Interplay of Anode, Cathode, and Current in Microbial Fuel Cells: Implications for Wastewater Treatment

Zachary A. Stoll, Jan Dolfing, Zhiyong Jason Ren, Pei Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The anode and cathode potentials determine the overall performance of a microbial fuel cell (MFC). Thus far, research has focused on understanding the performance of individual electrodes, but there has been no investigation of how the anode or cathode potential changes as a function of the other. This study demonstrates for the first time that interplay exists between the anode and cathode electrodes, a phenomenon whereby reduction of voltage losses at one electrode increases voltage losses at the other. With our experimental data and results from the literature, a model was developed to quantify the interplay at theoretical and applied levels for wastewater treatment. The cause of the interplay was attributed to the reactant/product concentration gradient that exists between the bulk-catholyte-cathode and biofilm-anode electrode surfaces. These findings advance our fundamental understanding of MFCs and provide new insight into how to improve performance for wastewater treatment and energy production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-592
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Technology
Volume4
Issue number5
Early online date29 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Interplay of Anode, Cathode, and Current in Microbial Fuel Cells: Implications for Wastewater Treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this