Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Development and integration of microbial fuel cell stacks for powering low energy applications
Author: Ledezma , Pablo A.
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) offer the possibility to energise electric and electronic applications directly from the electricity produced the bacterial degradation of organic waste. The amount of energy produced by single units however, is relatively small, so the powering of real-world practical applications necessitates of scaling-up strategies. In this work, an approach to scaling-up by miniaturisation and multiplication is employed with aims to energise applications never demonstrated before. The work first looked at establishing a computer-assisted MFC-design that could be mass-fabricated and then proceeded to test different construction materials in both individual and collective configurations i.e. stacks. It was found that problems arise with MFCs stacks if adequate fluidic insulation is not present between units that are electrically linked. A novel structural design - MFC-cascades with air-gaps - was subsequently utilised to tackle this problem, which also resulted in the cumulative reduction of the feed's COD to high standards and competitive rates. This design was later utilised to continuously power a practical application with raw wastewater from local sources. Furthermore, a collective of MFC-cascades was utilised to create a scaled-up MFC stack, capable of charging electrolytic supercapacitors and widening the range of MFC-powered applications. Finally, the scaled-up reactor demonstrated, for the first time, the ability to generate enough electricity to sustain its own operation i.e. self-sustainability and the capacity to generate an excess of energy beyond those needs, effectively resulting in net energy excess that can be utilised to power other applications without compromising the self-maintenance of the system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available