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Use of Cyclic Voltammetry to Describe the Electrochemical Behavior of a Dual-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell

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Title: Use of Cyclic Voltammetry to Describe the Electrochemical Behavior of a Dual-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell
Authors: Lopez Zavala, Miguel Angel Browse this author
Gonzalez Pena, Omar Israel Browse this author
Cabral Ruelas, Hector Browse this author
Delgado Mena, Cristina Browse this author
Guizani, Mokhtar Browse this author
Keywords: Dual-chamber MFC
Cyclic voltammetry
Electrochemical behavior
Potentiostat settings
Vacuum and non-pressurized conditions
Issue Date: 2-Sep-2019
Publisher: MDPI
Journal Title: Energies
Volume: 12
Issue: 18
Start Page: 3532
Publisher DOI: 10.3390/en12183532
Abstract: Cyclic voltammetry (CV) was used in this work to describe the electrochemical behavior of a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). The system performance was evaluated under vacuum and non-pressurized conditions, different reaction times, two sweep potentials, 25 and 50 mVs(-1) and under different analyte solutions, such as distilled water and domestic wastewater. CV experiments were conducted by using a potentiostat with three different configurations to collect the measurements. A dual-chamber MFC system was equipped with a DupontTM Nafion (R) 117 proton exchange membrane (PEM), graphite electrodes (8.0 cm x 2.5 cm x 0.2 cm) and an external electric circuit with a 100-Omega resistor. An electrolyte (0.1 M HCl, pH approximate to 1.8) was used in the cathode chamber. It was found that the proton exchange membrane plays a major role on the electrochemical behavior of the MFC when CV measurements allow observing the conductivity performance in the MFC in the absence of a reference electrode; under this potentiostat setting, less current density values are obtained on the scanned window potentials. Therefore, potentiostat setting is essential to obtain information in complex electrochemical processes present in biological systems, such as it is the case in the MFCs. Results of the study showed that wastewater constituents and the biomass suspended or attached (biofilm) over the electrode limited the electron charge transfer through the interface electrode-biofilm-liquor. This limitation can be overcome by: (i) Enhancing the conductivity of the liquor, which is a reduction of the ohmic drop, (ii) reducing the activation losses by a better catalysis, and (iii) by limiting the diffusional gradients in the bulk liquor, for instance, by forced convection. The use of the electrolyte (0.1 M HCl, pH approximate to 1.8) and its diffusion from the cathode to the anode chamber reduces the resistance to the flow of ions through the PEM and the flow of electrons through the anodic and cathodic electrolytes. Also reduces the activation losses during the electron transfer from the substrate to the electrode surface due to the electrode catalysis improvement. On the other hand, vacuum also demonstrated that it enhances the electrochemical performance of the dual-chamber MFC due to the fact that higher current densities in the system are favored.
Rights: © 2019 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
Type: article
Appears in Collections:工学院・工学研究院 (Graduate School of Engineering / Faculty of Engineering) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)
国際連携研究教育局 : GI-CoRE (Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education : GI-CoRE) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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