Improved performance of a single chamber microbial fuel cell using nitrogen-doped polymer-metal-carbon nanocomposite-based air-cathode

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International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, ISSN: 0360-3199, Vol: 42, Issue: 5, Page: 3271-3280

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Akshay Modi; Shiv Singh; Nishith Verma
Elsevier BV
Energy; Physics and Astronomy
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article description
Enhanced performance of a membrane-less single chamber microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was experimentally demonstrated using the nitrogen (N)-doped and nickel (Ni) nanoparticle-decorated carbon nanofibers (CNFs) as the air-cathode. The air-cathode was coated with the cross-linked polymeric composite of polyvinyl alcohol and poly methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic anhydride on the anolyte-facing side and poly(dimethylsiloxane) on the air-facing side. The electrochemical test results indicated that the N-doped electrode-based SMFC generated a significantly higher voltage (0.985 ± 0.005 V) and power density (1690 ± 30 mW/m 2 ) compared to that of the undoped electrode-based SMFC. The inclusion of N in the electrode material facilitated the growth of biofilm and enhanced the electrical conductivity and electro-catalytic oxygen reduction activity of the electrode material. The fabricated N-doped polymer-Ni–CNF nanocomposite-based air-cathode may be a promising alternative to the expensive noble metal and Nafion-based electrodes of the SMFCs for generating bioelectricity.