Journal of Power Sources, Vol.372, 38-45, 2017
Using sewage sludge pyrolytic gas to modify titanium alloy to obtain high-performance anodes in bio-electrochemical systems
Titanium is under consideration as a potential stable bio-anode because of its high conductivity, suitable mechanical properties, and electrochemical inertness in the operating potential window of bio-electrochemical systems; however, its application is limited by its poor electron-transfer capacity with electroactive bacteria and weak ability to form biofilms on its hydrophobic surface. This study reports an effective and low-cost way to convert a hydrophobic titanium alloy surface into a hydrophilic surface that can be used as a bio-electrode with higher electron-transfer rates. Pyrolytic gas of sewage sludge is used to modify-the titanium alloy. The current generation, anodic biofilm formation surface, and hydrophobicity are systematically investigated by comparing bare electrodes with three modified electrodes. Maximum current density (15.80 A/m(2)), achieved using a modified electrode, is 316-fold higher than that of the bare titanium alloy electrode (0.05 A/m(2)) and that achieved by titanium alloy electrodes modified by other methods (12.70 A/m(2)). The pyrolytic gas-modified titanium alloy electrode can be used as a high-performance and scalable bio-anode for bio-electrochemical systems because of its high electron-transfer rates, hydrophilic nature, and ability to achieve high current density.