Comparing the short and long term stability of biodegradable, ceramic and cation exchange membranes in microbial fuel cells

Jonathan Winfield, Lily Chambers, Jonathan M Rossiter, Ioannis Ieropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The long and short-term stability of two porous dependent ion exchange materials; starch-based compostable bags (BioBag) and ceramic, were compared to commercially available cation exchange membrane (CEM) in microbial fuel cells. Using bi-directional polarisation methods, CEM exhibited power overshoot during the forward sweep followed by significant power decline over the reverse sweep (38%). The porous membranes displayed no power overshoot with comparably smaller drops in power during the reverse sweep (ceramic 8%, BioBag 5.5%). The total internal resistance at maximum power increased by 64% for CEM compared to 4% (ceramic) and 6% (BioBag). Under fixed external resistive loads, CEM exhibited steeper pH reductions than the porous membranes. Despite its limited lifetime, the BioBag proved an efficient material for a stable microbial environment until failing after 8 months, due to natural degradation. These findings highlight porous separators as ideal candidates for advancing MFC technology in terms of cost and operation stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480–486
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception

Keywords

  • Microbial fuel cell;

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