Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 6471–6487 | Cite as

Novel tape-cast SiOC-based porous ceramic electrode materials for potential application in bioelectrochemical systems

  • Thamires Canuto de Almeida e Silva
  • Viviane Fernandes Kettermann
  • Claudia Pereira
  • Manuel Simões
  • Michaela WilhelmEmail author
  • Kurosch Rezwan
Energy materials


One alternative to improve electrochemical performance and long-term applicability in microbial bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) is the use of porous ceramic electrodes. In this work, electrodes of polymer-derived ceramics based on poly(silsesquioxanes) are synthesized, tailoring the properties by varying pyrolysis temperatures and incorporating conductive phases. Carbon (graphite, carbon black) and metal-based (stainless steel/Cu grids, Co/Ni particles) materials are incorporated into the silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) matrix. The influence of pyrolysis temperature and incorporation of conductive materials on functional properties and electrical conductivity is discussed. Furthermore, this study provides the first investigation of biofilm development on SiOC-based ceramic surfaces with Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus. SiOC-based ceramics with DC conductivity values at room temperature in the semiconductor range (0.044–0.385 S cm−1) were obtained, with the highest values achieved by Co and Ni particles incorporation and in situ formation of CNTs. Adjustment in hydrophilicity and specific surface areas (6.21–263.45 m2 g−1) is realized by the pyrolysis. The biofilm studies reveal adhesion in the first 2 h for most of the surfaces, with higher bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation with the E. coli. The biocompatibility in terms of bacterial attachment and conductivity values comparable to a commercial carbon felt support the applicability of the developed SiOC-based materials as promising new class of electrodes for BES.



This work was financially supported by The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) through the program Science without Borders within the process Number 232484/2014-7. Additional support was provided by the Research Training Group GRK 1860 Micro-, meso- and macroporous Nonmetallic Materials: Fundamental and Applications (MIMENIMA) and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), (INNO INDIGO project—01DQ15013). Present work has been also financially supported by projects POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030219; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006939 (Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy–UID/EQU/00511/2013) funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through COMPETE2020–Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds, through FCT–Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia; NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000005–LEPABE-2-ECO-INNOVATION, supported by North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Helpful discussions about the electrical properties of the materials with Dr. P. Moni are also gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

There are no conflicts to declare.

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current work are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_3309_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1123 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Bremen, Advanced CeramicsBremenGermany
  2. 2.LEPABE, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.MAPEX Center for Materials and ProcessesUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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