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22/01/2019 - Andrea PIETRELLI

by Laurent Krähenbühl - published on , updated on


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M. Andrea Pietrelli soutient sa thèse le 22/01/2019.
Lieu : Rome

Title : Electrical valorization of MFC: application to monitoring

Jury :

  • Achouak Wafa Directeur de Recherche, CEA Cadarache Présidente/rapporteur
  • François Buret Professeur, Ecole Centrale de Lyon Directeur de thèse
  • Ferrara Vincenzo Professor, Sapienza University of Rome Directeur de thèse
  • Allard Bruno Professeur, INSA Lyon Co-directeur de thèse
  • Ieropoulos Ioannis Professor, University of West England Examinateur/ rapporteur
  • Cardarilli Gian Carlo Professor, Tor Vergata University of Rome Examinateur/rapporteur

Cette thèse a été réalisée en cotutelle internationale avec SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY de ROME

Abstract :
In recent years, the extensive use of fossil fuels has triggered into a global crisis due to high pollution and stock reduction, because of its nature of non-renewable source of energy. Because the wide use of fossil fuels has led to the production of high amounts of CO2, as a result is a trigger of the global warming issue. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is an energy harvesting technique that converts chemical energy from organic compounds to electrical energy through catalytic actions of microorganisms. MFC can be considered as archetypical microbial Bioelectrochemical Systems (BESs), that exploit the bio-electrocatalytic activity of living microorganisms for the generation of electric current. In the past decade, the evolution of low power electronics has made MFCs technology more attractive, because it has begun to be able to power low-power devices forming complete systems, such as the nodes of a wireless sensor network (WSN). Moreover, MFCs gained more interest because they can generate electric power while treating wastes. Unlike other fuel cells, MFCs can continuously generate clean energy at normal temperature, atmospheric pressure, and neutral pH value without any supplementary maintenance. The only by-products are CO2 and H2O, which do not require additional handling. The production of CO2 is part of a short duration carbon cycle. The CO2 produced is biogenic, which is included in the biogeochemical carbon cycle, avoiding net carbon emission into atmosphere. This manuscript examines many aspects related to microbial fuel cell technology from chemical reactions inside the cells to the energy management systems required to exploit energy delivered from MFCs for practical usage in autonomous sensors. Experimental campaign was performed on MFCs regarding electrical characterization, multiple connections of MFCs and influence of main parameters that affect energy conversion performances. The experimental tests were performed on two different lab-scale reactor typologies: terrestrial microbial fuel cell and waste water microbial fuel cell. A survey is presented about different proposed energy management systems and other devices able to build a node of a WSN powered by MFCs.

Key Words :MFCs, Energy harvesting

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