This work characterizes two alternative materials to substitute the most expensive microbial fuel cells (MFCs) components: proton exchange membrane (PEM) and cathode. Crude glycerol biodegradation was studied in MFCs using a clay cup as a PEM and activated carbon and camphor carbon mixture (CAC) as a cathode. The cathode performance was compared with Platinum on carbon cloth. Two clay cup single-chamber MFCs were operated with each cathode and fed with 2000 mg/L of crude glycerol. Electrochemical properties were characterized by linear sweep voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and chronoamperometry. Biodegradation efficiencies were estimated with the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal percentage. MFCs with CAC showed a maximum power density of 100 mW/m2. This result was a 43.47% power response regarding MFCs with Platinum. COD removal efficiencies of 94% were achieved in 37 days for both cells. The Columbic efficiencies were 24.04% and 22.78% for the MFCs with Platinum and CAC. The economic analysis showed a cost of USD 9.97 for MFCs with CAC. This cost is five times lower than when using Platinum. MFCs utilizing clay cups and CAC showed an acceptable performance for the bioenergy production from crude glycerol biodegradation above all economic advantage in the cell cost.
|Journal||Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
- camphor carbon
- chemical oxygen demand
- clay cup
- Columbic efficiency