Combination of bioelectrochemical systems and electrochemical capacitors: Principles, analysis and opportunities

Leire Caizan-Juanarena, Casper Borsje, Tom Sleutels, Doekle Yntema, Carlo Santoro, Ioannis Ieropoulos, Francesca Soavi, Annemiek ter Heijne

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Bioelectrochemical systems combine electrodes and reactions driven by microorganisms for many different applications. The conversion of organic material in wastewater into electricity occurs in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The power densities produced by MFCs are still too low for application. One way of increasing their performance is to combine them with electrochemical capacitors, widely used for charge storage purposes. Capacitive MFCs, i.e. the combination of capacitors and MFCs, allow for energy harvesting and storage and have shown to result in improved power densities, which facilitates the up scaling and application of the technology. This manuscript summarizes the state-of-the-art of combining capacitors with MFCs, starting with the theory and working principle of electrochemical capacitors. We address how different electrochemical measurements can be used to determine (bio)electrochemical capacitance and show how the measurement data can be interpreted. In addition, we present examples of the combination of electrochemical capacitors, both internal and external, that have been used to enhance MFC performance. Finally, we discuss the most promising applications and the main existing challenges for capacitive MFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107456
Number of pages14
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Capacitance
  • Electrical double-layer
  • Scaling up
  • Supercapacitor
  • Power output
  • MICROBIAL FUEL-CELLS
  • POWER MANAGEMENT-SYSTEM
  • WASTE-WATER TREATMENT
  • OXYGEN REDUCTION REACTION
  • SCALED-UP
  • ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION
  • ELECTROLYSIS CELLS
  • CATHODE CATALYSTS
  • ACTIVATED CARBON
  • ION-TRANSPORT

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