Performance evaluation of low cost microbial fuel cell fabricated using earthen pot with biotic and abiotic cathode
An attempt has been made to produce low cost MFC from the commercially available earthen pots in India, without involving any costly membrane. This MFC gave a maximum power output of 16.8 W/m3 at a Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 31.3% with graphite plate cathode. With stainless steel mesh cathode and KMnO4 as cathodic electrolyte the power production and CE of 70.48 W/m3 and 64.5%, respectively, was obtained. The performance of this earthen pot MFC was evaluated with biotic and abiotic cathode. Although, biofilm formation on the cathode is observed to be helpful in enhancing power out put, the thicker biofilm on the cathode showed reduction in power. This MFC demonstrated competitive performance as compared to MFC incorporated with membrane. This low cost MFC, with total production cost of less than 1.0$, as per Indian market, demonstrated its utility as a wastewater treatment and onsite power generation device.