Carbon nanotube/polyaniline composite as anode material for microbial fuel cells

Yan Qiao, Chang Ming Li, Shu Juan Bao, Qiao Liang Bao

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439 Citations (Scopus)


A carbon nanotube (CNT)/polyaniline (PANI) composite is evaluated as an anode material for high-power microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are employed to characterize the chemical composition and morphology of plain PANI and the CNT/PANI composite. The electrocatalytic behaviour of the composite anode is investigated by means of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and discharge experiments. The current generation profile and constant current discharge curves of anodes made from plain PANI, 1 wt.% and 20 wt.% CNT in CNT-PANI composites reveal that the performance of the composite anodes is superior. The 20 wt.% CNT composite anode has the highest electrochemical activity and its maximum power density is 42 mW m-2 with Escherichia coli as the microbial catalyst. In comparison with the reported performance of different anodes used in E. coli-based MFCs, the CNT/PANI composite anode is excellent and is promising for MFC applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anode modification
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Polyaniline
  • Power density

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