In situ nitrogen-doping of nickel nanoparticle-dispersed carbon nanofiber-based electrodes: Its positive effects on the performance of a microbial fuel cell

Akshay Modi, Shiv Singh, Nishith Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) was doped in situ in the nickel (Ni) nanoparticle (NP)-dispersed carbon nanofibers (CNFs) that were grown on an activated carbon fiber (ACF) substrate, using catalytic chemical vapour deposition. Acetonitrile served as the single source of carbon and N for growing and doping CNFs, respectively. The prepared N-Ni-CNF/ACF was directly used as the electrodes in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) for bioelectricity production. The performance of MFCs considerably improved using the N-doped material, with the maximum power density measured to be 1850 ± 20 mW/m2, which was approximately two-fold higher than that of the Ni-CNF/ACF (without N-doping)-based MFCs. Furthermore, the charge transfer resistance of the N-Ni-CNF/ACF electrode-based MFC was significantly low. The N-doping provided a favourable growth condition for bacteria; enhanced the electrical conductivity of the electrode material, and improved the electro-catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction at the cathode. The method of N-doping the Ni-CNF/ACF electrode is simple and effective, and the prepared N-Ni-CNF/ACF is a promising electrode material for MFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-627
Number of pages8
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume190
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • carbon nanofibers
  • electrodes
  • maximum power density
  • microbial fuel cell
  • nitrogen-doping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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