On the dynamic response of the anode in microbial fuel cells

Krishna P. Katuri*, Keith Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A study of the dynamic response of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) using membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) designed for air breathing cathode operation is reported. The MFC used four MEAs simultaneously and has a low internal resistance. An increased concentration of glucose produced a non-linear increase in the maximum current reached. The time to reach the maximum current increased with increasing glucose concentrations of 1-7mM; varying from approximately 2.4 to 4.2h. The rate at which the current density increased with time was the same for all glucose concentrations up to current densities close to the maximum values. The peak power density varied approximately linearly with glucose concentrations from 2 to 77mW/m 2 (1-7mM) with a 1kΩ resistance. The cell response appeared to be linked to a slow process of fuel transport to the bacteria and their metabolic processes. The dynamic response of the anode was analysed in terms of a substrate mass transport model. The application of different current ranges did not significantly change the dynamic response of either the anode community or the MFC polarization characteristics. Thus, it is likely that the bacterial communities that form under MFC operation contain sufficiently "dominant" electro-active species that are capable of producing high power for MFCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Apr 7 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the European Union through Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge fellowships to Krishna Katuri, through contract number MTKD-CT-2004-517215 .


  • Anodic biofilm
  • Anodic potential
  • DGGE
  • Dynamics
  • Microbial fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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