Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are emerging as a sustainable technology for waste to energy conversion where electrode materials play a vital role on its performance. Platinum (Pt) is the most common material used as cathode catalyst in the MFCs. However, the high cost and low earth abundance associated with Pt prompt the researcher to explore inexpensive catalysts. The present study demonstrates a noble metal-free MFC using a manganese ferrite (MnFe2O4)/polyaniline (PANI)-based electrode material. The MnFe2O4 nanoparticles (NPs) and MnFe2O4 NPs/PANI hybrid composite not only exhibited superior oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity for the air cathode but also enhanced anode half-cell potential upon modifying carbon cloth anode in the single-chambered MFC. This is attributed to the improved extracellular electron transfer of exoelectrogens due to Fe3+ in MnFe2O4 and its capacitive nature. The present work demonstrates for the first time the dual property of MnFe2O4 NPs/PANI, i.e., as cathode catalyst and an anode modifier, thereby promising cost-effective MFCs for practical applications.
- anode modifier
- green energy
- oxygen reduction reaction catalyst
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science (all)