Cathodic catalysts in bioelectrochemical systems for energy recovery from wastewater
Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs), in which microorganisms are utilized as a self-regenerable catalyst at the anode of an electrochemical cell to directly extract electrical energy from organic matter, have been widely recognized as a promising technology for energy-efficient wastewater treatment or even for net energy generation. However, currently BES performance is constrained by poor cathode reaction kinetics. Thus, there is a strong impetus to improve the cathodic catalysis performance through proper selection and design of catalysts. This review introduces the fundamentals and current development status of various cathodic catalysts (including electrocatalysts, photoelectrocatalysts and bioelectrocatalysts) in BES, identifies their limitations and influential factors, compares their catalytic performances in terms of catalytic efficiency, stability, selectivity, etc., and discusses the possible optimization strategies and future research directions. Special focus is given on the analysis of how the catalytic performance of different catalysts can be improved by fine tuning their physicochemical or physiological properties.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Catalysis for Production of Renewable Energy