Electricity generation from the treatment of wastewater with a hybrid up-flow microbial fuel cell

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30 Scopus citations


The performance of a prototype up-flow single-chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC) for electrical power generation using brewery wastewater as fuel is reported. The designed reactor consisted of three zones, namely a lower anaerobic digestion zone, a central MFC zone, and an upper effluent clarifier zone. Tests were conducted in batch mode using a beer wastewater as the fuel/electron donor (COD concentration: 430 mg/L) and mixed consortia (both sewage microflora and anaerobic sludge) as a source of electrogenic bacteria. A stable current density of ∼2,270 mA/m 2 was generated under continuous polarization with a constant external resistance (0.01 kΩ) and cell polarization gave a peak power density of 330 mW/m 2 at a current density of 1,680 mA/m 2. Electrochemical impedance analysis showed that the overall internal resistance of the reactor was quite low, that is, 8.0 Ω. Cyclic voltammetric analysis of the anodic biofilm at low scan rate revealed quite complex processes at the anode, with three redox peaks, at potentials of 116, 214, and 319 mV (vs. NHE).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Air cathode
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Cyclic voltammetry
  • Hybrid up-flow MFC reactor
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Porous disc anode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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