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Microbial fuel cells (MFC) and microalgae; Photo microbial fuel cell (PMFC) as complete recycling machines

Greenman, John; Gajda, Iwona; Ieropoulos, Ioannis



© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Humans can exploit natural processes by microorganisms by using Microbial Fuel Cells and integrated Photo Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC/PMFC) chambers containing electrodes to maximise microbial oxidation rates and rapidly recycle mass and elements at the quickest possible rates by control over both the microbes (choice of algae and bacteria) and the applied physicochemical conditions. This review focuses on natural recycling of essential elements by microbes, the productivity of bacteria and micro-algae as a fuel, decomposition and the use of microbial fuel cells to integrate both primary biomass production (in the cathode) with its decomposition and transformation by heterotrophic microbes (at the anode). The review discusses the potential future uses of photomicrobial fuel cells as complete recycling machines with advantages over all other biological recycling systems and these include rapid re-cycling rates, production of water, removal of carbon dioxide, evolution of oxygen, and the generation (rather than utilisation) of electrical power.


Greenman, J., Gajda, I., & Ieropoulos, I. (2019). Microbial fuel cells (MFC) and microalgae; Photo microbial fuel cell (PMFC) as complete recycling machines. Sustainable Energy and Fuels, 3(10), 2546-2560.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Aug 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 19, 2019
Publication Date 2019-10
Deposit Date Oct 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 20, 2020
Journal Sustainable Energy and Fuels
Print ISSN 2398-4902
Electronic ISSN 2398-4902
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 10
Pages 2546-2560
Public URL


Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) and microalgae; Photo Microbial Fuel Cell (PMFC) as complete recycling machines (4.4 Mb)


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Copyright The Royal Society of Chemistry This is the author's accepted manuscript, presented on a publishers submission template. The final published version of the text is available here:

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