Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Dumas C., Mollica A., Feron D., Basseguy R., Etcheverry L., Bergel A. Marine microbial fuel cell: Use of stainless steel electrodes as anode and cathode materials. In: Electrochimica Acta, vol. 53 (2) pp. 468 - 473. ELECTROCATALYSIS FROM THEORY TO INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS Selection of papers from the 5th International Conference (ECS'06) 10-14 September 2006, Kotor, Montenegro and ELECTROCHEMICAL MICRO & NANOSYSTEM TECHNOLOGIES Selection of papers from the 6th International Symposium (EMNT 2006) 22-25 August 2006, Bonn, Germany. Elsevier, 2007.
Numerous biocorrosion studies have stated that biofilms formed in aerobic seawater induce an efficient catalysis of the oxygen reduction on stainless steels. This property was implemented here for the first time in a marine microbial fuel cell (MFC). A prototype was designed with a stainless steel anode embedded in marine sediments coupled to a stainless steel cathode in the overlying seawater. Recording current/potential curves during the progress of the experiment confirmed that the cathode progressively acquired effective catalytic properties. The maximal power density produced of 4mWm−2 was lower than those reported previously with marine MFC using graphite electrodes. Decoupling anode and cathode showed that the cathode suffered practical problems related to implementation in the sea, which may found easy technical solutions. A laboratory fuel cell based on the same principle demonstrated that the biofilm-covered stainless steel cathode was able to supply current density up to 140mAm−2 at +0.05V versus Ag/AgCl. The power density of 23mWm−2 was in this case limited by the anode. These first tests presented the biofilm-covered stainless steel cathodes as very promising candidates to be implemented in marine MFC. The suitability of stainless steel as anode has to be further investigated.
DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2007.06.069
Subject Microbial fuel cell
Stainless steel

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