Construction of Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells with Different Electrodes, Feed and Microorganism


  • Samatha Singh, S. Suresh


The generation of renewable energy from waste water has been demonstrated using a simple batch Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) primarily from domestic waste water obtained from Khan River water/sediment in Madhya Pradesh State, India and the results were expanded to distillery/dairy industry generating wastewater with high organic content. Various electrodes were used in MFC. In the preliminary experiment, cheap iron electrodes were used for anode and cathode chamber with E-Coil bacteria where obtained efficiency was only 35%. In order to achieve better efficiencies, construction of MFC was changed and iron electrodes are replaced with the  electrodes made up of Copper and graphite electrodes for better conductivity of electrons at 23 0C.The efficiency increased but not sufficiently.The commercialization of MFC requires high powerdensity per unit area ,this barrier could be overcome by increasing surface area which is possible by using nano-particle based electrodes and higher electro catalytic activity compared to the conventional carbon materials.Simple hummer method is used to prepare Graphene oxide nano. The synthesized nano particles were characterized by the SEM and, FTIR. Further these nano particles were coated on carbon electrodes to improve the power density. A substantial improvement in the maximum power density was achieved with graphite electrodes and nafion membrane. Proper enhancement was done by coating Nano materials and thereby increasing electron transfer and hence electricity generation. Bacteria’s such as Escherichia Coli and Shewannellaputrificians were also employed to generate electricity. The efficiency increased to 85%.Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) were decreased considerably.MFC is the novel solution to treat wastewater.