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An Overview of Current Trends in Emergence of Nanomaterials for Sustainable Microbial Fuel Cells

  • Gunaseelan Kuppurangam
  • Gajalakshmi Selvaraj
  • Thirumurugan Ramasamy
  • Vignesh Venkatasamy
  • Sathish-Kumar KamarajEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 23)

Abstract

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technologies have been globally noticed as one of the most promising sources for alternative renewable energy, due to its capability of transforming the organics in the wastewater directly into electricity through catalytic reactions of microorganisms under anaerobic conditions. In this chapter, the state of the art of review on the various emerging technological aspects of nanotechnology for the development of nanomaterials to make the existing microbial fuel cell technology as more sustainable and reliable in order to serve the growing energy demand. Initially, a brief history of the development and the current trends of the microbial fuel cells along with its basic working mechanism, basic designs, components, fascinating derivative forms, performance evaluation, challenges and synergetic applications have been presented. Then the focus is shifted to the importance of incorporation of the nanomaterials for the sustainable development of MFC technology by means of advancements through anode, cathode, and proton exchange membranes modifications along with the various ultimate doping methods. The possibilities of applied nanomaterials and its derivatives in various places in MFCs are discussed. The nanomaterials in MFCs have a significant contribution to the increased power density, treatment efficiency, durability, and product recovery due to its higher electrochemical surface area phenomenon, depending on the fuel cell components to get modified. The promising research results open the way for the usage of nanomaterials as a prospective material for application and development of sustainable microbial fuel cells. Though the advances in nanomaterials have opened up new promises to overcome several limitations, but challenges still remain for the real-time and large-scale applications. Finally, an outlook for the future development and scaling up of sustainable MFCs with the nanotechnology is presented with some suggestions and limitations.

Keywords

Energy demand Nanomaterials Sustainable microbial fuel cells Microbial fuel cells anode modification Microbial fuel cells cathode modification Microbial fuel cells PEM modification 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunaseelan Kuppurangam
    • 1
  • Gajalakshmi Selvaraj
    • 1
  • Thirumurugan Ramasamy
    • 2
  • Vignesh Venkatasamy
    • 3
  • Sathish-Kumar Kamaraj
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Sustainable Fuel Cells Laboratory, Centre for Pollution Control & Environmental EngineeringPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Aquabiotics/Nanoscience, Department of Animal ScienceBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Animal Quarantine and Certification Service, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and FisheriesMinistry of Agriculture & Farmers WelfareMumbaiIndia
  4. 4.Laboratorio de Cultivo de Tejidos VegetalesInstituto Tecnológico El Llano (ITEL)/Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM)El LlanoMéxico

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