Yi Zuo, Shaoan Cheng, Doug Call, and Bruce E. Logan
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
A microbial fuel cell can be used to convert organic matter into electricity. However, one of the greatest challenges for commercializing MFC-based technology is the creation of a scalable architecture that provides large surface areas for oxygen reduction at the cathode and bacterial growth on the anode economically. We demonstrate a scalable cathode concept here by showing a tubular membrane with a graphite coating and a non-precious metal catalyst (CoTMPP) can be used to produce power in an MFC. Using a graphite brush anode (Aan,s=7700 m2/m3) with two tube cathodes placed inside (Acat,s= 93 m2/m3), the MFC produced 17.7 W/m3.