Carbon nanotube as an alternative cathode support and catalyst for microbial fuel cells

Mostafa Ghasemi*, Manal Ismail, Siti Kartom Kamarudin, Kasra Saeedfar, Wan Ramli Wan Daud, Sedky H.A. Hassan, Lee Yook Heng, Javed Alam, Sang Eun Oh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) hold great promise as an alternative for direct biochemical energy extraction from both biomass and wastewater. However, the commercialization and scaling-up of MFCs is not completely feasible, due to the high price of platinum (Pt) as a cathode catalyst. In this paper, we studied the use of a carbon nanotube (CNT) composite catalyst, to reduce the amount of Pt (without decline of efficiency) for moving towards the commercialization of MFCs. CNT/Pt composite electrodes would increase MFC power output by 8.7-32.2%; with respect to the pristine Pt as a catalyst for the cathode at a chemical oxygen demand (COD) substrate of 100. mg/l and 2000. mg/l, respectively. Moreover, the amount of Pt in the CNT/Pt electrode could be reduced by up to 25% of the amount necessary for a conventional Pt/carbon electrode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1056
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Nanocomposite electrode
  • Platinum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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