Power generation using an activated carbon fiber felt cathode in an upflow microbial fuel cell

Qian Deng, Xinyang Li, Jiane. Zuo, Alison Ling, Bruce E. Logan

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192 Scopus citations


An activated carbon fiber felt (ACFF) cathode lacking metal catalysts is used in an upflow microbial fuel cell (UMFC). The maximum power density with the ACFF cathode is 315 mW m-2, compared to lower values with cathodes made of plain carbon paper (67 mW m-2), carbon felt (77 mW m-2), or platinum-coated carbon paper (124 mW m-2, 0.2 mg-Pt cm-2). The addition of platinum to the ACFF cathode (0.2 mg-Pt cm-2) increases the maximum power density to 391 mW m-2. Power production is further increased to 784 mW m-2 by increasing the cathode surface area and shaping it into a tubular form. With ACFF cutting into granules, the maximum power is 481 mW m-2 (0.5 cm granules), and 667 mW m-2 (1.0 cm granules). These results show that ACFF cathodes lacking metal catalysts can be used to substantially increase power production in UMFC compared to traditional materials lacking a precious metal catalyst. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1135
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research is financially supported by the Foundation of Doctoral Scientific Research for Institutions of Higher Education, the Ministry of Education, China, the project number is 20060003078, and Award KUS-11-003-13 (to BEL) by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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