Penn State homepage
name graphic

Poster Abstract

Tubular membrane cathodes for scalable power generation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs)

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.