A novel carbon nanotube modified scaffold as an efficient biocathode material for improved microbial electrosynthesis

Jourdin, Ludovic, Freguia, S., Donose, Bogdan C., Chen, Jun, Wallace, Gordon G., Keller, Jurg and Flexer, Victoria (2014) A novel carbon nanotube modified scaffold as an efficient biocathode material for improved microbial electrosynthesis. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2 32: 13093-13102. doi:10.1039/c4ta03101f

Author Jourdin, Ludovic
Freguia, S.
Donose, Bogdan C.
Chen, Jun
Wallace, Gordon G.
Keller, Jurg
Flexer, Victoria
Title A novel carbon nanotube modified scaffold as an efficient biocathode material for improved microbial electrosynthesis
Journal name Journal of Materials Chemistry A   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2050-7488
Publication date 2014-08-28
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1039/c4ta03101f
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 2
Issue 32
Start page 13093
End page 13102
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Subject 1600 Chemistry
2105 Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
2500 Materials Science
Abstract We report on a novel biocompatible, highly conductive three-dimensional cathode manufactured by direct growth of flexible multiwalled carbon nanotubes on reticulated vitreous carbon (NanoWeb-RVC) for the improvement of microbial bioelectrosynthesis (MES). NanoWeb-RVC allows for an enhanced bacterial attachment and biofilm development within its hierarchical porous structure. 1.7 and 2.6 fold higher current density and acetate bioproduction rate normalized to total surface area were reached on NanoWeb-RVC versus a carbon plate control for the microbial reduction of carbon dioxide by mixed cultures. This is the first study showing better intrinsic efficiency as biocathode material of a three-dimensional electrode versus a flat electrode: this comparison has been made considering the total surface area of the porous electrode, and not just the projected surface area. Therefore, the improved performance is attributed to the nanostructure of the electrode and not to an increase in surface area. Unmodified reticulated vitreous carbon electrodes lacking the nanostructure were found unsuitable for MES, with no biofilm development and no acetate production detected. The high surface area to volume ratio of the macroporous RVC maximizes the available biofilm area while ensuring effective mass transfer to and from the biofilm. The nanostructure enhances the bacteria-electrode interaction and microbial extracellular electron transfer. When normalized to projected surface area, current densities and acetate production rates of 3.7 mA cm-2 and 1.3 mM cm-2 d-1, respectively, were reached, making the NanoWeb-RVC an extremely efficient material from an engineering perspective as well. These values are the highest reported for any MES system to date.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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