Special Issue "Microbial Fuel Cells"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Chikashi Sato

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Idaho State University, 921 S. 8th Ave., Stop 8060, Pocatello, ID 83209, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy recovery from waste; microbial fuel cells, advanced water and wastewater treatment using UV, ultrasound and hydrodynamic cavitation; decomposition of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in wastewater; chemical reaction kinetics and modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are innovative devices that possess great potential in treating wastewater and generating energy simultaneously by electrochemically active bacteria (EAB). While fundamental applications of MFCs are treatment of wastewater and production of electricity, many other applications have emerged over the years. MFCs can operate electrical systems and wireless sensors that require low power to transmit signals to receivers in remote locations. MFCs can be used power a cell phone, biosensor to monitor pollutants present in wastewater, and implantable medical device. The electrical energy harvested from an MFC can be stored in rechargeable devices such as capacitors and batteries, which are then used for various electrical devices. For the implementation of MFCs, exploring sustainability (e.g., efficiency, reliability, cost effectiveness) is greatly important. This Special Issue will focus on recent advancement of MFC technologies that explore sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Chikashi Sato
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • advancement
  • application
  • sustainability
  • innovation
  • implementation
  • efficiency
  • reliability

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
An Approach to Predicting Sediment Microbial Fuel Cell Performance in Shallow and Deep Water
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2628; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122628
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract
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) [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Time-Interleave-Based Power Management System with Maximum Power Extraction and Health Protection Algorithm for Multiple Microbial Fuel Cells for Internet of Things Smart Nodes
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2404; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122404
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology is a novel Energy Harvesting (EH) source that can transform organic substrates in wastewater into electricity through a bioelectrochemical process. However, its limited output power available per liter is in the range of a few milliwatts, which results [...] Read more.
Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology is a novel Energy Harvesting (EH) source that can transform organic substrates in wastewater into electricity through a bioelectrochemical process. However, its limited output power available per liter is in the range of a few milliwatts, which results very limited to be used by an Internet of Things (IoT) smart node that could require power in the order of hundreds of milliwatts when in full operation. One way to reach a usable power output is to connect several MFCs in series or parallel; nevertheless, the high output characteristic resistance of MFCs and differences in output voltage from multiple MFCs, dramatically worsens its power efficiency for both series and parallel arrangements. In this paper, a Power Management System (PMS) is proposed to allow maximum power harvesting from multiple MFCs while providing a regulated output voltage. To enable a more efficient and reliable power-harvesting process from multiple MFCs that considers the biochemical limitations of the bacteria to extend its lifetime, a power ranking and MFC health-protection algorithm using an interleaved EH operation was implemented in a PIC24F16KA102 microcontroller. A power extraction sub-block of the system includes an ultra-low-power BQ25505 step-up DC-DC converter, which integrates Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) capabilities. The maximum efficiency measured of the PMS was ~50.7%. The energy harvesting technique presented in this work was tested to power an internet-enabled temperature-sensing smart node. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Modeling Power Generation and Energy Efficiencies in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells Based on Freter Equations
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101983
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
The model proposed in this study was based on the assumption that the biomass attached to the anode served as biocatalysts for microbial fuel cell (MFC) exoelectrogenesis, and this catalytic effect was quantified by the exchange current density of anode. By modifying the [...] Read more.
The model proposed in this study was based on the assumption that the biomass attached to the anode served as biocatalysts for microbial fuel cell (MFC) exoelectrogenesis, and this catalytic effect was quantified by the exchange current density of anode. By modifying the Freter model and combining it with the Butler–Volmer equation, this model could adequately describe the processes of electricity generation, substrate utilization, and the suspended and attached biomass concentrations, at both batch and continuous operating modes. MFC performance is affected by the operating variables such as initial substrate concentration, external resistor, influent substrate concentration, and dilution rate, and these variables were revealed to have complex interactions by data simulation. The external power generation and energy efficiency were considered as indices for MFC performance. The simulated results explained that an intermediate initial substrate concentration (about 100 mg/L under this reactor configuration) needed to be chosen to achieve maximum overall energy efficiency from substrate in the batch mode. An external resistor with the value approximately that of the internal resistance, boosted the power generation, and a resistor with several times of that of the internal resistance achieved better overall energy efficiency. At continuous mode, dilution rate significantly impacted the steady-state substrate concentration level (thus substrate removal efficiency and rate), and attached biomass could be fully developed when the influent substrate concentration was equal to or higher than 100 mg/L at any dilution rate of the tested range. Overall, this relatively simple model provided a convenient way for evaluating and optimizing the performance of MFC reactors by regulating operating parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Microbial Fuel Cells, Related Technologies, and Their Applications
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2384; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122384
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 18 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 25 November 2018
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Abstract
Microbial fuel cells present an emerging technology for utilizing the metabolism of microbes to fuel processes including biofuel, energy production, and the bioremediation of environments. The application and design of microbial fuel cells are of interest to a range of disciplines including engineering, [...] Read more.
Microbial fuel cells present an emerging technology for utilizing the metabolism of microbes to fuel processes including biofuel, energy production, and the bioremediation of environments. The application and design of microbial fuel cells are of interest to a range of disciplines including engineering, material sciences, and microbiology. In addition, these devices present numerous opportunities to improve sustainable practices in different settings, ranging from industrial to domestic. Current research is continuing to further our understanding of how the engineering, design, and microbial aspects of microbial fuel cell systems impact upon their function. As a result, researchers are continuing to expand the range of processes microbial fuel cells can be used for, as well as the efficiency of those applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Novel Applications of Microbial Fuel Cells in Sensors and Biosensors
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071184
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a type of bio-electrochemical system with novel features, such as electricity generation, wastewater treatment, and biosensor applications. In recent years, progressive trends in MFC research on its chemical, electrochemical, and microbiological aspects has resulted in its noticeable [...] Read more.
A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a type of bio-electrochemical system with novel features, such as electricity generation, wastewater treatment, and biosensor applications. In recent years, progressive trends in MFC research on its chemical, electrochemical, and microbiological aspects has resulted in its noticeable applications in the field of sensing. This review was consequently aimed to provide an overview of the most interesting new applications of MFCs in sensors, such as providing the required electrical current and power for remote sensors (energy supply device for sensors) and detection of pollutants, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and specific DNA strands by MFCs without an external analytical device (self-powered biosensors). Moreover, in this review, procedures of MFC operation as a power supply for pH, temperature, and organic loading rate (OLR) sensors, and also self-powered biosensors of toxicity, pollutants, and BOD have been discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Fuel Cells)
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