Freestanding and flexible graphene papers as bioelectrochemical cathode for selective and efficient CO2 conversion

Nabin Aryal, Arnab Halder, Minwei Zhang, Patrick Rebsdorf Whelan, Pier-Luc Tremblay, Qijin Chi, Tian Zhang

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During microbial electrosynthesis (MES) driven CO2 reduction, cathode plays a vital role by donating electrons to microbe. Here, we exploited the advantage of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) paper asnovel cathode material to enhance electron transfer between the cathode and microbe, which in turn facilitated CO2 reduction. The acetate production rate of Sporomusa ovata-driven MES reactors was 168.5 ± 22.4 mmol m−2 d−1 with RGO paper cathodes poised at −690 mV versus standard hydrogen electrode. This rate was approximately 8 fold faster than for carbon paper electrodes of the same dimension. The current density with RGO paper cathodes of 2580 ± 540 mA m−2 was increased 7 fold compared to carbon paper cathodes. This also corresponded to a better cathodic current response on their cyclic voltammetric curves. The coulombic efficiency for the electrons conversion into acetate was 90.7 ± 9.3% with RGO paper cathodes and 83.8 ± 4.2% with carbon paper cathodes, respectively. Furthermore, more intensive cell attachment was observed on RGO paper electrodes than on carbon paper electrodes with confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. These results highlight the potential of RGO paper as a promising cathode for MES from CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9107
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • Applied microbiology
  • Biosynthesis
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Industrial microbiology

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