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Energies 2017, 10(5), 596; doi:10.3390/en10050596

Electricity Production by the Application of a Low Voltage DC-DC Boost Converter to a Continuously Operating Flat-Plate Microbial Fuel Cell

1
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Pusan National University, Jangjeon-Dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 46241, Korea
2
Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC), Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science, University of South Wales, Pontypridd CF37 1DL, UK
3
The MFC Research and Business Development (R&BD) Center, K-water Institute, Jeonmin-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 34045, Korea
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University, Jangjeon-Dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 46241, Korea
5
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir Gurau
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Fundamentals and Conversion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2523 KB, uploaded 29 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

An ultra-low voltage customized DC-DC booster circuit was developed using a LTC3108 converter, and used continuously on a flat-plate microbial fuel cell (FPM) system. The boost converter successfully stepped up the microbial fuel cell (MFC) voltage from ~0.5 V to 3.3 and 5.0 V of outputs. The designed circuit and system displayed the dynamic variations of the source FPM as well as the output voltage through the designed three connection points within the booster circuit. The source MFC voltage was interrelated with the booster circuit and its performance, and it adapted to the set points of the booster dynamically. The maximum output power density of the MFC with the DC-DC booster circuit was 8.16 W/m3 compared to the maximum source FPM input power of 14.27 W/m3 at 100 Ω, showing a conversion efficiency of 26–57%, but with a 10-fold higher output than that of the source voltage. The combined LTC3108 with FPM supplied power for electronic devices using synthetic and real domestic wastewater. This report presents a promising strategy for utilizing the electrical energy produced from MFCs, and expands the applicability of bioelectrochemical systems with an improved energy efficiency of the present wastewater treatment system. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy efficient wastewater treatment; microbial fuel cell; power quality; DC-DC boost converter; LTC3108 energy efficient wastewater treatment; microbial fuel cell; power quality; DC-DC boost converter; LTC3108
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Song, Y.E.; Boghani, H.C.; Kim, H.S.; Kim, B.G.; Lee, T.; Jeon, B.-H.; Premier, G.C.; Kim, J.R. Electricity Production by the Application of a Low Voltage DC-DC Boost Converter to a Continuously Operating Flat-Plate Microbial Fuel Cell. Energies 2017, 10, 596.

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