Improved structures of stainless steel current collector increase power generation of microbial fuel cells by decreasing cathodic charge transfer impedance

Taehui Nam, Sunghoon Son, Eojn Kim, Huong Viet Hoa Tran, Bonyoung Koo, Hyungwon Chai, Junhyuk Kim, Soumya Pandit, Anup Gurung, Sang Eun Oh, Eun Jung Kim, Yonghoon Choi, Sokhee P. Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an innovative environmental and energy system that converts organic wastewater into electrical energy. For practical implementation of MFC as a wastewater treatment process, a number of limitations need to be overcome. Improving cathodic performance is one of major challenges, and introduction of a current collector can be an easy and practical solution. In this study, three types of current collectors made of stainless steel (SS) were tested in a single-chamber cubic MFC. The three current collectors had different contact areas to the cathode (P 1.0 cm 2 ; PC 4.3 cm 2 ; PM 6.5 cm 2 ) and increasing the contacting area enhanced the power and current generations and coulombic and energy recoveries by mainly decreasing cathodic charge transfer impedance. Application of the SS mesh to the cathode (PM) improved maximum power density, optimum current density and maximum current density by 8.8%, 3.6% and 6.7%, respectively, comparing with P of no SS mesh. The SS mesh decreased cathodic polarization resistance by up to 16%, and cathodic charge transfer impedance by up to 39%, possibly because the SS mesh enhanced electron transport and oxygen reduction reaction. However, application of the SS mesh had little effect on ohmic impedance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Research
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Cathode
  • Current collector
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Power density
  • Stainless steel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering

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