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This content will become publicly available on March 10, 2017

Title: Multi-variable mathematical models for the air-cathode microbial fuel cell system

This research adopted the version control system into the model construction for the single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) system, to understand the interrelation of biological, chemical, and electrochemical reactions. The anodic steady state model was used to consider the chemical species diffusion and electric migration influence to the MFC performance. In the cathodic steady state model, the mass transport and reactions in a multi-layer, abiotic cathode and multi-bacteria cathode biofilm were simulated. Transport of hydroxide was assumed for cathodic pH change. This assumption is an alternative to the typical notion of proton consumption during oxygen reduction to explain elevated cathode pH. The cathodic steady state model provided the power density and polarization curve performance results that can be compared to an experimental MFC system. Another aspect we considered was the relative contributions of platinum catalyst and microbes on the cathode to the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). We found simulation results showed that the biocatalyst in a cathode that includes a Pt/C catalyst likely plays a minor role in ORR, contributing up to 8% of the total power calculated by the models.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering
  2. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; W911NF-11-1-0531
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Power Sources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 314; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0378-7753
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). National Transportation Research Center (NTRC)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; ORNL Program Development; US Army Research Office
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING Microbial fuel cell; Computational simulation; Cathode limitations; Catalyst; Mass transport; Electrochemical reactions