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On the dynamic response of the anode in microbial fuel cells

Lookup NU author(s): Krishna Katuri, Karen Scott


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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 1-7 mM; varying from approximately 2.4 to 4.2 h. 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 77 mW/m(2) (1-7 mM) with a 1 k Omega 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. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Katuri KP, Scott K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Enzyme and Microbial Technology

Year: 2011

Volume: 48

Issue: 4-5

Pages: 351-358

Print publication date: 30/12/2010

ISSN (print): 0141-0229

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0909

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2010.12.011


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Funder referenceFunder name
MTKD-CT-2004-517215European Union