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Vol. 108, 2016, Pages: 8–12

Wiring microbial biofilms to the electrode by osmium redox polymer for the performance enhancement of microbial fuel cells

Yong Yuan, Hyosul Shin, Chan Kang, Sunghyun Kim

Guangdong Key laboratory of Agricultural Environment Pollution Integrated Control, Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China.


An osmium redox polymer, PAA–PVI–[Os(4,4-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridine)2Cl]+/2+ that has been used in enzymatic fuel cells and microbial sensors, was applied for the first time to the anode of single-chamber microbial fuel cells with the mixed culture inoculum aiming at enhancing performance. Functioning as a molecular wire connecting the biofilm to the anode, power density increased from 1479 mW m-2 without modification to 2355 mW m-2 after modification of the anode. Evidence from cyclic voltammetry showed that the catalytic activity of an anodic biofilm was greatly enhanced in the presence of an osmium redox polymer, indicating that electrons were more efficiently transferred to the anode via co-immobilized osmium complex tethered to wiring polymer chains at the potential range of − 0.3 V–+0.1 V (vs. SCE). The optimum amount of the redox polymer was determined to be 0.163 mg cm-2.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cell; Redox polymer; Anode modification; Electron transfer; Power density.

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