International Journal of Waste Resources

International Journal of Waste Resources
Open Access

ISSN: 2252-5211

+44 1477412632


Enhancing Catalyst Efficiency of Activated Carbon for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Air Cathode Microbial Fuel Cell Application

Jean Pierre Muhoza, Hongzhi Ma, Loissi Kalakodio and Dzivaidzo Mumbengegwi

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) air cathode present a great potential among other configurations due to its simple design, low cost and direct use oxygen from air as terminal electron acceptor which could help to save tremendous energy used for aeration in conventional wastewater treatment. However, at the cathode oxygen reduction reaction which is vital to generate high power density is naturally slow, therefore a catalyst is needed to overcome its reaction over-potential. Platinum (Pt) is the standard used catalyst in large number of oxidation reduction reactions whether in basic or acidic electrolytes. But, due to its high cost and limited resources it doesn’t make it a sustainable candidate for scaling up of this juvenile technology. Activated carbon was found to be a low cost and environmental friendly Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst in microbial fuel cell, but still exhibit lower catalytic behavior in its bare form which results in low power output. In this review we aims at making an overview of different promising technologies currently used to boost Activated carbon catalytic performance toward ORR in MFC air cathode and compare their outcomes in terms of catalytic behavior and MFC power output to the standard Pt and bare activated carbon catalysts. Advantages, disadvantages and bottlenecks of these techniques also will be discussed.