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Electrospun Nanofibers: from Food to Energy by Engineered Electrodes in Microbial Fuel Cells

1
Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Center for Sustainable Future Technologies (CSFT)@Polito, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Environment Park, Building B2 Via Livorno 60, 10144 Torino, Italy
3
IMEM-CNR, Parco Area delle Scienze 37, 43124 Parma, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030523
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 29 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical devices able to directly transduce chemical energy, entrapped in an organic mass named fuel, into electrical energy through the metabolic activity of specific bacteria. During the last years, the employment of bio-electrochemical devices to study the wastewater derived from the food industry has attracted great interest from the scientific community. In the present work, we demonstrate the capability of exoelectrogenic bacteria used in MFCs to catalyze the oxidation reaction of honey, employed as a fuel. With the main aim to increase the proliferation of microorganisms onto the anode, engineered electrodes are proposed. Polymeric nanofibers, based on polyethylene oxide (PEO-NFs), were directly electrospun onto carbon-based material (carbon paper, CP) to obtain an optimized composite anode. The crucial role played by the CP/PEO-NFs anodes was confirmed by the increased proliferation of microorganisms compared to that reached on bare CP anodes, used as a reference material. A parameter named recovered energy (Erec) was introduced to determine the capability of bacteria to oxidize honey and was compared with the Erec obtained when sodium acetate was used as a fuel. CP/PEO-NFs anodes allowed achieving an Erec three times higher than the one reached with a bare carbon-based anode. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrospun nanofibers; polyethylene oxide nanofibers PEO-NFs; microbial fuel cells; honey; food industry; recovered energy (Erec) electrospun nanofibers; polyethylene oxide nanofibers PEO-NFs; microbial fuel cells; honey; food industry; recovered energy (Erec)
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Massaglia, G.; Frascella, F.; Chiadò, A.; Sacco, A.; Marasso, S.L.; Cocuzza, M.; Pirri, C.F.; Quaglio, M. Electrospun Nanofibers: from Food to Energy by Engineered Electrodes in Microbial Fuel Cells. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 523.

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