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ELECTROCHEMICAL VALORIZATION OF GLYCEOL MOLECULE: DEVELOPMENT OF A MICROBIAL ELECTROLYTIC CELL (MEC) TO PRODUCE BIO-HYDROGEN (BIO-H2) AND VALUE ADD PRODUCTS IN A PEM FUEL CELL

Abstract

This project proposes ways to enhance the glycerol molecule employing environmentally sustainable electrochemical processes. The two proposed subprojects are part of a systematic investigation that had been implemented over the years at LEEA. In the first approach, the microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) will allow obtaining the bio-hydrogen. This subject needs more research; its interest has grown substantially in recent years. To succeed some important steps will be investigated such as: biofilm stability during the application of the current/voltage; number of times the biofilm can be reused; purity of the hydrogen produced; maximize the coulombic efficiency of the electrochemical system. The MEC that will be built using a microbial bioanode formed from a mixed culture of bacteria will be analyzed by experimental parameters such as pH, temperature and applied current intensity. These parameters will allow maximizing the generation of bio-H2. These will be identified and quantified using gas chromatography coupled to the mass spectrometer (CG / MS) or liquid chromatography coupled to the mass spectrometer (LC / MS). In parallel, we propose to look at the fuel cell as an electrosynthesis reactor and investigate the oxidative behavior of glycerol using noble metal modified electrocatalysts (Pt and Pd) with rare earths (TR). Initially a study of the activity will be made using the electrochemical library methodology with the binary catalysts PtTR and PdTR (n> 60). Various analysis techniques will be employed (X-ray diffraction, Transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and differential thermal analysis). The selectivity in the glycerol oxidation process, in the sense of adding value to the starting fuel, will be investigated by classical electrochemical techniques (voltammetry, chronoamperometry, Co-stripping among others), in situ infrared spectroscopy, electrolysis and fuel cell tests are predicted. (AU)

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