Basic principles of microbial fuel cell: Technical challenges and economic feasibility

Soumya Pandit, Kuppam Chandrasekhar, Ramesh Kakarla, Abudukeremu Kadier, Velpuri Jeevitha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Water and energy securities are emerging as increasingly important and vital issues for today's world. Therefore, the field of wastewater management and alternative energy is one of the most unexplored fields of Biotechnology and Science. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is emerging as a modern wastewater treatment technology which converts chemical energy stored in the bonds of organic matter present in wastewater directly into electricity using electrogenic bacteria as a catalyst, without causing environmental pollution. In this chapter, the technical know-how of MFC and biocatalyst has been depicted. A thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of microbial fuel cells would help to perceive new aspects of bioenergy conversions and how such systems could be integrated with the present energy generation systems to maximize the energy recovery. In this respect, MFCs show promise to treat wastewater with simultaneous production of renewable energy. In this chapter, the theories underlying the electron transfer mechanisms, the biochemistry and the microbiology involved, and the material characteristics of anode, cathode, and the separator have been clearly described. This chapter highlights the major factors involved toward the improvement bioelectricity production processes. Advance in the design of MFC Technology and the economy of the process are also included.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioremediation and Bioenergy
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319526669
ISBN (Print)9783319526652
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2017


  • Anode
  • Bioenergy
  • Coulombic efficiency
  • Electroactive bacteria
  • Power density
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Energy
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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