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Iron-Nicarbazin derived platinum group metal-free electrocatalyst in scalable-size air-breathing cathodes for microbial fuel cells

Erable, Benjamin and Oliot, Manon and Lacroix, Rémy and Bergel, Alain and Serov, Alexey and Kodali, Mounika and Santoro, Carlo and Atanassov, Plamen Iron-Nicarbazin derived platinum group metal-free electrocatalyst in scalable-size air-breathing cathodes for microbial fuel cells. (2018) Electrochimica Acta, 277. 127-135. ISSN 0013-4686

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2018.04.190


In this work, a platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) catalyst based on iron as transitional metal and Nicarbazin (NCB) as low cost organic precursor was synthesized using Sacrificial Support Method (SSM). The catalyst was then incorporated into a large area air-breathing cathode fabricated by pressing with a large diameter pellet die. The electrochemical tests in abiotic conditions revealed that after a couple of weeks of successful operation, the electrode experienced drop in performances in reason of electrolyte leakage, which was not an issue with the smaller electrodes. A decrease in the hydrophobic properties over time and a consequent cathode flooding was suspected to be the cause. On the other side, in the present work, for the first time, it was demonstrated the proof of principle and provided initial guidance for manufacturing MFC electrodes with large geometric areas. The tests in MFCs showed a maximum power density of 1.85 W m−2. The MFCs performances due to the addition of Fe-NCB were much higher compared to the iron-free material. A numerical model using Nernst-Monod and Butler-Volmer equations were used to predict the effect of electrolyte solution conductivity and distance anode-cathode on the overall MFC power output. Considering the existing conditions, the higher overall power predicted was 3.6 mW at 22.2 S m−1 and at inter-electrode distance of 1 cm.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-02134808
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > 6T-MIC Ingenieries (FRANCE)
Other partners > 6T-MIC Ingenieries (FRANCE)

French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of New Mexico - UNM (USA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:02 Oct 2018 09:05

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