Recent Advancements in Methods and Applications of Microbial Fuel Cells

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 6204

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Division of Environmental Technology, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town 11800, Penang, Malaysia
Interests: environmental water pollutants and their safe removal; preparation of various nano-materials to protect the environment; water and wastewater treatment; adsorption and ion exchange; microbial fuel cells; advanced oxidation process; activated carbons and their electrochemical properties; environmental catalysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Biofuels Institute, School of Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
Interests: environmental microbiology; pollutant bioremediation; bio-electrochemistry, microbial electrosynthesis; microbial electrochemical system; renewable energy; environmental sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are novel devices that could be used for wastewater treatment and power generation simultaneously by using electroactive bacteria. Electroactive bacteria are newly discovered bacteria that engage in extracellular electron transport. Many recent advances in MFCs have resulted in their improved performance. MFCs represent a new and promising research direction for real-time and long-term operation. However, many challenges must be addressed before MFCs’ maximum potential can be realized. MFCs could be employed as biosensors in their respective mediums.  This Special Issue will focus on recent advancement in MFCs, such as efficient anode materials, technology coupling, innovative applications, optimum designs, pollutant removal and pilot scale-ups.

This Special Issue will publish experimental and review papers as well as short communications discussing recent developments in microbial fuel cells for optimum performance. The topics of interest for this Special Issue are defined by the keywords below.

Dr. Mohd Rafatullah
Dr. Syed Zaghum Abbas
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biocatalyst
  • microbial fuel cells
  • novel electrodes materials
  • pollutant removal
  • simulation
  • innovative applications
  • power generation
  • electrogens

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 11550 KiB  
Article
Customized Multichannel Measurement System for Microbial Fuel Cell Characterization
by Nicola Lovecchio, Valentina Di Meo and Andrea Pietrelli
Bioengineering 2023, 10(5), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10050624 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
This work presents the development of an automatic and customized measuring system employing sigma-delta analog-to-digital converters and transimpedance amplifiers for precise measurements of voltage and current signals generated by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The system can perform multi-step discharge protocols to accurately measure [...] Read more.
This work presents the development of an automatic and customized measuring system employing sigma-delta analog-to-digital converters and transimpedance amplifiers for precise measurements of voltage and current signals generated by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The system can perform multi-step discharge protocols to accurately measure the power output of MFCs, and has been calibrated to ensure high precision and low noise measurements. One of the key features of the proposed measuring system is its ability to conduct long-term measurements with variable time steps. Moreover, it is portable and cost-effective, making it ideal for use in laboratories without sophisticated bench instrumentation. The system is expandable, ranging from 2 to 12 channels by adding dual-channel boards, which allows for testing of multiple MFCs simultaneously. The functionality of the system was tested using a six-channel setup, and the results demonstrated its ability to detect and distinguish current signals from different MFCs with varying output characteristics. The power measurements obtained using the system also allow for the determination of the output resistance of the MFCs being tested. Overall, the developed measuring system is a useful tool for characterizing the performance of MFCs, and can be helpful in the optimization and development of sustainable energy production technologies. Full article
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16 pages, 9115 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Graphite, Graphene, and Hydrophilic-Treated Graphene Electrodes to Improve Power Generation and Wastewater Treatment in Microbial Fuel Cells
by Fátima Borja-Maldonado and Miguel Ángel López Zavala
Bioengineering 2023, 10(3), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10030378 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
In this study, graphite, graphene, and hydrophilic-treated graphene electrodes were evaluated in a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (DC-MFC). Free-oxygen conditions were promoted in anodic and cathodic chambers. Hydrochloric acid at 0.1 M and pH 1.1 was used as a catholyte, in addition to [...] Read more.
In this study, graphite, graphene, and hydrophilic-treated graphene electrodes were evaluated in a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (DC-MFC). Free-oxygen conditions were promoted in anodic and cathodic chambers. Hydrochloric acid at 0.1 M and pH 1.1 was used as a catholyte, in addition to deionized water in the cathodic chamber. Domestic wastewater was used as a substrate, and a DuPontTM Nafion 117 membrane was used as a proton exchange membrane. The maximum power density of 32.07 mW·m2 was obtained using hydrophilic-treated graphene electrodes and hydrochloric acid as catholyte. This power density was 1.4-fold and 32-fold greater than that of graphene (22.15 mW·m2) and graphite (1.02 mW·m2), respectively, under the same operational conditions. In addition, the maximum organic matter removal efficiencies of 69.8% and 75.5% were obtained using hydrophilic-treated graphene electrodes, for hydrochloric acid catholyte and deionized water, respectively. Therefore, the results suggest that the use of hydrophilic-treated graphene functioning as electrodes in DC-MFCs, and hydrochloric acid as a catholyte, favored power density when domestic wastewater is degraded. This opens up new possibilities for improving DC-MFC performance through the selection of suitable new electrode materials and catholytes. Full article
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15 pages, 2609 KiB  
Article
Functional Prediction of Microbial Communities in Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells
by Jimmy Kuo, Daniel Liu and Chorng-Horng Lin
Bioengineering 2023, 10(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10020199 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
Sediment microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were developed in which the complex substrates present in the sediment could be oxidized by microbes for electron production. In this study, the functional prediction of microbial communities of anode-associated soils in sediment MFCs was investigated based on [...] Read more.
Sediment microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were developed in which the complex substrates present in the sediment could be oxidized by microbes for electron production. In this study, the functional prediction of microbial communities of anode-associated soils in sediment MFCs was investigated based on 16S rRNA genes. Four computational approaches, including BugBase, Functional Annotation of Prokaryotic Taxa (FAPROTAX), the Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt2), and Tax4Fun2, were applied. A total of 67, 9, 37, and 38 functional features were statistically significant. Among these functional groups, the function related to the generation of precursor metabolites and energy was the only one included in all four computational methods, and the sum total of the proportion was 93.54%. The metabolism of cofactor, carrier, and vitamin biosynthesis was included in the three methods, and the sum total of the proportion was 29.94%. The results suggested that the microbial communities usually contribute to energy metabolism, or the metabolism of cofactor, carrier, and vitamin biosynthesis might reveal the functional status in the anode of sediment MFCs. Full article
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