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Design, synthesis and characterization of a bioanode for microbial fuel cell

Abstract : Amidst anthropogenic climate change, alternatives to fossil fuel power sources must be developed. Originating in an observation by M. C. Potter dating back from 1911, increasing research has shown that the idea of harvesting the metabolic activity of microorganisms to generate electricity is realistically achievable. These devices, microbial fuel cells (MFC), focus on converting chemical energy from organic matter into electricity by gathering electrons produced by bacteria degrading these molecules. Such fuel cells may be used as renewable energy sources but a lot of challenges need to be addressed before they become an efficient, stable and profitable technology. Various approaches to tackle these problems exist. For instance, the electronic transfer between the bacterium and the electrode can be improved by working on the organism or the consortium used to degrade the organic matter. Here we seek to improve the material and the architecture of the electrochemical system and especially those of the bacteria-colonized anode. We start from the observations of the limitations of the current electrodes for MFCs to design a better system.This work focuses on the conception of the bioanode of a microbial fuel cell by electrospinning. This process allows the shaping of nano to micro-scaled polymer fibers through electrically-assisted extrusion. We obtain nonwoven mats of polymer fibers which are made conductive by subsequent heat treatments or by the addition of carbon-based materials. The colonization of these electrospun membranes by the model electroactive bacteria Shewanella oneidensis is conducted through diverse approaches: natural biofilm development – either in situ or ex situ – or core-shell encapsulation. Once prepared, the anodes are then integrated into a functional lab-scale fuel cell in order to evaluate their electrochemical characteristics. The impact of the colonization of these conductive electrodes on the electrochemical performances of a full MFC is then discussed. The performances of the novel architectures are assessed and compared with the literature and exhibit remarkable volume-normalized current and power outputs – up to 3.26•103 A•m 3 and 296 W•m 3 vs. 2.08•103 A•m 3 and 500 W•m 3 for optimized reactors with the same electrolytes and bacteria (Ringeisen et al., 2006). A long-term storage method of the bioanodes based on cryodesiccation is henceforth presented. Eventually, the electrodes developed in this work are integrated into an MFC setup including real effluents from wastewaters. Their performances in current generation from an actual power source are investigated and are shown to be encouraging – 4.4•10(3) A•m(-3) and 438 W•m (-3.)
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Submitted on : Saturday, April 3, 2021 - 2:19:12 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03189382, version 1

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Jérémie-Luc Sanchez. Design, synthesis and characterization of a bioanode for microbial fuel cell. Other. Université de Paris, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019UNIP7195⟩. ⟨tel-03189382⟩

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