Darshan Malik, Jayita Thakur, Sunita Singh, Raj Kishore Singh, Anita Kapur, Amarjeet Kaur, Shashi Nijhawan, Anil Kumar
Abstract: Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) is a promising and a futuristic technology for generating electrical energy from anaerobic fermentation of organic and inorganic matter present in the waste water. The performance of MFCs are dependent on various factors like the type of proton exchange system, the type of electrodes, the use of mediators and nitrogen gas sparging. MFCs for waste water treatment incur high cost of components which is a major barrier in commercializing the fuel cells. In this study we examined several parameters which could affect MFC operation. Anode performance and proton exchange membranes are important factors in deciding the efficiency of MFCs for large scale applications. A highly efficient Ni-coated carbon cloth electrode that are electrometrically and biologically stable were synthesized at a much lower cost by chemical vapour deposition. These nanocomposite electrodes led to almost ten fold increase in the columbic efficiency as compared to the conventional electrodes. The use of the salt bridge which attributes to the higher internal resistance was replaced by the Nafion membrane leading to an increase in the current output. The rate of electron transport from the substrate to the anode by the bacterias showed a significant increase in the power generation by the use of redox mediator like Methylene blue. Thus, our current study demonstrates that using Yamuna water with nanocomposite electrodes in MFCs is a promising technology for the enhanced production of bioenergy.
Keywords: MFC, Nanocomposite electrodes, Chemical vapour deposition, Mediators, Methylene blue, Nafion membrane, Yamuna water