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Gas diffusion electrodes modified with binary doped polyaniline for enhanced CO2 conversion during microbial electrosynthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 03.06.2021, 13:45 by Jean-Marie Fontmorin, Paniz Izadi, Da Li, Swee Su Lim, Shehna Farooq, Sal Salma Bilal, Shaoan Cheng, Eileen YuEileen Yu
Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a promising technology to convert CO2 into value-added chemicals. Enhancing the interactions between biofilms and electrodes is the key of bioelectrochemical systems (BES). In this work, we studied the conversion of CO2 by MES in reactors equipped with novel gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) modified with a polyaniline (PANI) polymer binary doped with H2SO4 and ammonium lauryl sulfate. The enhanced conductive and hydrophilic properties of the polymer increased the biocompatibility of the PANI-modified GDEs compared to the non-modified carbon GDEs. This increased biocompatibility resulted in faster start-up and higher bioproduction of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) such as acetate and butyrate. Up to 4400 ppm acetate was produced in PANI-modified reactors after 24 days of operation, compared to 408 ppm in reactors equipped with non-modified GDEs. A maximum acetate concentration of 7500 ppm (production rate of 554.8 ± 267.5 ppm day−1) was reached in reactors equipped with PANI-GDEs. After 60 days, apart from acetate, 245 ppm butyrate was produced in reactors equipped with the electrodes modified with PANI, while less than 60 ppm was produced with non-modified GDEs. SEM analysis revealed the development of biofilms on both modified and non-modified electrodes, but the images also suggest differences in compositions.


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SAgE DTA PhD studentship provided by Newcastle University

Open Fund Project for State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization with Zhejiang University, project number ZJUCEU2019004



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

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Electrochimica Acta






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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Prof Eileen Yu. Deposit date: 3 June 2021

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