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Electronic transfer within a microbial fuel cell. Better understanding of Experimental and Structural Parameters at the Interface between Electro-active Bacteria and Carbon-based Electrodes

Abstract : Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are a type of fuel cells based on bacteria as biologic catalysts. By the metabolism of organic compounds, these micro-organisms produce and transfer electrons to a conductive matrix. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of working conditions and structural parameters on the biofilm formation and the electrochemical behaviour of electroactive bacteria. By optimising the bacterial growth of Shewanella oneidensis strain in semi-aerobic condition, various working condition was evaluated to better understand the interaction between a carbon felt (CF) electrode and the bacteria. It appears that the bacterial state of growth influences the electron transfer of the cells, as well as the electrolyte nature. The effect of the anodic polarization was evaluated by applying various poised potential between -0.3 V and 0.5 V in both single and dual-chamber MFC. This study leads to the conclusion that bacteria are more sensible to highly positive potential in membrane-less MFC. On the contrary, in dual-chamber reactors, both positive and negative potential leads to the formation of different biofilm architectures. Then, an artificial biofilm was created by incorporating bacteria encapsulated into a silica gel into a CF. The electrochemical behaviour of bacteria seems sensible to the tightness of the silica network. Finally, by the electrospinning of polyacrylonitrile solution and then the annealing of the fiber mat, an electrode with micro-scaled carbon fibers was produced. The use of this electrode as an anode in a MFC leads to an increase of the MFC performance and more specially of the anodic current density by a factor 10 to 100.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01481318, version 1

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David Pinto. Electronic transfer within a microbial fuel cell. Better understanding of Experimental and Structural Parameters at the Interface between Electro-active Bacteria and Carbon-based Electrodes. Material chemistry. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066367⟩. ⟨tel-01481318⟩

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