Engineering materials and biology to boost performance of microbial fuel cells: A critical review

Antonio Rinaldi, Barbara Mecheri, Virgilio Garavaglia, Silvia Licoccia, Paolo Di Nardo, Enrico Traversa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

326 Scopus citations


In less than a decade the levels of performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in terms of current output, voltage, and power density have grown tremendously according to steady exponential trends. Achievements occurred over the past 2-3 years have been particularly impressive. This is due partly to a better understanding of the biological aspects of this multidisciplinary technology, but also to systematic work undertaken by several research groups worldwide aimed at improving and optimizing aspects related to materials and system configuration. Aim of this review is to outline the current perspective about MFCs by focusing on the recent major advances in the areas of materials and engineering. MFCs are promising devices to address sustainability concerns both in terrestrial and space applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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