Yi Zuo¹, PinChing Maness² and Bruce E. Logan¹
¹Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Pennsylvania State University,
²Natianal Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 80401, U.S.A.
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can be used to both generate electricity and remove the biodegradable organic matter in corn stover. Two types of corn stover hydrolysates were examined: neutral and acidic. All sugar components of both hydrolysates were degraded in MFC tests, resulting in more than 90 % BOD removal. The maximum power density produced were 371±13 mW/m2 (neutral hydrolysate) and 367±13 mW/m2 (acidic hydrolysate).By applying a diffusion layer onto the cathode surface, and increasing the medium conductivity to 20 mS/cm, the highest power densities increased to 933 mW/m2 for the neutral hydrolysate and 971 mW/m2 for the acidic hydrolysate.