Enhancement of power production with tartaric acid doped polyaniline nanowire network modified anode in microbial fuel cells

Significance Statement

Microbial electrochemical systems (MES) provided fascinating and sustainable solutions to environmental pollution treatment. In particularly, microbial fuel cells (MFC) are promising to meet the sustainability of wastewater treatment as it integrated organic pollutants biodegradation with energy harvesting, which might provide an energy-saving wastewater treatment process. As a new technology, improvement on power output is the main challenge for practical application of microbial fuel cells . In this work, researchers developed a new approach to modify the electrode of MFC, i.e., uniform polyaniline nanowires (a promising conductive polymer) was decorated on the electrode surface by a simple in-situ polymerization reaction with tartaric acid as the dopant. Impressively, the microbial fuel cells equipped with this uniform nanostructure polyaniline modified electrode delivered superior power output than the microbial fuel cells with random or smooth polyaniline (doped with HCl or H2SO4). The results highlighted the importance of uniformed nanostructure modification on microbial fuel cells electrode, and provided a practical and cost-effective electrode modification method for microbial fuel cells as well as microbial electrochemical systems, which will surely advance the practical application of these technologies.

 

About the author

Prof. Dr. Yang-Chun Yong is a Professor of School of Environment and Safety Engineering at Jiangsu University, China. He received his Ph.D. degree from East China University of Science & Technology, and then worked as a Research Fellow in Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) before he joined Jiangsu University. One of his research interests is microbial electrocatalysis.
Our website: http://bioeng.ujs.edu.cn/pub/cms

  

Enhancement of power production with tartaric acid doped polyaniline nanowire network modified anode in microbial fuel cells .Renewable Energy Global Innovations

Journal Reference

Bioresour Technol. 2015;192:831-4.

Liao ZH1, Sun JZ1, Sun DZ1, Si RW, , Yong YC2.

Show Affiliations
  1. Biofuels Institute, School of the Environment, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang 212013, Jiangsu Province, China.
  2. Biofuels Institute, School of the Environment, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang 212013, Jiangsu Province, China. Electronic address: [email protected]

Abstract

The feasibility to use tartaric acid doped PANI for microbial fuel cells anode modification was determined. Uniform PANI nanowires doped with tartaric acid were synthesized and formed mesoporous networks on the carbon cloth surface. By using this tartaric acid doped PANI modified carbon cloth (PANI-TA) as the anode, the voltage output (435 ± 15 mV) and power output (490 ± 12 mW/m(2)) of microbial fuel cells were enhanced by 1.6 times and 4.1 times compared to that of microbial fuel cells with plain carbon cloth anode, respectively. Strikingly, the performance of PANI-TA microbial fuel cells was superior to that of the microbial fuel cells with inorganic acids doped PNAI modified anode. These results substantiated that tartaric acid is a promising PANI dopant for microbial fuel cells anode modification, and provided new opportunity for microbial fuel cells performance improvement.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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