Comparing the short and long term stability of biodegradable, ceramic and cation exchange membranes in microbial fuel cells

Winfield, J., Chambers, L., Rossiter, J. and Ieropoulos, I. (2013) Comparing the short and long term stability of biodegradable, ceramic and cation exchange membranes in microbial fuel cells. Bioresource Technology, 148. pp. 480-486. ISSN 09608524 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/21517

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2013.08.163

Abstract/Description

The long and short-term stability of two porous dependent ion exchange materials; starch-based compostable bags (BioBag) and ceramic, were compared to commercially available cation exchange membrane (CEM) in microbial fuel cells. Using bi-directional polarisation methods, CEM exhibited power overshoot during the forward sweep followed by significant power decline over the reverse sweep (38%). The porous membranes displayed no power overshoot with comparably smaller drops in power during the reverse sweep (ceramic 8%, BioBag 5.5%). The total internal resistance at maximum power increased by 64% for CEM compared to 4% (ceramic) and 6% (BioBag). Under fixed external resistive loads, CEM exhibited steeper pH reductions than the porous membranes. Despite its limited lifetime, the BioBag proved an efficient material for a stable microbial environment until failing after 8 months, due to natural degradation. These findings highlight porous separators as ideal candidates for advancing MFC technology in terms of cost and operation stability.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:microbial fuel cell, power overshoot, proton exchange membrane, biodegradation, ceramic
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology
Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Health and Social Sciences
ID Code:21517
Deposited By: L. Brock
Deposited On:19 Sep 2013 16:18
Last Modified:15 Nov 2016 21:53

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