Double the performance of microbial fuel cells


Can you imagine this happening to a 25-year old boy? Liang Yuxiang, a graduate student in the school of environmental science and engineering of Zhejiang University of technology and industry, cleverly used sunlight to assist in improving the output performance of microbial fuel cells, and developed photoelectric microbial fuel cells with high output power and good stability in this field in the world. Relevant achievements have been published in 9 academic papers in a row in international high-quality journals, and 6 national invention patents have been authorized, It has made a breakthrough contribution to the engineering application of this technology.

Quantitative change leads to qualitative change

This young man, who was born in Xinchang, Zhejiang Province in 1992, wears glasses and is cheerful and easy-going. Although he has successively published 9 academic papers in high-quality journals around the world, he always gives the impression of being very polite, polite and modest.

In 2010, Liang Yuxiang entered Zheshang University as an undergraduate majoring in environmental engineering. In 2014, he was admitted to our university as a graduate student, majoring in Environmental Science and engineering. After seven years in school, he remembered that there was an elevator culture map in the Yifu Building of the Institute of environment, which told the difference between the 365th power of 0.99 and the 365th power of 1.01. "It tells me that people who work a little harder than you every day will actually leave you far behind, and if we do a little more than others every day, we will always gain several times the results of others."

Microbial fuel cell, or MFC for short, is a technology that emerged more than a decade ago, which can simultaneously degrade pollutants and generate electricity. It is mainly developed and promoted by academicians Bruce Rogan and Bruce rittman of the United States. Traditional batteries generally use highly toxic heavy metals such as nickel and chromium as redox agents, which are difficult to treat after use and will produce serious secondary pollutants. The existing fuel cells basically need to consume hydrogen and oxygen, and the cost is extremely high. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a kind of non-toxic and non hazardous, which uses non hazardous electrically active microorganisms as catalysts and organics in wastewater as oxidants, and can achieve pollution reduction capacity at the same time. Although MFC has many advantages over traditional batteries, its relatively poor output performance still limits its practical application.

Can the performance of microbial fuel cells be improved in our hands? This has become a problem that Liang Yuxiang thinks about day and night. His research group, Zhejiang Key Laboratory of solid waste treatment and recycling, has many years of research experience in electrochemistry and bioelectrochemical degradation. Under the guidance of his tutors Shen Dongsheng and Feng Huajun, Liang Yuxiang plunged into the laboratory.

"The process of doing scientific research is like 'Pregnancy'"

Some people say that science itself is great beauty with infinite charm. This charm makes people love science and establish the ideal and belief of devoting themselves to science; It also makes people willing to abandon comfort and concentrate on the work in the laboratory. In Liang Yuxiang's eyes, every step in the research process can bring him a full sense of achievement.

Under the careful guidance of his tutors Feng Huajun and Shen Dongsheng, Liang Yuxiang carried out a lot of experimental research, from discovering new phenomena to rigorous analysis and then to practical application. Such a cycle has continued. He believes that many students are like himself, "maybe you can't remember how many documents you have consulted, how many experiments you have repeated, and how many papers you have modified, but you must remember the moment when the previous article was accepted, the previous patent was authorized, and the previous project was accepted. Many predecessors who do scientific research call this process' Pregnancy ', and pregnancy in October is only for its birth, pain and happiness".

After trying hard to calculate, Liang Yuxiang finally found that by constructing photocatalytic materials on the anode, MFC can use solar energy to accelerate the degradation rate of microorganisms, and improve the performance of MFC by enhancing the efficiency of electron generation and transfer.

"Opportunities are only for those who are prepared"

On March 23, at the 2017 graduate graduation ceremony of Zheshang University, Liang Yuxiang spoke as a graduate representative. In his speech, President Chen shoucan specifically mentioned that the photomicrobial fuel cell successfully developed by Liang Yuxiang has solved the two major problems of energy shortage and environmental pollution. He has published 9 papers on relevant achievements in international high-quality journals in the field of environment, electrochemistry and energy, with a total impact factor of 45, which has been recognized by many international peers. The teachers and students on the scene applauded warmly.

According to Zheng Sufa, Secretary of the school of environmental science and engineering, Zheshang University integrates scientific and rigorous school running into the whole process of cultivating students to stimulate students' ability of "entrepreneurship and innovation". Among the 100 science and technology teams in China, the "Xiaoping innovation team" of the college is the largest number of environmental teams. From the beginning of freshman year, 53 professional teachers each brought at least one innovation project, and there were 10 satellite teams around the "Xiaoping innovation team" alone. For students with ideas and abilities like Liang Yuxiang, the university has not only established student scientific research projects, but also provided a large number of scientific research fund support. In addition, all kinds of scholarships in the school also take all kinds of innovation and entrepreneurship achievements as the evaluation criteria to encourage students to innovate and start their own businesses.

"First of all, we must do more, faster and more efficient than others, so that we can have enough high-quality papers earlier, so as to win all kinds of awards and scholarships, and later talents give excellent evaluation. Therefore, it can be concluded that all success must be significantly and positively related to early actions, and opportunities are only left to those who are prepared." Liang Yuxiang said so.