Enhancing the performance of microbial fuel cells by installing an air pump to the cathode chamber

Moustafa, E., E. Abdelsalam, Y. A. Attia, M. S. M. Mohamed, M. Salah, M. A. Moselhy, A. S. Ali, and M. Samer, "Enhancing the performance of microbial fuel cells by installing an air pump to the cathode chamber", Egyptian Journal of Chemistry, vol. 64, no. 10, pp. 5471-5476, 2021.


The microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are biochemical devices in which bacteria create electrical power by oxidizing simple compounds such as glucose as well as complex organic matter in wastewater. In this study, pumping air into the cathode chamber and its effect on microbial fuel cell performance was investigated. The metabolism of bacteria existed in wastewater was responsible for the generation of bioelectricity. The developed MFC system was designed by utilizing phosphate buffer to operate the system at controlled pH equal 7 and at a stable temperature of 30°C. It was found that increasing oxygen supply to the cathode chamber has a positive effect on the cell performance by increasing the voltage value. Generally, the efficiency of microbial fuel cell was enhanced in the case of cathodic chamber aeration in comparison to the case of no aeration was applied. It was found that the voltage increased in the case of oxygen supply to reach 0.45 mv with a stability over the 138 h of the experiment compared to the case of no aeration was applied where the voltage reached only 0.2 mV with stability in one case and 0.4 mV after 78 h of operation with instability in the second case. Therefore, the performance of the microbial fuel cell improved. It can be concluded that oxygen concentration affects both reaction kinetics and final power efficiency. © 2021 National Information and Documentation Center (NIDOC).


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