Utilization of nanomaterials as anode modifiers for improving microbial fuel cells performance

Nishit Savla, Raksha Anand, Soumya Pandit, Ram Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are an attractive innovation at the nexus of energy and water security for the future. MFC utilizes electrochemically active microorganisms to oxidize biodegradable substrates and generate bioelectricity in a single step. The material of the anode plays a vital role in increasing the MFC’s power output. The anode in MFC can be upgraded using nanomaterials providing benefits of exceptional physicochemical properties. The nanomaterials in anode gives a high surface area, improved electron transfer promotes electroactive biofilm. Enhanced power output in terms of Direct current (DC) can be obtained as the consequence of improved microbe-electrode interaction. However, several limitations like complex synthesis and degeneration of property do exist in the development of nanomaterial-based anode. The present review discusses different renewable nanomaterial applied in the anode to recover bioelectricity in MFC. Carbon nanomaterials have emerged in the past decade as promising materials for anode construction. Composite materials have also demonstrated the capacity to become potential anode materials of choice. Application of a few transition metal oxides have been explored for efficient extracellular electron transport (EET) from microbes to the anode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1604
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Renewable Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anodic modifications
  • Capacitance
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Coulombic efficiency
  • Graphene
  • Metallic nanomaterials
  • Microbial fuel cell (MFC)
  • Porous carbons
  • Power density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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