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Research Papers

Characterization of Bioelectrochemical Fuel Cell Fabricated With Agriculture Wastes and Surface Modified Electrode Materials

[+] Author and Article Information
Subir Paul

Department of Metallurgical and Material Engineering,  Raja S C Mullich Road, Jadavpur University, Kolkata-700032, Indiaspaulxx@ymail.com

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(2), 021013 (Mar 19, 2012) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005627 History: Received September 23, 2011; Revised November 04, 2011; Published March 09, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

A bioelectrochemical fuel was fabricated with pretreated and fermented rice husks. The fuel was characterized with variation of process variables by determination of chemical oxygen demand (COD) which is a measure of the oxygen equivalent of electrochemically oxidizable organic fuel to produce electrical energy. The electrodes of the cell were made with nanoporous pure Al coated with platinum, platinum-ruthenium, and platinum-ruthenium-carbon. Anodization parameters were optimized by studying E-I characteristics in sulfuric and oxalic acids with variation of concentration and temperature. Pore size on the order of 30–50 nm was obtained by a two stage anodization. The performance of the cell was evaluated by determining open circuit potential, E-I characteristics, polarization studies, and cyclic voltammetry. A steady onload potential of 600–800 mV was obtained with current density on the order of 15–25 mA/cm2 . High power density of 10–15 mW/cm2 has been obtained with electrode materials coated with Pt + Ru or Pt + Ru + C. The performance of coating on nanoporous structure was greatly reflected in the polarization studies, which showed a huge reduction of polarization resistance and increase of exchange current density by many times, the effect being more for anode with anodic solution, fermented rice husk, than with cathode with phosphate buffer cathodic solution. The surface morphology examined by SEM, showed nanodeposits of Pt, Pt-Ru, and the presence of carbon like structure. XRD peaks clearly reveal presence of Pt, Pt-Ru, and carbon.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Galvanostatic polarization curve of anodization of Al in sulfuric and oxalic acid

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Figure 2

Galvanostatic study of anodization of Al in 1.5 M sulfuric acid solution with variation of electrolyte temperature

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Figure 3

Effect of lime pretreatment to rice husk on total oxidizable organic content in the fuel

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Figure 4

Temperature and pH in enzymatic saccharification on total oxidizable organic content in the fuel

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Figure 5

Effect duration of fermentation of pretreated enzymatic hydrolysed rice husk on total oxidizable fuel content

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Figure 6

Effect of duration of fermentation by E. coli of pretreated, enzymatic hydrolyzed rice husk on cell growth

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Figure 7

Open circuit potential of the fuel cell with four different set of electrodes with anodic and cathodic solutions in separate chambers

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Figure 8

E-I characteristics with variation of resistive load of the fuel cell with different types of surface modified electrodes

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Figure 9

Onload power versus current variation characteristic of the fuel cell with different surface modified electrodes

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Figure 10

Polarization characteristic of nanoporous anodized Al coated with different materials in anodic solution

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Figure 11

Potentiostatic polarization of different surface modified electrodes in cathodic solution

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Figure 12

Cyclic voltammetry study of different surface coated electrode in anodic fuel

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Figure 13

SEM photos of different surface treated electrodes. (a) Nanoporous anodized Al, (b) coated Pt, (c) coated with Pt + Ru, and (d) coated with Pt + Ru + C.

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Figure 14

XRD of different coated electrodes

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