Abstract

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are an ecologically friendly technology that can recover electricity and simultaneously treat wastewater. Among all the influential factors, cathode material and catalyst play a crucial role in electricity production and oxygen reduction. In this study, Pt nanocatalysts deposited on single-walled carbon nanotubes (Pt/SWCNTs) were synthesized by the deposition-precipitation (DP) method under optimal conditions. The results show that DP might be a promising method for the preparation of Pt/SWCNTs due to its simple, cost-effective and time-saving procedure, in addition to being highly efficient at creating small Pt particles (0.9 nm) that were very uniformly distributed. The synthesized Pt/SWCNTs suspension was spray-coated on to carbon cloth and then used as a cathode for MFCs. The electricity generation of MFCs equipped with a Pt/SWCNTs cathode was evaluated in terms of open circuit voltage (0.6954 V), internal resistance (63.3 Ω•m2) and maximum power density (2,022 mW/m2). The chemical oxygen demand removal, biological oxygen demand removal, total dissolved solids removal, total suspended solids removal and silver recovery was satisfactory at 84.5%, 74.0%, 45.7%, 60.0% and 99.0%, respectively. Therefore, Pt/SWCNTs from the DP method was identified as a potential candidate to replace commercial Pt-carbon cloth for MFC cathodes.

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