establishes within the cathodic biofilm, increasing acidity near the electrode. Conductivity increases inside the biofilm, proving low diffusion and increased ion concentration. Redox profiles provide a significant improvement to the understanding of the biochemical equilibria inside and outside the biofilm. Sulphide variations emphasize the role of the sulphur cycle in the MFC development. Diffusion hindrance seems the key-factor for the development of a biofilm and the establishment of a natural separation of the cell in cathodic and anodic compartments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21837-21846
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume39
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Fingerprint

Microbial fuel cells
biofilms
Microelectrodes
Biofilms
fuel cells
chambers
conductivity
compartments
ion concentration
productivity
Acidity
acidity
sulfides
Protons
Cathodes
sulfur
Sulfur
cathodes
Productivity
chemistry

Keywords

  • Biocathode
  • Biofilm
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Microelectrodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

Performance explorations of single chamber microbial fuel cells by using various microelectrodes applied to biocathodes. / Guerrini, Edoardo; Grattieri, Matteo; Trasatti, Stefano P.; Bestetti, Massimiliano; Cristiani, Pierangela.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 39, No. 36, 01.12.2014, p. 21837-21846.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guerrini, Edoardo ; Grattieri, Matteo ; Trasatti, Stefano P. ; Bestetti, Massimiliano ; Cristiani, Pierangela. / Performance explorations of single chamber microbial fuel cells by using various microelectrodes applied to biocathodes. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 2014 ; Vol. 39, No. 36. pp. 21837-21846.
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