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An Approach to Predicting Sediment Microbial Fuel Cell Performance in Shallow and Deep Water

SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, 53560 Hull Street, San Diego, CA 92152-5001, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2628;
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
PDF [9810 KB, uploaded 19 December 2018]


Here we present an approach to predicting sediment microbial fuel cell performance based on environmental conditions. Sediment total organic carbon and water temperature were found to be important determinants in predicting the power output from microbial fuel cells in shallow sediments (<100 m) in San Diego. We extrapolated data from the in situ San Diego experiments to predict MFC performance in shallow sediments in other locations, namely the Gulf of Mexico and the Yellow Sea. Finally, using laboratory data of MFC performance in deep water (~1000 m) sediment samples, we extend our predictions to ocean sediments worldwide. We predict low power output from the deep sea (microwatts) relative to the shallow sediments (milliwatts), and attribute that to a possible lack of electrogenic bacteria in the sediments, lower sediment permeability, or a greater proportion of refractory organic matter reaching the bottom. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial fuel cell performance; sediment; shallow water; deep water microbial fuel cell performance; sediment; shallow water; deep water

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Richter, K.E.; Ayers, J.M. An Approach to Predicting Sediment Microbial Fuel Cell Performance in Shallow and Deep Water. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 2628.

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