My research project
Development of novel methodologies for improving the safety and electrochemical performance of Li-CO2 batteries
Li–CO2 batteries are regarded as one of the best electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices which offer great potential for not only green energy production but also CO2 capture. However, their practical applications are limited by certain scientific issues. Internal short circuit caused by a detrimental phenomenon called lithium dendrite growth has been one of the most reported fundamental reasons for battery safety incidents which have raised public concerns. To overcome this critical safety issue, we aim to develop novel effective methodologies with a significant focus on reducing the rate of lithium dendrite formation in this multi-disciplinary project. The project will be focused on designing, fabricating and characterising a safer version of Li–CO2 battery that tackles the internal short circuit problem as well as improves energy generation and CO2 capture capability.
Electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices:
- Bioelectrochemical systems: Microbial Fuel cell
- Lithium batteries: Li-CO2 battery
- Wastewater treatment using microbial fuel cells
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a suitable device for biological wastewater treatment that can use different types of wastewater and simultaneously generate electricity in addition to pollutants removal. One of the factors affecting system performance is MFC structure and configuration. Air cathode MFCs have recently received much attentions due to their unlimited access to oxygen and low space between electrodes. In this study, a single chamber air cathode MFC was fabricated using a novel design without the presence of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) and its performance was studied in the field of bioelectricity production and dairy wastewater treatment under two batch and continuous operating conditions. After numerous studies, it was decided to fabricate electrodes based on stainless steel mesh (SSM), which were modified using cost effective carbon materials. Despite different binders for making conductive graphite paints, in this research acrylic binder was applied to produce graphite paint (GP) in a simple and low cost method for the first time to the best of our knowledge. Six GP-coated SSM electrodes, four carbon fiber brush electrodes as anode electrodes, and eight activated carbon-carbon black coated SSM electrodes as air cathode electrodes were fabricated and placed in the MFC. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), cyclic voltammetry (CV) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) in phosphate buffer solution showed that the anode and cathode electrodes had good electrochemical properties. By repeating these tests in the MFC solution during batch operation, the effect of biofilm formation on the electrochemical properties of anode electrodes was investigated. The successful coating of the graphite paint layers on the surface of the SSM as well as the formation of microbial biofilm on the SSM surface and the carbon fibers were determined by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The maximum power density of the MFC using six GP-coated SSM electrodes connected to eight air cathode electrodes was 1597 mW/m3 (at 8494 mA/m3 ). Also, the MFC using four carbon brush electrodes connected to eight cathode electrodes produced a maximum power density of 815 mW/m3 (at 3545 mA/m3 ). The highest COD removal efficiency was 93.22% (in the second cycle) and 93.54% (in the fourth cycle). During continuous operation at three hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 24, 48 and 72 hours, the MFC showed the best performance after 72 hours of operation; so that the maximum power density, COD removal efficiency and coulombic efficiency using SSM anodes modified with GP were 1066 mW/m3 , 82.14% and 20.46%, respectively. Using carbon brush anodes, these values were 315.5 mW/m3 , 59.64% and 2.9%, respectively.
- M. Masoudi, M. Rahimnejad, M. Mashkour, “Enhancing operating capacity of microbial fuel cells by using low-cost electrodes and multi anode-cathode connections in a membrane-less configuration,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 46, pp. 8226-8238, Feb. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.12.019
- M. Masoudi, M. Rahimnejad, M. Mashkour, “Fabrication of anode electrode by a novel acrylic-based graphite paint on stainless steel mesh and investigating biofilm effect on electrochemical behavior of anode in a single chamber microbial fuel cell,” Electrochimica Acta, Vol. 344, pp. 1-14, Jun. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2020.136168.
- M. Masoudi, M. Rahimnejad, M. Mashkour, “Use of membrane-free single chamber microbial fuel cell for dairy wastewater treatment and simultaneous electricity generation,” The first national conference on new technologies in the field of chemical engineering and biology, pp. 1-9, Sep. 2020.
- M. Masoudi, M. Rahimnejad, M. Mashkour, “Providing a new configuration of aircathode single chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) with maximum usability of surface area and volume of the MFC chamber to treat wastewater and produce electricity simultaneously,” Iran Patent 102660 (A61K;A61B), Oct. 2021.