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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Mar;131:321-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.046. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Calcined polyaniline-iron composite as a high efficient cathodic catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

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National Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


A new type of carbon-nitrogen-metal catalyst, PANI-Fe-C, was synthesized by calcination process. According to the results of FT-IR and XPS analysis, polyaniline chain was broken by calcination. Small nitrogen-contained molecular fragments were gasified during calcination process, while the remaining nitrogen atoms were enchased in the new produced multiple carbon rings by C-N and CN bonds and performed as the catalytic active sites and the covalent centers for soluble iron components. Calculated from the polarization curves, a maximum power density of 10.17W/m(3) for the MFC with the synthetic catalyst was obtained, which was slightly higher than the MFC with Pt/C catalyst of 9.56W/m(3). All the results obtained in this paper proved that the newly synthetic nitrogen-carbon-metal catalyst would be a potential alternative to the expensive Pt/C catalyst in the field of MFC.

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