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Energies 2016, 9(1), 35; doi:10.3390/en9010035

A Viable Electrode Material for Use in Microbial Fuel Cells for Tropical Regions

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2
Center for Bioprocess Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads 229, Lyngby DK-2800, Denmark
3
Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala SE-75651, Sweden
4
Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Building 207, Lyngby DK-2800, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chikashi Sato
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
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Abstract

Electrode materials are critical for microbial fuel cells (MFC) since they influence the construction and operational costs. This study introduces a simple and efficient electrode material in the form of palm kernel shell activated carbon (AC) obtained in tropical regions. The novel introduction of this material is also targeted at introducing an inexpensive and durable electrode material, which can be produced in rural communities to improve the viability of MFCs. The maximum voltage and power density obtained (under 1000 Ω load) using an H-shaped MFC with AC as both anode and cathode electrode material was 0.66 V and 1.74 W/m3, respectively. The power generated by AC was as high as 86% of the value obtained with the extensively used carbon paper. Scanning electron microscopy and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of AC anode biofilms confirmed that electrogenic bacteria were present on the electrode surface for substrate oxidation and the formation of nanowires. View Full-Text
Keywords: activated carbon; palm kernel shells; nanowires; maximum power density activated carbon; palm kernel shells; nanowires; maximum power density
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Offei, F.; Thygesen, A.; Mensah, M.; Tabbicca, K.; Fernando, D.; Petrushina, I.; Daniel, G. A Viable Electrode Material for Use in Microbial Fuel Cells for Tropical Regions. Energies 2016, 9, 35.

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