Heat Treatment Effect on the Surface Properties of Carbon Cloth Electrode for Microbial Fuel Cell





In this study, we investigate the effect of heat treatment on the surface properties of carbon cloth electrodes and on the power generation efficiencies of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) configured with the heat-treated carbon cloth electrodes. Water contact angle measurements show that the hydrophobic surfaces of the carbon cloth became super-hydrophilic after heat treatment at a temperature above 500 °C, making it suitable for bacterial propagation. X-ray photoelectron spectrometry revealed that the signal of the C-O functional group of the carbon cloth electrodes increased in intensity after heat treatment. The MFCs configured with heat-treated carbon cloth electrode exhibited high power density of 16.58 mW/m2, whereas that of the untreated MFCs was only 8.86 mW m2. Compared with other chemical modifications, heat treatment does not use any environmentally unsound acidic or toxic solutions during modification and are promising for manufacturing large-scale MFC stacks.