Synthesis of biogenic palladium nanoparticles using citrobacter sp. for application as anode electrocatalyst in a microbial fuel cell

17 Oct 2020

Palladium (Pd) is a cheap and effective electrocatalyst that is capable of replacing platinum (Pt) in various applications. However, the problem in using chemically synthesized Pd nanoparticles (PdNPs) is that they are mostly fabricated using toxic chemicals under severe conditions. In this study, we present a more environmentally-friendly process in fabricating biogenic Pd nanoparticles (Bio-PdNPs) using Citrobacter sp. isolated from wastewater sludge. Successful fabrication of Bio-PdNPs was achieved under anaerobic conditions at pH six and a temperature of 30 ◦C using sodium formate (HCOONa) as an electron donor. Citrobacter sp. showed biosorption capabilities with no enzymatic contribution to Pd(II) uptake during absence of HCOONa in both live and dead cells. Citrobacter sp. live cells also displayed high enzymatic contribution to the removal of Pd(II) by biological reduction. This was confirmed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) characterization, which revealed the presence Bio-PdNPs deposited on the bacterial cells. The bio-PdNPs successfully enhanced the anode performance of the Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). The MFC with the highest Bio-PdNPs loading (4 mg Bio-PdNP/cm2 ) achieved a maximum power density of 539.3 mW/m3 (4.01 mW/m2 ) and peak voltage of 328.4 mV.