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Membranes and Separators for Microbial Fuel Cells

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. An essential component of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) is the membrane or separator used to chemically "isolate" the anode fuel-consuming reaction from the cathode reduction reaction. Despite many developments of membranes for electrochemical applications, their effective use in MFCs can be adversely affected by ionic transfer limitations and diffusion effects such as oxygen transfer, which can decrease the MFC performance. Typical separator materials that have been used include ion-exchange membranes, microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes, and porous material using fabrics, glass fibers, and polymers. Although advances in the understanding of membrane material properties have been made, challenges still remain for their practical application, especially in achieving a low manufacturing cost. This chapter provides an insight into membrane requirements, some fundamental operating characteristics, and describes some applications of MFCs, for example, in wastewater treatment and energy recovery and gives an outlook of future developments for MFC membranes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scott K

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells: Fundamentals and Applications

Year: 2016

Pages: 153-178

Online publication date: 12/02/2016

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/B978-1-78242-375-1.00005-8

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781782423966