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Article

Modeling Power Generation and Energy Efficiencies in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells Based on Freter Equations

1
Department of Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
2
Department of Biological Engineering, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Drive, MS 0904, Moscow, ID 83844-0904, USA
3
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, ENGR 215, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101983
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
The model proposed in this study was based on the assumption that the biomass attached to the anode served as biocatalysts for microbial fuel cell (MFC) exoelectrogenesis, and this catalytic effect was quantified by the exchange current density of anode. By modifying the Freter model and combining it with the Butler–Volmer equation, this model could adequately describe the processes of electricity generation, substrate utilization, and the suspended and attached biomass concentrations, at both batch and continuous operating modes. MFC performance is affected by the operating variables such as initial substrate concentration, external resistor, influent substrate concentration, and dilution rate, and these variables were revealed to have complex interactions by data simulation. The external power generation and energy efficiency were considered as indices for MFC performance. The simulated results explained that an intermediate initial substrate concentration (about 100 mg/L under this reactor configuration) needed to be chosen to achieve maximum overall energy efficiency from substrate in the batch mode. An external resistor with the value approximately that of the internal resistance, boosted the power generation, and a resistor with several times of that of the internal resistance achieved better overall energy efficiency. At continuous mode, dilution rate significantly impacted the steady-state substrate concentration level (thus substrate removal efficiency and rate), and attached biomass could be fully developed when the influent substrate concentration was equal to or higher than 100 mg/L at any dilution rate of the tested range. Overall, this relatively simple model provided a convenient way for evaluating and optimizing the performance of MFC reactors by regulating operating parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: exchange current; energy efficiency; heat generation; attached biomass; suspended biomass; single chamber air-cathode exchange current; energy efficiency; heat generation; attached biomass; suspended biomass; single chamber air-cathode
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, H.; Wu, S.; Zhu, J. Modeling Power Generation and Energy Efficiencies in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells Based on Freter Equations. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1983. https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101983

AMA Style

Lin H, Wu S, Zhu J. Modeling Power Generation and Energy Efficiencies in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells Based on Freter Equations. Applied Sciences. 2018; 8(10):1983. https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101983

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lin, Hongjian, Sarah Wu, and Jun Zhu. 2018. "Modeling Power Generation and Energy Efficiencies in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells Based on Freter Equations" Applied Sciences 8, no. 10: 1983. https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101983

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