Electricity generation and microbial community in response to short-term changes in stack connection of self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell powered by glycerol

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Abstract

Stack connection (i.e., in series or parallel) of microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an efficient way to boost the power output for practical application. However, there is little information available on short-term changes in stack connection and its effect on the electricity generation and microbial community. In this study, a self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell (SSMFC) powered by glycerol was tested to elucidate this important issue. In series connection, the maximum voltage output reached to 1.15 V, while maximum current density was 5.73 mA in parallel. In both connections, the maximum power density increased with the initial glycerol concentration. However, the glycerol degradation was even faster in parallel connection. When the SSMFC was shifted from series to parallel connection, the reactor reached to a stable power output without any lag phase. Meanwhile, the anodic microbial community compositions were nearly stable. Comparatively, after changing parallel to series connection, there was a lag period for the system to get stable again and the microbial community compositions became greatly different. This study is the first attempt to elucidate the influence of short-term changes in connection on the performance of MFC stack, and could provide insight to the practical utilization of MFC.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume109
Pages (from-to)367-374
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Self-stacked submersible microbial fuel cell
  • Stark operation
  • Glycerol
  • Series connection
  • Parallel connection
  • Microbial community

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