Non-catalyzed cathodic oxygen reduction at graphite granules in Microbial Fuel Cells

Freguia, Stefano, Rabaey, Korneel, Yuan, Zhiguo and Keller, Jürg (2007) Non-catalyzed cathodic oxygen reduction at graphite granules in Microbial Fuel Cells. Electrochimica Acta, 53 2: 598-603. doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2007.07.037

Author Freguia, Stefano
Rabaey, Korneel
Yuan, Zhiguo
Keller, Jürg
Title Non-catalyzed cathodic oxygen reduction at graphite granules in Microbial Fuel Cells
Journal name Electrochimica Acta   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0013-4686
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.electacta.2007.07.037
Open Access Status
Volume 53
Issue 2
Start page 598
End page 603
Total pages 6
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject C1
290699 Chemical Engineering not elsewhere classified
779999 Other
Abstract Oxygen is the most sustainable electron acceptor currently available for microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes. However, its high overpotential for reduction to water limits the current that can be produced. Several materials and catalysts have previously been investigated in order to facilitate oxygen reduction at the cathode surface. This study shows that significant stable currents can be delivered by using a non-catalyzed cathode made of granular graphite. Power outputs up to 21 W m(-3) (cathode total volume) or 50 W m(-3) (cathode liquid volume) were attained in a continuous MFC fed with acetate. These values are higher than those obtained in several other studies using catalyzed graphite in various forms. The presence of nanoscale pores on granular graphite provides a high surface area for oxygen reduction. The current generated with this cathode can sustain an anodic volume specific COD removal rate of 1.46 kgCOD m(-3) d(-1), which is higher than that of a conventional aerobic process. This study demonstrates that microbial fuel cells can be operated efficiently using high surface graphite as cathode material. This implies that research on microbial fuel cell cathodes should not only focus on catalysts, but also on high surface area materials. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Cathodic process
Granular graphite
Microbial fuel cell
Oxygen redunction
Wastewater treatment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 18 Mar 2008, 19:26:27 EST by Suzanne Read on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre