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Electricity production from human urine in ceramic microbial fuel cells with alternative non-fluorinated polymer binders for cathode construction

Electricity production from human urine in ceramic microbial fuel cells with alternative non-fluorinated polymer binders for cathode construction Thumbnail


Authors

Maria Jose Salar-Garcia

Victor Ortiz-Martinez

Iwona Serruys Iwona.Gajda@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Management

Francisco Jose



Abstract

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is one of the most common binders employed to prepare cathode electrodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and yet this fluorinated polymer is neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly. In this work, four non-fluorinated polymers have been tested as alternative binders to PTFE in ceramic MFCs. The performance of ceramic MFCs using carbon-based cathodes containing silicone, polyvinyl chloride, Ludox® (colloidal silica) and chitosan, was compared with the performance of MFCs using cathodes prepared with PTFE. The results obtained confirm that polyvinylchloride, Ludox® and chitosan are suitable materials to be used as binders for MFC cathode construction. Amongst them, Ludox® and chitosan are the most sustainable options due to their chemical structure. Cathodes prepared with 2.5wt% of chitosan – 8 times less than the amount needed for PTFE – in MFCs reached a maximum power of 510μW, which represents 60.3% out of the power output from MFCs with PTFE-based cathodes. In terms of urine treatment capacity, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was equivalent across the systems tested, due to the short retention time. However, chitosan-based MFCs reached COD removal rates of up to 26%, which was slightly higher than the COD removal rate measured for MFCs using PTFE-cathodes (23.5%).

Citation

Salar-Garcia, M. J., Ortiz-Martinez, V., Gajda, I., Greenman, J., Hernández-Fernández, F. J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2017). Electricity production from human urine in ceramic microbial fuel cells with alternative non-fluorinated polymer binders for cathode construction. Separation and Purification Technology, 187, 436-442. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2017.06.025

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 13, 2017
Publication Date Oct 31, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 13, 2018
Journal Separation and Purification Technology
Print ISSN 1383-5866
Electronic ISSN 1873-3794
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 187
Pages 436-442
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2017.06.025
Keywords ceramic microbial fuel cells, binders, non-fluorinated polymers, bioenergy production, BBiC, MFC, bioenergy
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/879428
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2017.06.025
Related Public URLs http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S138358661730984X

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