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Performance of Cassava Starch as a Proton Exchange Membrane in a Dual Chambered Microbial Fuel Cell.

Author(s): Livinus A. Obasi | Charles C. Opara | Akuma Oji

Journal: International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
ISSN 0975-5462

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 227;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Bioelectricity | Cassava starch | Coulombic efficiency | Microbial fuel cell | mediator less.

This research work shows the feasibility of power generation in a mediatorless dual chambered microbial fuel cell, utilizing cassava starch as the proton exchange membrane (PEM). The study employed swine house effluent (a serious environmental threat) as the substrate (fuel) (pH, 7.2, BOD: 1200mg/l, COD: 3800mg/l) in the anode chamber prepared with a phosphate buffer solution (K2HPO4+KH2PO4), potassium ferry cyanide solution served as the oxygen acceptor in the cathode chamber using graphite electrodes, the cell operating at room temperature (27 ± 30C). The PEM (gelatinized cassava starch) was prepared with varying degrees of modifications for three cells, ranging from the untreated pure starch (A), starch treated with 5.9% sodium chloride (B) and starch modified with sodium alginate (a gum) and activated carbon (C). The open circuit voltages (OCV) and powerperformances of the three cells were monitored for ten days. Each of the cells was inoculated with the adopted consortium in soil solution obtained from mangrove forest. The maximum power outputs from the cells were 945.69mW/m2, 1068.54 mW/m2 and 570.83 mW/m2 for A, B and C respectively.
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