Limits...
An Evaluation of the Performance and Economics of Membranes and Separators in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells Treating Domestic Wastewater.

Christgen B, Scott K, Dolfing J, Head IM, Curtis TP - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Peak power densities during polarisation, from MFCs using no-membrane, Nafion and ETFE, reached 67, 61 and 59 mWm(-2), and coulombic efficiencies of 68±11%, 71±12% and 92±6%, respectively.Under 1000 Ω, Nafion and ETFE achieved an average power density of 29 mWm(-2) compared to 24 mWm(-2) for the membrane-less reactors.Over a hypothetical lifetime of 10 years the generated energy (1 to 2.5 kWhm(-2)) would not be sufficient to offset the costs of any membrane and separator tested.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The cost of materials is one of the biggest barriers for wastewater driven microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Many studies use expensive materials with idealistic wastes. Realistically the choice of an ion selective membrane or nonspecific separators must be made in the context of the cost and performance of materials available. Fourteen membranes and separators were characterized for durability, oxygen diffusion and ionic resistance to enable informed membrane selection for reactor tests. Subsequently MFCs were operated in a cost efficient reactor design using Nafion, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) or polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes, a nonspecific separator (Rhinohide), and a no-membrane design with a carbon-paper internal gas diffusion cathode. Peak power densities during polarisation, from MFCs using no-membrane, Nafion and ETFE, reached 67, 61 and 59 mWm(-2), and coulombic efficiencies of 68±11%, 71±12% and 92±6%, respectively. Under 1000 Ω, Nafion and ETFE achieved an average power density of 29 mWm(-2) compared to 24 mWm(-2) for the membrane-less reactors. Over a hypothetical lifetime of 10 years the generated energy (1 to 2.5 kWhm(-2)) would not be sufficient to offset the costs of any membrane and separator tested.

No MeSH data available.


Voltage generation under 1 kΩ load for the different membrane separators.The mean voltage of duplicate reactors is shown.
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pone.0136108.g002: Voltage generation under 1 kΩ load for the different membrane separators.The mean voltage of duplicate reactors is shown.

Mentions: Variations in acclimatisation time and peak voltage between reactors with different membranes showed the significant influence of the membrane on the microbial fuel cell system (Fig 2). MFC reactors using Nafion and PVDF membranes showed the highest voltage production after 7 days. Both membrane materials showed high area resistances but also low oxygen diffusion coefficients during the material characterization. This suggests that the area resistance or conductivity of the materials does not correlate with performance in MFCs later whereas the oxygen diffusion coefficient could be a good indicator for power production in single chamber MFCs. As oxygen is a competing terminal electron acceptor to the anode it is well known that oxygen diffusion into the anode chamber reduces power generation [2, 13]. The internal resistance is known to affect power and varied from a minimum of 269±4 Ω for Nafion, 294±5 Ω for ETFE, 301±9 Ω for carbon paper and 316±2 Ω for PVDF to a maximum of 350±6 Ω for Rhinohide.


An Evaluation of the Performance and Economics of Membranes and Separators in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells Treating Domestic Wastewater.

Christgen B, Scott K, Dolfing J, Head IM, Curtis TP - PLoS ONE (2015)

Voltage generation under 1 kΩ load for the different membrane separators.The mean voltage of duplicate reactors is shown.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4548946&req=5

pone.0136108.g002: Voltage generation under 1 kΩ load for the different membrane separators.The mean voltage of duplicate reactors is shown.
Mentions: Variations in acclimatisation time and peak voltage between reactors with different membranes showed the significant influence of the membrane on the microbial fuel cell system (Fig 2). MFC reactors using Nafion and PVDF membranes showed the highest voltage production after 7 days. Both membrane materials showed high area resistances but also low oxygen diffusion coefficients during the material characterization. This suggests that the area resistance or conductivity of the materials does not correlate with performance in MFCs later whereas the oxygen diffusion coefficient could be a good indicator for power production in single chamber MFCs. As oxygen is a competing terminal electron acceptor to the anode it is well known that oxygen diffusion into the anode chamber reduces power generation [2, 13]. The internal resistance is known to affect power and varied from a minimum of 269±4 Ω for Nafion, 294±5 Ω for ETFE, 301±9 Ω for carbon paper and 316±2 Ω for PVDF to a maximum of 350±6 Ω for Rhinohide.

Bottom Line: Peak power densities during polarisation, from MFCs using no-membrane, Nafion and ETFE, reached 67, 61 and 59 mWm(-2), and coulombic efficiencies of 68±11%, 71±12% and 92±6%, respectively.Under 1000 Ω, Nafion and ETFE achieved an average power density of 29 mWm(-2) compared to 24 mWm(-2) for the membrane-less reactors.Over a hypothetical lifetime of 10 years the generated energy (1 to 2.5 kWhm(-2)) would not be sufficient to offset the costs of any membrane and separator tested.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
The cost of materials is one of the biggest barriers for wastewater driven microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Many studies use expensive materials with idealistic wastes. Realistically the choice of an ion selective membrane or nonspecific separators must be made in the context of the cost and performance of materials available. Fourteen membranes and separators were characterized for durability, oxygen diffusion and ionic resistance to enable informed membrane selection for reactor tests. Subsequently MFCs were operated in a cost efficient reactor design using Nafion, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) or polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes, a nonspecific separator (Rhinohide), and a no-membrane design with a carbon-paper internal gas diffusion cathode. Peak power densities during polarisation, from MFCs using no-membrane, Nafion and ETFE, reached 67, 61 and 59 mWm(-2), and coulombic efficiencies of 68±11%, 71±12% and 92±6%, respectively. Under 1000 Ω, Nafion and ETFE achieved an average power density of 29 mWm(-2) compared to 24 mWm(-2) for the membrane-less reactors. Over a hypothetical lifetime of 10 years the generated energy (1 to 2.5 kWhm(-2)) would not be sufficient to offset the costs of any membrane and separator tested.

No MeSH data available.