Twelve single chambered, air-cathode Tubular Microbial Fuel Cells (TMFCs) have been filled up with fruit and vegetable residues. The anodes were realized by means of a carbon fiber brush, while the cathodes were realized through a graphite-based porous ceramic disk with Nafion membranes (117 Dupont). The performances in terms of polarization curves and power production were assessed according to different operating conditions: percentage of solid substrate water dilution, adoption of freshwater and a 35 mg/L NaCl water solution and, finally, the effect of an initial potentiostatic growth. All TMFCs operated at low pH (pH= 3:0 +/-`0:5), as no pH amendment was carried out. Despite the harsh environmental conditions, our TMFCs showed a Power Density (PD) ranging from 20 to 55 mW/m2 kgwaste and a maximum CD of 20 mA/m2 kgwaste, referred to the cathodic surface. COD removal after a 28-day period was about 45%. The remarkably low pH values as well as the fouling of Nafion membrane very likely limited TMFC per- formances. However, a scale-up estimation of our reactors provides interesting values in terms of power production, compared to actual anaerobic digestion plants. These results encourage further studies to characterize the graphite-based porous ceramic cathodes and to optimize the global TMFC performances, as they may provide a valid and sustainable alternative to anaerobic digestion technologies.

Low pH, high salinity: Too much for microbial fuel cells?

MINUTILLO, Mariagiovanna;
2017

Abstract

Twelve single chambered, air-cathode Tubular Microbial Fuel Cells (TMFCs) have been filled up with fruit and vegetable residues. The anodes were realized by means of a carbon fiber brush, while the cathodes were realized through a graphite-based porous ceramic disk with Nafion membranes (117 Dupont). The performances in terms of polarization curves and power production were assessed according to different operating conditions: percentage of solid substrate water dilution, adoption of freshwater and a 35 mg/L NaCl water solution and, finally, the effect of an initial potentiostatic growth. All TMFCs operated at low pH (pH= 3:0 +/-`0:5), as no pH amendment was carried out. Despite the harsh environmental conditions, our TMFCs showed a Power Density (PD) ranging from 20 to 55 mW/m2 kgwaste and a maximum CD of 20 mA/m2 kgwaste, referred to the cathodic surface. COD removal after a 28-day period was about 45%. The remarkably low pH values as well as the fouling of Nafion membrane very likely limited TMFC per- formances. However, a scale-up estimation of our reactors provides interesting values in terms of power production, compared to actual anaerobic digestion plants. These results encourage further studies to characterize the graphite-based porous ceramic cathodes and to optimize the global TMFC performances, as they may provide a valid and sustainable alternative to anaerobic digestion technologies.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4769800
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 69
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 55
social impact