Carbon-supported perovskite oxides as oxygen reduction reaction catalyst in single chambered microbial fuel cells

Heng Dong, Hongbing Yu, Xin Wang, Qixing Zhou, Jingwen Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pt-free cathodic catalyst is needed for microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Perovskite-type oxide could be a substitute for Pt because it has been proved to be a highly active and low-cost oxygen reduction catalyst in chemical fuel cells. RESULTS: A nano-sized La0.4Ca0.6Co0.9Fe0.1O3 perovskite-type oxide on a carbon support (LCCF/C) was prepared and tested for its performance and stability (15 cycles) in MFCs. An exchange current density of 7.030 × 10-5 (A cm-2) was obtained with fresh LCCF/C cathode and is increased to 7.438 × 10-5 (A cm-2) after 15 cycles operating in MFCs. A power density of 405 mW m-2 was achieved with the LCCF/C cathode at the 2nd cycle which was between those of Pt/C (560 mW m-2) and C (339 mW m-2) cathodes. At the end of the 15th cycle, the lowest decay (due to biofouling) rate on the open circuit voltage (2%) and the maximum power density (15%) were observed with LCCF/C cathode compared with those of Pt/C (4%, 17%) and C (22%, 69%) cathodes, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that perovskite-type oxide on carbon support catalysts could be a potential substitute for Pt for cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode MFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-778
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofouling
  • Cathodic catalyst
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Oxygen reduction
  • Perovskite-type oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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