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Title: Air breathing cathodes for microbial fuel cell using Mn-, Fe-, Co- and Ni-containing platinum group metal-free catalysts

Here we discuss the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is one of the major factors that is limiting the overall performance output of microbial fuel cells (MFC). In this study, Platinum Group Metal-free (PGM-free) ORR catalysts based on Fe, Co, Ni, Mn and the same precursor (Aminoantipyrine, AAPyr) were synthesized using identical sacrificial support method (SSM). The catalysts were investigated for their electrochemical performance, and then integrated into an air-breathing cathode to be tested in “clean” environment and in a working microbial fuel cell (MFC). Their performances were also compared to activated carbon (AC) based cathode under similar conditions. Results showed that the addition of Mn, Fe, Co and Ni to AAPyr increased the performances compared to AC. Fe-AAPyr showed the highest open circuit potential (OCP) that was 0.307 ± 0.001 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) and the highest electrocatalytic activity at pH 7.5. On the contrary, AC had an OCP of 0.203 ± 0.002 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) and had the lowest electrochemical activity. In MFC, Fe-AAPyr also had the highest output of 251 ± 2.3 μWcm –2, followed by Co-AAPyr with 196 ± 1.5 μWcm –2, Ni-AAPyr with 171 ± 3.6 μWcm –2, Mn-AAPyr with 160 ± 2.8 μWcm –2 and ACmore » 129 ± 4.2 μWcm –2. The best performing catalyst (Fe-AAPyr) was then tested in MFC with increasing solution conductivity from 12.4 mScm –1 to 63.1 mScm –1. A maximum power density of 482 ± 5 μWcm –2 was obtained with increasing solution conductivity, which is one of the highest values reported in the field.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-26818
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4686
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Electrochimica Acta
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 231; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4686
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; Material Science
OSTI Identifier:
1377987
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1346840