Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) utilise organic feedstocks such as urine as fuel for direct electricity production, by employing anode respiring microbes that convert organic matter into electrons while treating waste. One possible approach to bring this technology into real-world applications, is the multiplication of units connected together as modules (stacks) for usable power levels. The main challenge is therefore to improve the power output of a single MFC, using affordable and simple in preparation materials, which benefit can then be multiplied in a stack. Anode electrode composition and surface morphology are key elements in improving performance and reducing costs, since the electron transfer rate from bacteria towards the electrode surface is one of the critical limiting factors. So far, carbon fibre veil has been successfully used as an anode electrode in numerous practical demonstrations. This work aims to explore simple and inexpensive modifications of this substratum with the addition of microporous activated carbon powder to produce a three-dimensional (3D) structure in order to improve the output of a single MFC unit as a building block for a modular stack.
Gajda, I., You, J., Santoro, C., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2018, September). Anode surface modification with activated carbon for improved power generation in urine fed Microbial Fuel Cells. Poster presented at 69th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry