Journal of Power Sources, Vol.179, No.1, 27-33, 2008
Electricity generation by a baffle-chamber membraneless microbial fuel cell
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for organic waste and wastewater treatment represent innovative technologies for pollution control and energy generation. The research reported here considers the influence of reactor configurations designed to mitigate the impact of oxygen transport on electricity generation by a baffle-chamber membraneless MFC. The reactor was constructed to reduce mixing in the vicinity of the cathode and facilitate thick (>1 mm) biofilm formation on the cathode by adding anaerobic biomass/sludge (4330 +/- 410mg COD L-1), resulting in an overall coulombic efficiency of more than 30% at glucose concentrations ranging from 96 to 960 mg COD L-1, compared to previously reported efficiencies < 10% in a completely mixed membraneless MFC. Efficiencies in the absence of anaerobic sludge dropped to 21.2 +/- 3.7%, suggesting that the importance of pH buffering provided by the biomass in improving electron transport to the anode. However, the anaerobic sludge itself provided very limited power (approximately 0.3 mW m(-2)) and power generation was primarily associated with glucose degradation (e.g., 129 +/- 15 mW m(-2)). (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.