TitleNanoparticle decorated anodes for enhanced current generation in microbial electrochemical cells.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFan, Y, Xu, S, Schaller, R, Jiao, J, Chaplen, F, Liu, H
JournalBiosens Bioelectron
Date Published2011 Jan 15
KeywordsBioelectric Energy Sources, Electric Power Supplies, Electrochemistry, Electrodes, Equipment Design, Equipment Failure Analysis, Nanoparticles, Nanotechnology, Shewanella

The development of highly efficient anode materials is critical for enhancing the current output of microbial electrochemical cells. In this study, Au and Pd nanoparticle decorated graphite anodes were developed and evaluated in a newly designed multi-anode microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). The anodes decorated with Au nanoparticles produced current densities up to 20-fold higher than plain graphite anodes by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, while those of Pd-decorated anodes with similar morphologies produced 50-150% higher than the control. Significant positive linear regression was obtained between the current density and the particle size (average Feret's diameter and average area), while the circularity of the particles showed negative correlation with current densities. On the contrary, no significant correlation was evident between the current density and the particle density based on area fraction and particle counts. These results demonstrated that nano-decoration can greatly enhance the performance of microbial anodes, while the chemical composition, size and shape of the nanoparticles determined the extent of the enhancement.

Alternate JournalBiosens Bioelectron
PubMed ID20542420