Towards effective small scale microbial fuel cells for energy generation from urine

Jon Chouler, George A. Padgett, Petra J. Cameron, Kathrin Preuss, Maria-Magdalena Titirici, Ioannis Ieropoulos, Mirella Di Lorenzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To resolve an increasing global demand in energy, a source of sustainable and
environmentally friendly energy is needed. Microbial fuel cells (MFC) hold great potential as a sustainable and green bioenergy conversion technology that uses waste as the feedstock. This work pursues the development of an effective small-scale MFC for energy generation from urine. An innovative air-cathode miniature MFC was developed, and the effect of electrode length was investigated. Two different biomass derived catalysts were also studied. Doubling the electrode length resulted in the power density increasing by one order of magnitude (from 0.053 to 0.580 W m-3). When three devices were electrically connected in parallel, the power output was over 10 times higher compared to individual units. The use of biomass-derived oxygen reduction reaction catalysts at the cathode increased the power density generated by the MFC up to 1.95 W m-3, thus demonstrating the value of sustainable catalysts for cathodic reactions in MFCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume192
Early online date18 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2016

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