Scale up considerations for sediment microbial fuel cells

Lewis Hsu, Bart Chadwick, Jeff Kagan, Ryan Thacher, Adriane Wotawa-Bergen, Ken Richter
2013 RSC Advances  
Scale-up of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) is important to generating practical levels of power for undersea devices. Sustained operation of many sensors and communications systems require power in the range of 0.6 mW to 20 W. Small scale SMFC systems evaluated primarily in the laboratory indicate power densities for typical graphite plate anodes on the order of 10-50 mW m 22 . However, previous work also suggests that SMFC power production may not scale directly with size. Here, we
more » ... size. Here, we describe a combination of lab and field studies to evaluate scale up for carbon fabric anodes with a projected surface area ranging from 25 cm 2 to 12 m 2 . The results indicate that power generation scales almost linearly with anode size up to about 1-2 m 2 of projected surface area. Our model suggests that anodes larger than this can experience significant reduction in power density, confirming laboratory observations. These results suggest that the majority of losses along the anode surface occur closest to the electronics, where the amount of current passing along an anode is the greatest. A multi-anode approach is discussed for SMFCs, suggesting that scale-up can be achieved using segmented anode arrays. Report Documentation Page Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington VA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. Same as Report (SAR) 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 9 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON a. REPORT unclassified b. ABSTRACT unclassified c. THIS PAGE unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18
doi:10.1039/c3ra43180k fatcat:tno6rwi74naxtlzwwrp7cxk2zq