Title

Comparing the efficiency of carbon cloth, graphite felt, and stainless steel mesh as anodes for low-cost, single-chambered microbial fuel cells

Author(s)

Muhammad A. Fayyaz

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Oral Presentation Award

1st Place

Abstract

The growing necessity for alternative forms of energy has brought about the introduction of technology capable of maintaining high amounts of voltage production. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) offer a promising and efficient solution to this daunting global issue. MFC technology utilizes the metabolic activity of bacteria in order to produce a consistent electrical current over long periods of time. However, the lack cost-efficiency associated with such technology has put its feasibility in question. This research study focused upon lowering the overall costs associated with the production of MFCs while also maintaining high amounts of voltage potential. It was hypothesized that graphite felt would serve as the most efficient anode in comparison to carbon cloth and stainless steel mesh. In terms of experimentation, three low-cost, single-chambered MFC designs were constructed by using the three listed anodic materials as well as galvanized aluminum for the cathode; each design was constructed using PVC pipe and pond water was used as the inoculant. The findings of this study did not support the original hypothesis, although a significant, statistical difference was found between the three designs, F(2,7079994)=28069895.36, p<0.001. In conclusion, it was found that platinum-treated carbon cloth served as the most efficient MFC anode in terms of overall voltage potential.

Start Date

4-11-2015 3:30 PM

End Date

4-11-2015 3:45 PM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 3:30 PM Apr 11th, 3:45 PM

Comparing the efficiency of carbon cloth, graphite felt, and stainless steel mesh as anodes for low-cost, single-chambered microbial fuel cells

The growing necessity for alternative forms of energy has brought about the introduction of technology capable of maintaining high amounts of voltage production. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) offer a promising and efficient solution to this daunting global issue. MFC technology utilizes the metabolic activity of bacteria in order to produce a consistent electrical current over long periods of time. However, the lack cost-efficiency associated with such technology has put its feasibility in question. This research study focused upon lowering the overall costs associated with the production of MFCs while also maintaining high amounts of voltage potential. It was hypothesized that graphite felt would serve as the most efficient anode in comparison to carbon cloth and stainless steel mesh. In terms of experimentation, three low-cost, single-chambered MFC designs were constructed by using the three listed anodic materials as well as galvanized aluminum for the cathode; each design was constructed using PVC pipe and pond water was used as the inoculant. The findings of this study did not support the original hypothesis, although a significant, statistical difference was found between the three designs, F(2,7079994)=28069895.36, p<0.001. In conclusion, it was found that platinum-treated carbon cloth served as the most efficient MFC anode in terms of overall voltage potential.