Electrochemical characterization of a testaceous membrane (chicken eggshell) for use in fuel cells

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Facultad de Ingeniería

2 Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Facultad de Ingeniería

3 Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Departamento de Recursos del Mar

4 CONACYT—Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán


Microbial fuel cell technologies represent one of the newest approaches for generating electricity-bioelectricity generation from biomass using. Among the different polymers used as proton exchange membrane for fuel cell applications, synthetic organic membranes such as Nafion® have been by far the most widely used due to their good chemical stability and outstanding performance under mild conditions. Testaceous membrane is developed by reusing chicken egg waste and has several advantages, such as that it is abundant, easy to obtain, low cost and environmentally friendly. In this study, the extraction of the eggshell membrane was carried out with an organic and an inorganic acid (acetic and HCl, both commercial brands) at different concentrations. The obtained membranes were analyzed by Scanning Electron Microscope and Thermogravimetric Analysis. Also, the determination of ion exchange capacity and water uptake was carried out. The results showed that the membranes present a solid and lumpy surface and that the first weight loss occurs at 50°C. HCl had the shortest eggshell degradation time (one hour), so it is considered the best option for membrane extraction; in addition this membrane had a ion exchange capacity of 0.778 meq/g and a water uptake >540%. Likewise, an economic and environmental analysis was discussed to determine the viability of the extraction method and a microbial fuel cell design was proposed for the use of the testaceous membrane.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 03 December 2023
  • Receive Date: 15 June 2023
  • Revise Date: 19 November 2023
  • Accept Date: 03 December 2023