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Parameters characterization and optimization of activated carbon (AC) cathodes for microbial fuel cell application

Santoro, Carlo; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Babanova, Sofia; Atanassov, Plamen; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Grattieri, Matteo; Cristiani, Pierangela; Trasatti, Stefano; Li, Baikun; Schuler, Andrew J.


Carlo Santoro

Kateryna Artyushkova

Sofia Babanova

Plamen Atanassov

Yannis Ieropoulos
Professor in Bioenergy & Director of B-B

Matteo Grattieri

Pierangela Cristiani

Stefano Trasatti

Baikun Li

Andrew J. Schuler


Activated carbon (AC) is employed as a cost-effective catalyst for cathodic oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells (MFC). The fabrication protocols of AC-based cathodes are conducted at different applied pressures (175-3500. psi) and treatment temperatures (25-343. °C). The effects of those parameters along with changes in the surface morphology and chemistry on the cathode performances are comprehensively examined. The cathodes are tested in a three-electrode setup and explored in single chamber membraneless MFCs (SCMFCs). The results show that the best performance of the AC-based cathode is achieved when a pressure of 1400. psi is applied followed by heat treatment of 150-200. °C for 1. h. The influence of the applied pressure and the temperature of the heat treatment on the electrodes and SCMFCs is demonstrated as the result of the variation in the transfer resistance, the surface morphology and surface chemistry of the AC-based cathodes tested. © 2014 .

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 18, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Bioresource Technology
Print ISSN 0960-8524
Electronic ISSN 1873-2976
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 163
Pages 54-63
Keywords activated carbon cathode, fabrication protocol, temperature treatment, pressure treatment, SCMFC
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