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Title: Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition

Abstract

This work describes experiments and computational simulations to analyze single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance and cathodic limitations in terms of current generation, power output, mass transport, biomass competition, and biofilm growth. Steady-state and transient cathode models were developed and experimentally validated. Two cathode gas mixtures were used to explore oxygen transport in the cathode: the MFCs exposed to a helium-oxygen mixture (heliox) produced higher current and power output than the group of MFCs exposed to air or a nitrogen-oxygen mixture (nitrox), indicating a dependence on gas-phase transport in the cathode. Multi-substance transport, biological reactions, and electrochemical reactions in a multi-layer and multi-biomass cathode biofilm were also simulated in a transient model. The transient model described biofilm growth over 15 days while providing insight into mass transport and cathodic dissolved species concentration profiles during biofilm growth. Lastly, simulation results predict that the dissolved oxygen content and diffusion in the cathode are key parameters affecting the power output of the air-cathode MFC system, with greater oxygen content in the cathode resulting in increased power output and fully-matured biomass.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). National Transportation Research Center
  2. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
  3. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering
  4. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Army Research Office; USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1302944
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; W911NF-11-1-0531
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Power Sources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 328; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0378-7753
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Microbial fuel cell; High performance computing; Oxygen transport; Cathodic biofilm growth; Transient model

Citation Formats

Ou, Shiqi, Zhao, Yi, Aaron, Douglas S., Regan, John M., and Mench, Matthew M.. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.08.007.
Ou, Shiqi, Zhao, Yi, Aaron, Douglas S., Regan, John M., & Mench, Matthew M.. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.08.007.
Ou, Shiqi, Zhao, Yi, Aaron, Douglas S., Regan, John M., and Mench, Matthew M.. Mon . "Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.08.007. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1302944.
@article{osti_1302944,
title = {Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition},
author = {Ou, Shiqi and Zhao, Yi and Aaron, Douglas S. and Regan, John M. and Mench, Matthew M.},
abstractNote = {This work describes experiments and computational simulations to analyze single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance and cathodic limitations in terms of current generation, power output, mass transport, biomass competition, and biofilm growth. Steady-state and transient cathode models were developed and experimentally validated. Two cathode gas mixtures were used to explore oxygen transport in the cathode: the MFCs exposed to a helium-oxygen mixture (heliox) produced higher current and power output than the group of MFCs exposed to air or a nitrogen-oxygen mixture (nitrox), indicating a dependence on gas-phase transport in the cathode. Multi-substance transport, biological reactions, and electrochemical reactions in a multi-layer and multi-biomass cathode biofilm were also simulated in a transient model. The transient model described biofilm growth over 15 days while providing insight into mass transport and cathodic dissolved species concentration profiles during biofilm growth. Lastly, simulation results predict that the dissolved oxygen content and diffusion in the cathode are key parameters affecting the power output of the air-cathode MFC system, with greater oxygen content in the cathode resulting in increased power output and fully-matured biomass.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.08.007},
journal = {Journal of Power Sources},
number = C,
volume = 328,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Aug 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Mon Aug 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4works
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  • Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy via bioelectrochemical reactions mediated by microorganisms. We investigated the diversity of the microbial community in an air cathode single chamber MFC that utilized potato-process wastewater as substrate. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) results indicated that the bacterial communities on the anode, cathode, control electrode, and MFC bulk fluid were similar, but differed dramatically from that of the anaerobic domestic sludge and potato wastewater inoculum. The 16S rDNA sequencing results showed that microbial species detected on the anode were predominantly within the phyla of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Fluorescent microscopymore » results indicated that there was a clear enhancement of biofilm formation on the anode. Results of this study could help improve understanding of the complexity of microbial communities and optimize the microbial composition for generating electricity by MFCs that utilize potato wastewater.« less
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