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Enhancement of interfacial bioelectrocatalysis in Shewanella microbial fuel cells by a hierarchical porous carbon–silica composite derived from distiller's grains

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Abstract

The microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an attractive green energy source since it can use wastewater and/or organic wastes as fuels to generate electricity. A cost-effective anode material with superior bioelectrocatalysis activity is critical to MFC. In this study, a honeycomb-like hierarchical porous carbon–silica (PC/Si) composite with macropores (2–15 μm) and mesopores (3–4 nm) was derived from distiller's grains via a simple carbonization procedure and used as an anode in a Shewanella putrefaciens CN32 (S. putrefaciens CN32) fuel cell for the first time. The obtained three dimensional scaffold structure with meso pores on the wall provides not only a large surface for bacteria adhesion, but also more active sites for flavin mediated interfacial electron transfer. It is interesting that the siliceous crusts of this PC/Si composite greatly promote the bacteria adhesion as well as a uniform biofilm formation. Accordingly, the PC/Si anode delivers a maximum power density of 580.7 mW m−2 in S. putrefaciens CN32 MFC, which is 4.5-fold higher than that of the conventional carbon cloth anode. Considering the synthesis process of this biomass based carbon material is facile, this PC/Si anode could be very promising when applied for high performance, large scale MFC.

Graphical abstract: Enhancement of interfacial bioelectrocatalysis in Shewanella microbial fuel cells by a hierarchical porous carbon–silica composite derived from distiller's grains

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Nov 2017, accepted on 27 Dec 2017 and first published on 02 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00560A
Citation: Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018, Advance Article
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    Enhancement of interfacial bioelectrocatalysis in Shewanella microbial fuel cells by a hierarchical porous carbon–silica composite derived from distiller's grains

    X. Wu, Y. Qiao, Z. Shi and C. M. Li, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00560A

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