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29. THE EFFECT OF ELECTRODES ON THE VOLTAGE GENERATION OF MICROBIAL FUEL CELL by Adesiji N.E., Babalola S.A., Omojokun A.O. and Fatile J.A. Volume 51 (May, 2019 Issue)
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THE EFFECT OF ELECTRODES ON THE VOLTAGE GENERATION OF MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

Adesiji N.E, Babalola S.A, Omojokun A.O. and Fatile J.A.

Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.

Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Energy is a necessity for life to thrive on earth. Human has majorly acquired energy needed through the use of fossil fuel which had proven to be efficient and economical. The only drawback to the use of fossil fuel is the emission of greenhouse gases during its combustion. Also, in the recent times, population and economic growth has led to huge increase in energy demand and consumption worldwide. Thus, there is need to develop and improve on the efficiency of technologies that would produce less-carbon intensive energy sources that would serve as alternatives to the present day carbon intensive energy sources. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a device that coverts the chemical energy contents of organic matter to electrical energy by the catalytic action of microorganisms. Three sets of MFCs using poultry droppings as organic substrate, were constructed to study the effects of electrodes on the voltage generation of MFC. The anode and cathode compartments were connected using a proton exchange membrane and the poultry droppings of 1 kg diluted with 500 ml of water was introduced in the anode compartment of each of the setups. Carbon-Carbon(C-C), carbon-copper(C-Cu) and carbon-zinc(C-Zn) electrode combinations for the anode–cathode were used for set-up 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Samples for microbial load count were collected every two days from the anode compartment of the MFC and analyzed using standard microbiological methods. The open circuit voltage (OCV) of the three setups were measured daily for two weeks. The microbial load ranged from 3.4 × 104 to 1.6 × 104 CFU/ml for bacteria and 0.6 × 103 to 3.3 × 103 CFU/ml for fungi. The OCV obtained ranged from 0.19 to 0.71 V, 0.21 to 0.38 V and 0.18 to 0.52 V for set-up 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The OCV for the setup with C-C electrode combination increased while that of the C-Cu decreased with increasing number of days but there were fluctuations in the OCV of the C-Zn electrode. The C-C electrode combination gave the best OCV.

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