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Enhanced performance of microbial fuel cells by using MnO2/Halloysite nanotubes to modify carbon cloth anodes

Chen, Yingwen, Chen, Liuliu, Li, Peiwen, Xu, Yuan, Fan, Mengjie, Zhu, Shemin, Shen, Shubao
Energy 2016 v.109 pp. 620-628
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, anodes, bacteria, carbon, cost effectiveness, electricity, electrochemistry, energy, halloysite, manganese dioxide, microbial fuel cells, moieties, nanocomposites, nanotubes, power generation, scanning electron microscopes, scanning electron microscopy
The modification of anode materials is important to enhance the power generation of MFCs (microbial fuel cells). A novel and cost-effective modified anode that is fabricated by dispersing manganese dioxide (MnO2) and HNTs (Halloysite nanotubes) on carbon cloth to improve the MFCs' power production was reported. The results show that the MnO2/HNT anodes acquire more bacteria and provide greater kinetic activity and power density compared to the unmodified anode. Among all modified anodes, 75 wt% MnO2/HNT exhibits the highest electrochemical performance. The maximum power density is 767.3 mWm⁻², which 21.6 higher than the unmodified anode (631 mW/m²). Besides, CE (Coulombic efficiency) was improved 20.7, indicating that more chemical energy transformed to electricity. XRD (X-Ray powder diffraction) and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) are used to characterize the structure and functional groups of the anode. CV (cyclic voltammetry) scans and SEM (scanning electron microscope) images demonstrate that the measured power density is associated with the attachment of bacteria, the microorganism morphology differed between the modified and the original anode. These findings demonstrate that MnO2/HNT nanocomposites can alter the characteristics of carbon cloth anodes to effectively modify the anode for practical MFC applications.