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Energies 2015, 8(3), 1817-1829; doi:10.3390/en8031817

Changes in Carbon Electrode Morphology Affect Microbial Fuel Cell Performance with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O'Hara St., 742 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
2
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O'Hara St., 1249 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, 119 Porter Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
4
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 1140 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas E. Amidon
Received: 19 November 2014 / Revised: 8 January 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 4 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Biorefining)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2262 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

The formation of biofilm-electrodes is crucial for microbial fuel cell current production because optimal performance is often associated with thick biofilms. However, the influence of the electrode structure and morphology on biofilm formation is only beginning to be investigated. This study provides insight on how changing the electrode morphology affects current production of a pure culture of anode-respiring bacteria. Specifically, an analysis of the effects of carbon fiber electrodes with drastically different morphologies on biofilm formation and anode respiration by a pure culture (Shewanella oneidensis MR-1) were examined. Results showed that carbon nanofiber mats had ~10 fold higher current than plain carbon microfiber paper and that the increase was not due to an increase in electrode surface area, conductivity, or the size of the constituent material. Cyclic voltammograms reveal that electron transfer from the carbon nanofiber mats was biofilm-based suggesting that decreasing the diameter of the constituent carbon material from a few microns to a few hundred nanometers is beneficial for electricity production solely because the electrode surface creates a more relevant mesh for biofilm formation by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. View Full-Text
Keywords: Shewanella oneidensis MR-1; microbial fuel cells; biofilm-electrodes; carbon nanofiber; electrode morphology Shewanella oneidensis MR-1; microbial fuel cells; biofilm-electrodes; carbon nanofiber; electrode morphology
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

Sanchez, D.V.P.; Jacobs, D.; Gregory, K.; Huang, J.; Hu, Y.; Vidic, R.; Yun, M. Changes in Carbon Electrode Morphology Affect Microbial Fuel Cell Performance with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Energies 2015, 8, 1817-1829.

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