|Impact of cathodic biofouling on the uneven performance of individual units and scale-up power efficiency in parallel-connected air-cathode microbial fuel cells
|16S rRNA gene sequencing; Biofouling; Cyclic voltammetry; Impedance; Membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cell; Scale-up
|Journal of Power Sources
Membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC), as one of the low-cost and potentially scalable modules in the bioelectrochemical technology, can treat wastewater and produce electricity without additional membrane and aeration cost. Nevertheless, the formation of biofilm (i.e., biofouling) on cathodes is observed to deteriorate the cathode performance. This study constructs an eight-unit membrane-less air-cathode MFC and aims to evaluate effects of cathodic biofouling on the performance of individual unit and the scale-up power efficiency during parallel connection. Results indicate cathodic biofoulings affect the cathodic performance by deteriorating both voltage and current output, further causing the performance variation among different cathodes. Moreover, the decrease of power densities by increasing the number of parallel-connected units is observed. Cyclic voltammetry demonstrates the onset potential decreases from 0.4 V to 0.1 V after cathodic biofouling. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy reveals the polarization resistance of the biofouling cathode increases around two folds. In addition, we also find correlation between cathodic performance and microbial community and association between cathodic performance and unit position in the eight-unit MFC. Overall, our results suggest cathodic biofouling can be the key factor to limit the performance of parallel connection and warrant the need for further research to improve scale-up power efficiency. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.
|Cathodes; Costs; Efficiency; Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; Microbial fuel cells; RNA; Wastewater treatment; 16S rRNA gene sequencing; Air cathode; Impedance; Low-costs; Membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cell; Parallel connections; Parallel-connected; Performance; Power-efficiency; Scale-up; Cyclic voltammetry
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