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Nitric acid activation of graphite granules to increase the performance of the non-catalyzed oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for MFC applications

Abstract : Nitric acid and thermal activation of graphite granules were explored to increase the electrocatalytic performance of dissolved oxygen reduction at neutral pH for microbial fuel cell (MFC) applications. Electrochemical experiments showed an improvement of +400 mV in open circuit potential for graphite granules when they were activated. The improvement of ORR performance observed with activated granules was correlated to the increase of Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface of the activated material and the emergence of nitrogen superficial groups revealed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis on its surface. The use of activated graphite granules in the cathodic compartment of a dual-chamber MFC led to a high open circuit voltage of 1050 mV, which is among one of the highest reported so far. The stable performance of this cathode material (current density of 96 A m−3 at +200 mV/Ag–AgCl) over a period of 10 days demonstrated its applicability as a cathode material without any costly noble metal.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 14, 2022 - 4:29:07 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:59:38 AM

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Benjamin Erable, Narcis Mihai Duţeanu, S.M. Senthil Kumar, yujie Feng, Makarand Madhao Ghangrekar, et al.. Nitric acid activation of graphite granules to increase the performance of the non-catalyzed oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for MFC applications. Bioresource Technology, Elsevier, 2009, 11 (7), pp.1547-1549. ⟨10.1016/j.elecom.2009.05.057⟩. ⟨hal-03573386⟩

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