Additive manufacturing-derived free-standing 3D pyrolytic carbon electrodes for sustainable microbial electrochemical production of H2O2

Rusen Zou, Babak Rezaei, Stephan Sylvest Keller, Yifeng Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Producing H2O2 via microbial electrosynthesis is a cost-effective and environmentally favorable alternative to the costly and environmentally hazardous anthraquinone method. However, most studies have relied on carbon electrodes with two-dimensional (2D) surfaces (e.g., graphite), which have limited surface area and active sites, resulting in suboptimal H2O2 production. In this study, we demonstrate the enhanced efficiency of microbial H2O2 synthesis using three-dimensional (3D) electrodes produced through additive manufacturing technology due to their larger surface area than conventional carbon electrodes with 2D surfaces. This work innovatively combines 3D printed pyrolytic carbon (3D PyrC) electrodes with highly defined outer geometry and internal mesh structures derived from additive manufacturing with high-temperature resin precursors followed by pyrolysis with microbial electrochemical platform technology to achieve efficient H2O2 synthesis. The 3D PyrC electrode produced a maximum of 129.2 mg L-1 of H2O2 in 12 hours, which was 2.3-6.9 times greater than conventional electrodes (e.g., graphite and carbon felt). Furthermore, the scalability, reusability and mechanical properties of the 3D PyrC electrode were exemplary, showcasing its practical viability for large-scale applications. Beyond H2O2 synthesis, the study explored the application of the 3D PyrC electrode in the bio-electro-Fenton process, demonstrating its efficacy as a tertiary treatment technology for the removal of micropollutants. This dual functionality underscores the versatility of the 3D PyrC electrode in addressing both the synthesis of valuable chemicals and environmental remediation. This study shows a novel electrode design for efficient, sustainable synthesis of H2O2 and subsequent environmental remediation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number133681
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • 3D printing
  • Pyrolysis
  • Additive manufacturing
  • H2O2
  • Microbial electrosynthesis


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