Design, Construction and Operation of a Prototypes of Phototrophic Microbial Fuel Cells
The current studies provided a direct illustration that electrical power can be generated economically in a two chambered microbial fuel cell. Under the anaerobic condition at the anode, the electrons released by the Proteus vulgaris are directed towards the cathodic chamber through an external circuit. Low cost and less oligodynamicity encouraged the use aluminium as anode. Anaerobic condition of the anodic chamber is achieved by using an air-tight rubber suction outer lid. Bacillus cultured at the central chamber scavenged the oxygen from the anodic chamber thereby ensuring a strict anaerobic condition at the anodic chamber. The selected cathode, copper offered an appreciable difference in the redox potential Eh, and hence favored the natural flow of electrons. Microbial fuel cell prototype containing nutrient broth as the cathodic content provided us a maximum current of 36μA.Cathodic content with more ions and greater oxidizing capacity is shown to increase the amount of power generated. The use of potassium
permanganate (strong oxidizing agent) as the cathodic content ensured more electron acceptance by the copper cathode when compared with the nutrient broth. Three MFC prototypes with Potassium permanganate, Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric chloride were used as the cathodic content and were simultaneously checked for the voltage generated.1.08V, 0.7V and 0.7V were the voltage generated respectively. These prototypes when serially connected produced a voltage of 3.2V and a current of 1.2A, which was sufficient to light an LED. Potential difference of 1.5V and a current of 0.8mA is enough to light an LED.