Science China Materials

, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 645–652 | Cite as

Packed anode derived from cocklebur fruit for improving long-term performance of microbial fuel cells

  • Cuicui Yang (杨翠翠)
  • Mengjie Chen (陈梦洁)
  • Yijun Qian (钱翊钧)
  • Lu Zhang (张露)
  • Min Lu (闾敏)Email author
  • Xiaoji Xie (谢小吉)Email author
  • Ling Huang (黄岭)
  • Wei Huang (黄维)


Packed anode of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), commonly with a dense structure, suffers from the clogging, resulting in unsatisfied long-term stability of MFCs. Herein, we fabricate a biochar-based packed anode with a loose structure to enhance the long-term performance of MFCs equipped with packed anodes. The biochar, derived from cocklebur fruit, endows the packed anode with a loose structure but excellent conductivity. Once incorporated into MFCs, the biochar-based packed anode can yield comparable performance to benchmark materials. Particularly, the biochar-based MFCs present no obvious decrease of the power output during 150 days’ operation, which is attributed to the clogging-resistant effect induced by the loose structure of biochar-based anode. The cocklebur fruit-derived biochar can be a promising candidate for MFC anodes, and should facilitate both scaling-up and practical applications of MFCs.


microbial fuel cells biochar cocklebur fruit packed anode long-term stability 



基于堆积型阳极的微生物燃料电池因材料成本低且在大型反应器中适用性强, 在实际应用中具有较好前景. 但是, 堆积结构常带来 堵塞问题, 因此基于堆积型阳极的微生物燃料电池通常稳定性较差. 本文中, 我们用生物炭堆积的疏松阳极来提升堆积型阳极微生物燃料 电池的长期稳定性. 生物炭由苍耳子直接炭化获得, 保持了苍耳子特殊的外形, 保证了其在制备成堆积型阳极后具有疏松的结构和良好的 导电性. 用于微生物燃料电池时, 该生物炭堆积型阳极获得了与常用的活性炭材料堆积阳极相当的产电性能, 且该燃料电池在150天的运 行时间内产电性能无明显下降, 而作为参照的活性炭堆积阳极燃料电池的性能呈现极大下降. 这种良好的稳定性是因为生物炭堆积阳极 的疏松结构减少了长期运行过程中的堵塞现象. 这种基于苍耳子的生物炭材料可以作为高效稳定的微生物燃料电池阳极材料, 有望在实 际应用中大型化长期运行.



This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFA0207201), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21507059), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20150948), Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province (JNHB-038), the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, Ministry of Education, and Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Program by CAST (2017QNRC001).

Supplementary material

40843_2018_9368_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Packed Anode Derived from Cocklebur Fruit for Improving Long-term Performance of Microbial Fuel Cells


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cuicui Yang (杨翠翠)
    • 1
  • Mengjie Chen (陈梦洁)
    • 1
  • Yijun Qian (钱翊钧)
    • 1
  • Lu Zhang (张露)
    • 1
  • Min Lu (闾敏)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xiaoji Xie (谢小吉)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ling Huang (黄岭)
    • 1
  • Wei Huang (黄维)
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM)Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech)NanjingChina
  2. 2.Shaanxi Institute of Flexible ElectronicsNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina

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