Study of different carbon materials for their use as bioanodes in microbial fuel cells

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are capable of removing the organic matter contained in water while generating a certain amount of electrical power at the same time. One of the most important aspects in the operation of MFCs is the formation of biofilms on the anode. Here, we report the characterization of different carbon electrodes and biofilm using a rapid and easy methodology for the growth of biofilms. The biofilms were developed and generated a voltage in less than 4 days, obtaining a maximum of 0.3 V in the cells. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed that growth of the biofilm was only on the surface of the electrode, and consequently both carbon cloth Electrochem and carbon cloth Roe materials showed a greater quantity of volatile solids on the surface of the anode and power density. The results suggested that the best support was carbon cloth Electrochem because it generated a power density of 13.4 mW/m2 and required only a few hours for the formation of the biofilm.

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