Electricity and catholyte production from ceramic MFCs treating urine

Merino-Jimenez, I., Ieropoulos, I. and Greenman, J. (2017) Electricity and catholyte production from ceramic MFCs treating urine. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 42 (3). pp. 1791-1799. ISSN 0360-3199 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/30505

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.09.163


The use of ceramics as low cost membrane materials for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) has gained increasing interest, due to the positive performance in terms of power and catholyte production. The catholyte production in ceramic MFCs can be attributed to a combination of water or hydrogen peroxide formation from the oxygen reduction reaction in the cathode, water diffusion and electroosmotic drag through the ion exchange membrane. This study aims to evaluate, for the first time, the effect of ceramic wall/membrane thickness, in terms of power, as well as catholyte production from MFCs using urine as a feedstock. Cylindrical MFCs were assembled with fine fire clay ceramic of different thicknesses (2.5, 5 and 10 mm) as structural and membrane materials. The power generated increased when the membrane thickness decreased, reaching 2.1 ± 0.19 mW per single MFC (2.5 mm), which was 50 % higher than that from the MFCs with the thickest membrane (10 mm). The amount of catholyte collected also decreased with the wall thickness, whereas the pH increased. Evidence shows that the catholyte composition varies with the wall thickness of the ceramic membrane. The possibility of producing different quality of catholyte from urine opens a new field of study in water reuse and resource recovery for practical implementation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The final publication is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.09.163.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC), ceramic membrane, catholyte production, electroosmotic drag, urine.
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics
ID Code:30505
Deposited By: Dr I. Merino Jimenez
Deposited On:05 Dec 2016 12:28
Last Modified:06 Apr 2017 20:37

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