Modeling of a Single-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell Using Glycerin as an Energy Source


A bio-electrochemical system of microbial fuel cell (MFC) can operate on wastewater and various organic substances. One of the promising energy sources is crude glycerin waste from biodiesel production. Similar to any process, MFC needs accurate computational models for modifications and optimization of the system. We propose a comprehensive computational modeling of a membrane-less single-chamber MFC, in which bacteria consumes glycerin as a primary nutrient. The simulated cathode is a layer of silicone, which prevents water leakage, but allows oxygen molecules to diffuse through to take part in the reduction reaction. Bulk liquid in the chamber contains glycerin which is consumed during the operation. A layer of biofilm deposits on the anode surface and is considered to be part of the anode. Glycerin molecules diffuse throughout the biofilm and are oxidized by the bacteria dispersive within the film. The biofilm is assumed to be conductive; therefore electrons generated from the oxidation reaction within the film can migrate toward the anode surface. We design the simulation program to accept inputs such as initial concentration of glycerin, thickness of the biofilm layer, and dimensions of the MFC chamber. Outputs of the program include profiles of concentrations of glycerin and oxygen as a function of time and location. The program also calculates a power density, efficiency, and an output potential of the MFC as a function of time.

Author Information
Bunpot Sirinutsomboon, Thammasat University, Thailand
Bijan Afsar, University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2013
Stream: Sustainability

This paper is part of the ACSEE2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

Posted by amp21