Author(s): An J, Jeon H, Lee J, Chang IS
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Organic contamination of water bodies in which benthic microbial fuel cells (benthic MFCs) are installed, and organic crossover from the anode to the cathode of membraneless MFCs, is a factor causing oxygen depletion and substrate loss in the cathode due to the growth of heterotrophic aerobic bacteria. This study examines the possible use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as a cathodic catalyst for MFCs suffering from organic contamination and oxygen depletion. Four treated cathodes (AgNPs-coated, Pt/C-coated, Pt/C+AgNPs-coated, and plain graphite cathodes) were prepared and tested under high levels of organics loading. During operation (fed with 50 mM acetate), the AgNPs-coated system showed the highest DO concentration (0.8 mg/L) in the cathode area as well as the highest current (ranging from 0.04 to 0.12 mA). Based on these results, we concluded that (1) the growth of oxygen-consuming heterotrophic microbes could be inhibited by AgNPs, (2) the function of AgNPs as a bacterial growth inhibitor resulted in a greater increase of DO concentration in the cathode than the other tested cathode systems, (3) AgNPs could be applied as a cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction, and as a result (4) the MFC with the AgNPs-coated cathode led to the highest current generation among the tested MFCs.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology