Effects of sulfide on microbial fuel cells with platinum and nitrogen-doped carbon powder cathodes.Biosens Bioelectron. 2012 May 15; 35(1):413-415.BB
Because of the advantages of low cost, good electrical conductivity and high oxidation resistance, nitrogen-doped carbon (NDC) materials have a potential to replace noble metals in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for wastewater treatment. In spite of a large volume of studies on NDC materials as catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction, the influence of sulfide on NDC materials has not yet been explicitly reported so far. In this communication, nitrogen-doped carbon powders (NDCP) were prepared by treating carbon powders in nitric acid under reflux condition. Sodium sulfide (Na(2)S) was added to the cathodic electrolyte to compare its effects on platinum (Pt) and NDCP cathodes. Cell voltages, power density and cathodic potentials were monitored without and with Na(2)S and after Na(2)S was removed. The maximum cell voltage of the MFCs with Pt cathode decreased by 10% in the presence of Na(2)S that did not change the performance of the MFC with NDCP cathode, and the maximum power density of the MFC with NDCP cathode was even 11.3% higher than that with Pt cathode (222.5 ± 8 mW m(-2) vs. 199.7 ± 4 mW m(-2)).