An investigation of anode and cathode materials in photomicrobial fuel cells

Kenneth Schneider, Rebecca J. Thorne, Petra J. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Photomicrobial fuel cells (p-MFCs) are devices that use photosynthetic organisms (such as cyanobacteria or algae) to turn light energy into electrical energy. In a p-MFC, the anode accepts electrons from microorganisms that are either growing directly on the anode surface (biofilm) or are free floating in solution (planktonic). The nature of both the anode and cathode material is critical for device efficiency. An ideal anode is biocompatible and facilitates direct electron transfer from the microorganisms, with no need for an electron mediator. For a p-MFC, there is the additional requirement that the anode should not prevent light from perfusing through the photosynthetic cells. The cathode should facilitate the rapid reaction of protons and oxygen to form water so as not to rate limit the device. In this paper, we first review the range of anode and cathode materials currently used in p-MFCs. We then present our own data comparing cathode materials in a p-MFC and our first results using porous ceramic anodes in a mediator-free p-MFC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume374
Issue number2061
Early online date11 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2016

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fuel cells
anodes
cathodes
microorganisms
biofilms
algae
electric power
organisms
floating
electron transfer
electrons
ceramics
requirements
protons
oxygen
cells
water

Keywords

  • Anode materials
  • Biophotovoltaics
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Photomicrobial fuel cell
  • Photosynthesis
  • TiO ceramic

Cite this

An investigation of anode and cathode materials in photomicrobial fuel cells. / Schneider, Kenneth; Thorne, Rebecca J.; Cameron, Petra J.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 374, No. 2061, 28.02.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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