Important factors influencing microbial fuel cell performance

Sokhee P. Jung, Soumya Pandit

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

59 Scopus citations


Depletion of fossil fuels, environmental pollution, and increasing demand of energy sources have compelled researchers worldwide in quest of alternative sustainable solution for water and energy security. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) became a popular topic for research as they are a potential technology to generate electricity with simultaneous wastewater treatment. In an MFC, microorganisms under anaerobic conditions can convert chemical energy in the chemical bonds of organic compounds to electrical energy through catalytic reactions. The electron-harvesting ability in MFCs can be used as a power source for remote sensing, domestic wastewater treatment, desalination plant, and biofuel production. To commercialize MFCs from bench-scale research level, their performance needs to be enhanced significantly. Selection of proper MFC components and optimization of physicochemical parameters can considerably boost the efficiency of MFCs and reduce the cost of manufacturing. The improvement of MFCs in terms of power output depends on physical parameters such as electrode, catalyst, and separator type; reactor architecture; pH and ionic concentration of electrolyte; availability of electron donor (substrate) and electron acceptors and their concentration; temperature; etc. Optimization of operational factors reduces internal resistance and enhances coulombic efficiency. In the present chapter the influence of parameters on MFC performance has been described.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomass, Biofuels, Biochemicals
Subtitle of host publicationMicrobial Electrochemical Technology: Sustainable Platform for Fuels, Chemicals and Remediation
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780444640529
ISBN (Print)9780444640536
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anolyte
  • Bioanode
  • Cathode
  • Cathode membrane assembly
  • Electroactive bacteria
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Operational parameters
  • Separator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Important factors influencing microbial fuel cell performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this