Impact of applied cell voltage on the performance of a microbial electrolysis cell fully catalysed by microorganisms

Swee Su Lim, Jean Marie Fontmorin, Paniz Izadi, Wan Ramli Wan Daud, Keith Scott, Eileen Hao Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The effect of the operating voltage on the performance of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) equipped with both a bioanode and a biocathode for hydrogen production is reported. Chronoamperometry tests ranged between 0.3 and 2.0 V were carried out after both bioelectrodes were developed. A maximum current density up to 1.6 A m−2 was recorded at 1.0 V with hydrogen production rate of nearly 6.0 ± 1.5 L m−2 cathode day−1. Trace amounts of methane, acetone and formate were detected in cathode's headspace and catholyte which followed the same trend as hydrogen production rate. Meanwhile substrate consumption in anolyte also followed the trend of hydrogen production and current density changes. The bioanode could utilise up to 95% of acetate in the tested voltage ranges, however, at a cell voltage of 2.0 V the bioanode's activity stopped due to oxygen evolution from water hydrolysis. Cyclic voltammograms revealed that the bioanode activity was vital to maintain the functionality of the whole system. The biocathode relied on the bioanode to maintain its potential during the hydrogen evolution. The overall energy efficiency recovered from both bioanode and external power in terms of hydrogen production at the cathode was determined as 29.4 ± 9.0%, within which substrate oxidation contributed up to nearly 1/3 of the total energy marking the importance of bioanode recovering energy from wastewater to reduce the external power supply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2557-2568
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2020

Fingerprint

Regenerative fuel cells
hydrogen production
microorganisms
electrolysis
Hydrogen production
Microorganisms
Electric potential
electric potential
cells
Cathodes
cathodes
Current density
current density
trends
Chronoamperometry
formates
Substrates
Acetone
power supplies
acetone

Keywords

  • Bioanode limitation and contribution
  • Bioelectrode development
  • Hydrogen production
  • Microbial electrolysis cell
  • Operational applied voltage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

Impact of applied cell voltage on the performance of a microbial electrolysis cell fully catalysed by microorganisms. / Lim, Swee Su; Fontmorin, Jean Marie; Izadi, Paniz; Wan Daud, Wan Ramli; Scott, Keith; Yu, Eileen Hao.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 45, No. 4, 24.01.2020, p. 2557-2568.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lim, Swee Su ; Fontmorin, Jean Marie ; Izadi, Paniz ; Wan Daud, Wan Ramli ; Scott, Keith ; Yu, Eileen Hao. / Impact of applied cell voltage on the performance of a microbial electrolysis cell fully catalysed by microorganisms. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 2020 ; Vol. 45, No. 4. pp. 2557-2568.
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