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Improved Carbon Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

pubblicazioni - Poster

Improved Carbon Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

Improved Carbon Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical transducers, which convert waste (fuel) into energy, directly via the natural metabolism of microorganisms. Constituent electrode materials, which play an critical role in the system’s performance and efficiency. Expensive catalysts, such as platinum, have been used previously to boost the performance of MFCs, however these come at a high financial and environmental cost. By avoiding platinum as a catalyst the technology becomes a more viable, sustainable and cost effective alternative for energy generation. The aim of the work is to improve the cathode performance of a single MFC as well as the system sustainability by using low-cost carbon based electrodes and smart design for stacks to power autonomous robots and small applications. In the present study, MPL is outperforming the carbon veil material, used as cathode electrode in our set up. It appears this may be due to its micro-porous structure, which results in a higher active surface area as well as higher carbon loading, thereby making it an attractive alternative for use in MFCs. The aim of reducing costs and increasing sustainability, which is an important factor for developing stacks and increasing the overall energy output for use in autonomous robots and other applications, can be met by cost-effective non-exotic metal (platinum) based materials.

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