Multi-walled carbon nanotube and carbide-derived carbon supported metal phthalocyanines as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cell application
Herein, iron phthalocyanine (FePc) and cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPc) were used to impregnate nitrogen and corresponding transition metals to the multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or carbide-derived carbon (CDC) to compare the prepared highly efficient oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts for application in microbial fuel cells (MFC). The results revealed that among all the catalysts investigated, FePc/MWCNT and FePc/CDC showed superior ORR activity as determined by the rotating disk electrode (RDE) method under neutral pH. Moreover, the performance of MFC with FePc/CDC was comparable with MFC having Pt as cathode catalyst in terms of a power density (ca. 8.3 W m‒3 vs 8.8 W m–3) and coulombic efficiency (16.9 ± 0.7% vs 17.4 ± 0.7%). Hence, it can be concluded that FePc/CDC can be used as a low cost alternative to the expensive Pt-based cathode catalyst for ORR in MFC to make this technology effective for field scale application.