Duan Research Group

Hetero-integrated Nanostructures and Nanodevices


Silver nanoparticles boost charge-extraction efficiency in Shewanella microbial fuel cells

Bocheng Cao, Zipeng Zhao, Lele Peng, Hui-Ying Shiu, Mengning Ding, Frank Song, Xun Guan, Calvin K. Lee, Jin Huang, Dan Zhu, Xiaoyang Fu, Gerard C. L. Wong, Chong Liu Kenneth Nealson, Paul S. Weiss, Xiangfeng Duan, Yu Huang.

Science 373, 1336-1340 (2021)

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can directly convert the chemical energy stored in organic matter to electricity and are of considerable interest for power generation and wastewater treatment. However, the current MFCs typically exhibit unsatisfactorily low power densities that are largely limited by the sluggish transmembrane and extracellular electron-transfer processes. Here, we report a rational strategy to boost the charge-extraction efficiency in Shewanella MFCs substantially by introducing transmembrane and outer-membrane silver nanoparticles. The resulting Shewanella-silver MFCs deliver a maximum current density of 3.85 milliamperes per square centimeter, power density of 0.66 milliwatts per square centimeter, and single-cell turnover frequency of 8.6 × 105 per second, which are all considerably higher than those of the best MFCs reported to date. Additionally, the hybrid MFCs feature an excellent fuel-utilization efficiency, with a coulombic efficiency of 81%.
UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
607 Charles E. Young Drive East, Box 951569
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569
E-mail: xduan@chem.ucla.edu