Equivalent Electrical Circuit Modeling of Ceramic-Based Microbial Fuel Cells Using the Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) Analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

2 Institute of Renewable Energy, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran.

Abstract

The effect of the thickness of ceramic membrane on the productivity of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was investigated with respect to the electricity generation and domestic wastewater treatment efficiencies. The thickest ceramic membrane (9 mm) gained the highest coulombic efficiency (27.58±4.2 %), voltage (681.15±33.1 mV), and current and power densities (447.11±21.37 mA/m2, 63.82±10.42 mW/m2) compared to the 6- and 3-mm thick separators. The results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis were investigated to identify the internal resistance constituents by proposing the appropriate equivalent electrical circuit. The Gerischer element was modeled as the coupled reaction, and diffusion in the porous carbon electrodes and the constant phase element was assimilated into the electrical double-layer capacitance. The thickest ceramic (9 mm) was found to have the largest ohmic resistance; however, owing to its superior barrier capability, it provided more anoxic conditions for better accommodation of exoelectrogenic bacteria in the anode chamber. Therefore, lower charge transfer, fewer diffusional impedances, and higher rates of anodic reactions were achieved. Excessive oxygen and substrate crossover through the thinner ceramics (of 6 and 3 mm) resulted in the suppressed development of anaerobic anodic biofilm and the accomplishment of aerobic substrate respiration without electricity generation.

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