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Journal of Power Sources
Vol. 284, 2015, Pages: 252–257

Binder-free carbon black/stainless steel mesh composite electrode for high-performance anode in microbial fuel cells

Suqi Zheng, Fangfang Yang, Shuiliang Chen, Lang Liu, Qi Xiong, Ting Yu, Feng Zhao, Uwe Schröder, Haoqing Hou

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Jiangxi Normal University, Ziyang Road 99th, 330022 Nanchang, China.


Carbon black/stainless steel mesh (CB/SSM) composite electrodes were developed as high-performance anodes of microbial fuel cell (MFC) by using a binder-free dipping/drying method. The acid-treatment and thin layer of CB coating greatly improved the microbial adhesion of the electrode surface and facilitated the electron transfer between the bacteria and the electrode surface. As a result, a single-layer CB/SSM anode with thickness of 0.3 mm could generate a projected current density of about 1.53 ± 0.15 mA cm-2 and volumetic current density of 51.0 ± 5.0 mA cm-3, which was much higher than that of the bare SSM anode and conventional carbon felt anode with thickness of 2 mm. Moreover, three-dimensional (3D) CB/SSM electrode could be prepared by simple folding the singe-layer SSM, and produced a projected current density to 10.07 ± 0.88 mA cm-2 and a volumetric current density of 18.66 ± 1.63 mA cm-3. The MFC equipped with the 3D-CB/SSM anode produced a high maximum power density of 3215 ± 80 mW m-2. The CB/SSM electrodes showed good mechanical and electrical properties, excellent microbial adhesion; it represented a high-performance, low-cost electrode material that is easy to fabricate and scale-up.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cell; Microbial bioelectrocatalysis; Carbon black; Stainless steel mesh; Anode.

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