Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Copper current collectors reduce long-term fouling of air cathodes in microbial fuel cells

Author affiliations

Abstract

Long-term operation of wastewater-fed, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with cathodes made of activated carbon and stainless steel (SS) current collectors can result in decreased performance due to cathode fouling. Copper has good antimicrobial properties, and it is more electrically conductive than SS. To demonstrate that a copper current collector could produce a more fouling resistant cathode, MFCs with air cathodes using either SS or copper current collectors were operated using domestic wastewater for 27 weeks. The reduction in biofouling over time was shown by less biofilm formation on the copper cathode surface compared to SS cathodes, due to the antimicrobial properties of copper. Maximum power densities from 17–27 weeks were 440 ± 38 mW m−2 using copper and 370 ± 21 mW m−2 using SS cathodes. The main difference in the microbial community was a nitrifying community on the SS cathodes, which was not present on the copper cathodes.

Graphical abstract: Copper current collectors reduce long-term fouling of air cathodes in microbial fuel cells

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 24 Nov 2017, accepted on 02 Feb 2018 and first published on 05 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00518K
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, Advance Article
  •   Request permissions

    Copper current collectors reduce long-term fouling of air cathodes in microbial fuel cells

    J. Myung, W. Yang, P. E. Saikaly and B. E. Logan, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7EW00518K

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements