IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1349: Electrode Modification and Optimization in Air-Cathode Single-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15071349
Due to the known problems of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), such as low electricity generation performance and high cost of operation, we modified the electrode with graphene and polyaniline (PANI) is a single-chamber air-cathode MFC and then evaluated the effects of electrode modification on MFC electricity generation performance. Carbon cloth electrodes (unmodified, CC; graphene-modified, G/CC; and polyaniline-graphene-modified, PANI-G/CC) were prepared using the impregnation method. Sulfonated cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPcS) was then introduced as a cathode catalyst. The Co-PANI-G/CC cathode showed higher catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction compared with other electrodes. The maximum power density of the MFC with Co-PANI-G/CC cathode was 32.2 mW/m2, which was 1.8 and 6.1 times higher than the value obtained with Co-G/CC and Co/CC cathodes, respectively. This indicates a significant improvement in the electricity generation of single-chamber MFCs and provides a simple, effective cathode modification method. Furthermore, we constructed single-chamber MFCs using the modified anode and cathode and analyzed electricity generation and oxytetracycline (OTC) degradation with different concentrations of OTC as the fuel. With increasing added OTC concentration, the MFC performance in both electricity generation and OTC degradation gradually decreased. However, when less than 50 mg/L OTC was added, the 5-day degradation rate of OTC reached more than 90%. It is thus feasible to process OTC-containing wastewater and produce electricity using single-chamber MFCs, which provides a new concept for wastewater treatment.