Iron phthalocyanine supported on amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotube as an alternative cathodic oxygen catalyst in microbial fuel cells

Yong Yuan, Bo Zhao, Yongwon Jeon, Shengkui Zhong, Shungui Zhou, Sunghyun Kim
Bioresource Technology 2011, 102 (10): 5849-54
Amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotube (a-MWCNT)-supported iron phthalocyanine (FePc) (a-MWCNT/FePc) has been investigated as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an air-cathode single-chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC). Cyclic and linear sweep voltammogram are employed to investigate the electrocatalytic activity of the a-MWCNT/FePc for ORR. The maximum power density of 601 mWm(-2) is achieved from a MFC with the a-MWCNT/FePc cathode, which is the highest energy output compared to those MFCs with other materials supported FePc, such as carbon black, pristine MWCNT (p-MWCNT), carboxylic acid functionalized MWCNT (c-MWCNT), and even with a Pt/C cathode. Furthermore, cyclic voltammetry performed on the a-MWCNT/FePc electrode suggests that the a-MWCNT/FePc has an electrochemical activity for ORR via a four-electron pathway in a neutral pH solution. This work provides a potential alternative to Pt in MFCs for sustainable energy generation.

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