The microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a key technology for an energy-efficient and resource-saving water economy.

The MFC enables a direct conversion of the chemically bound energy in the wastewater into electricity, while simultaneously purifying the wastewater. Exoelectrogenic microorganisms metabolize the organic substrates on the anode side and release electrons. Subsequently the electrons move through an external circuit to the cathode, where the oxygen reduction takes place. From literature it is already known that the cathode is the limiting component of a MFC due to its low electrochemical performance. Therefore current investigations are targeted at suitable cathode designs, improved manufacturing processes and their scalability. On account of this the project "DEMO-BioBZ" is investigating the scale-up of the catalytic coating of gas diffusion electrodes and their operation in MFC's.

The research group at ICVT is initially studying the development of a suitable suspension based on inorganic catalysts. First, different formulations are applied on small electrode surfaces by manual spray coating. Afterwards the electrodes produced are evaluated using electrochemical and physicochemical characterization methods. Furthermore, a coating plant should be developed and built for a scalable, uniform coating of the electrodes. The long-term goal is the production of gas diffusion electrodes with an area of one square meter and their use in a demonstration plant to evaluate the function of a MFC.

Laura Landwehr, M. Sc.

Scientific Assistant

Phone: +49 5323 72-6268

Room O3.52, Leibnizstra├če 21+23
38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld