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Membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cells have demonstrated to be an effective tool to test the new bio-technology at laboratory level. Nevertheless, in order to move from laboratory tests to real applications, more efforts in MFC design and materials are necessary, including the replacement of the expensive Pt-based cathodes and components and the improvement of long-term stability of both the anodic and cathodic electrodes. In this framework, this paper presents the results of a long time experimentation (more than six months) to investigate the electrochemical (and chemical) performances of single-chamber membraneless MFCs having different anode and cathode materials. For the anode electrode, we used carbon (brush, cloth, activated carbon) and stainless steel (AISI 304), whereas for the cathode electrode we used stainless steel (AISI 304) and carbon cloth (with and without Pt load). Twenty different cells were built and operated with row wastewater as inoculum and sodium acetate as substrate. The power outputs (measured on loads of 100 Ω) and the COD degradation (weekly based) of the MFCs were monitored. The trends of the power data were acquired every 15 minutes. Polarization curves were periodically performed by changing the load in the range 10-1000 Ω. The obtained results underlined the different behavior of the used materials, but also an interesting convergence of cells power output after long time operation, independently of the materials combination.
31 Dicembre 2011
Studi sulla produzione elettrica locale da biomasse e scarti (P07PROD)