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Nitric acid activation of graphite granules to increase the performance of the non-catalyzed oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for MFC applications

Erable, Benjamin and Duţeanu, Narcis Mihai and Kumar, S.M. Senthil and Feng, Yujie and Ghangrekar, Makarand Madhao and Scott, Keith Nitric acid activation of graphite granules to increase the performance of the non-catalyzed oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for MFC applications. (2009) Electrochemistry Communications, 11 (7). 1547-1549. ISSN 0960-8524

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.elecom.2009.05.057


Nitric acid and thermal activation of graphite granules were explored to increase the electrocatalytic performance of dissolved oxygen reduction at neutral pH for microbial fuel cell (MFC) applications. Electrochemical experiments showed an improvement of +400 mV in open circuit potential for graphite granules when they were activated. The improvement of ORR performance observed with activated granules was correlated to the increase of Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface of the activated material and the emergence of nitrogen superficial groups revealed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis on its surface. The use of activated graphite granules in the cathodic compartment of a dual-chamber MFC led to a high open circuit voltage of 1050 mV, which is among one of the highest reported so far. The stable performance of this cathode material (current density of 96 A m−3 at +200 mV/Ag–AgCl) over a period of 10 days demonstrated its applicability as a cathode material without any costly noble metal.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Electrochemistry Communications website: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13882481
HAL Id:hal-03573386
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences - CRAES (CHINA)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Harbin Institute of Technology (CHINA)
Other partners > Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur (INDIA)
Other partners > Politehnica University of Timisoara (ROMANIA)
Other partners > Newcastle University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Laboratory name:
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique - LGC (Toulouse, France) - Bioprocédés et systèmes microbiens (BioSyM)
Deposited On:05 Nov 2010 15:37

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