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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 832850, 8 pages
Research Article

Nonactivated and Activated Biochar Derived from Bananas as Alternative Cathode Catalyst in Microbial Fuel Cells

1Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
2Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
3Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, 808 Tianyuan Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510650, China

Received 23 June 2014; Revised 31 July 2014; Accepted 11 August 2014; Published 26 August 2014

Academic Editor: Linni Jian

Copyright © 2014 Haoran Yuan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonactivated and activated biochars have been successfully prepared by bananas at different thermotreatment temperatures. The activated biochar generated at 900°C (Biochar-act900) exhibited improved oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performances in alkaline media, in terms of the onset potential and generated current density. Rotating disk electron result shows that the average of 2.65 electrons per oxygen molecule was transferred during ORR of Biochar-act900. The highest power density of 528.2 mW/m2 and the maximum stable voltage of 0.47 V were obtained by employing Biochar-act900 as cathode catalyst, which is comparable to the Pt/C cathode. Owning to these advantages, it is expected that the banana-derived biochar cathode can find application in microbial fuel cell systems.