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Increased power generation in supercapacitive microbial fuel cell stack using Fe–N–C cathode catalyst

Santoro, Carlo; Kodali, Mounika; Shamoon, Najeeb; Serov, Alexey; Soavi, Francesca; Merino-Jimenez, Irene; Gajda, Iwona; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Atanassov, Plamen


Carlo Santoro

Mounika Kodali

Najeeb Shamoon

Alexey Serov

Francesca Soavi

Irene Merino-Jimenez

Iwona Serruys
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Management

John Greenman

Plamen Atanassov


© 2018 The Authors The anode and cathode electrodes of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) stack, composed of 28 single MFCs, were used as the negative and positive electrodes, respectively of an internal self-charged supercapacitor. Particularly, carbon veil was used as the negative electrode and activated carbon with a Fe-based catalyst as the positive electrode. The red-ox reactions on the anode and cathode, self-charged these electrodes creating an internal electrochemical double layer capacitor. Galvanostatic discharges were performed at different current and time pulses. Supercapacitive-MFC (SC-MFC) was also tested at four different solution conductivities. SC-MFC had an equivalent series resistance (ESR) decreasing from 6.00 Ω to 3.42 Ω in four solutions with conductivity between 2.5 mScm−1 and 40 mScm−1. The ohmic resistance of the positive electrode corresponded to 75–80% of the overall ESR. The highest performance was achieved with a solution conductivity of 40 mS cm−1 and this was due to the positive electrode potential enhancement for the utilization of Fe-based catalysts. Maximum power was 36.9 mW (36.9 W m−3) that decreased with increasing pulse time. SC-MFC was subjected to 4520 cycles (8 days) with a pulse time of 5 s (ipulse 55 mA) and a self-recharging time of 150 s showing robust reproducibility.


Santoro, C., Kodali, M., Shamoon, N., Serov, A., Soavi, F., Merino-Jimenez, I., …Atanassov, P. (2019). Increased power generation in supercapacitive microbial fuel cell stack using Fe–N–C cathode catalyst. Journal of Power Sources, 412, 416-424.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2018
Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 16, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 16, 2019
Journal Journal of Power Sources
Print ISSN 0378-7753
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 412
Pages 416-424
Keywords supercapacitor, microbial fuel cell, galvanostatic discharges, Fe-based catalyst, long terms stability
Public URL
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