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Self-powered supercapacitive microbial fuel cell: The ultimate way of boosting and harvesting power

Atanassov, Plamen; Arbizzani, Catia; Serov, Alexey; Soavi, Francesca; Santoro, Carlo


Plamen Atanassov

Catia Arbizzani

Alexey Serov

Francesca Soavi

Carlo Santoro


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. In this work, for the first time, we demonstrate a supercapacitive microbial fuel cell which integrates the energy harvesting function of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) with the high-power operation of an internal supercapacitor. The pursued strategies are: (i) the increase of the cell voltage by the use of high potential cathodes like bilirubin oxidase (BOx) or iron-aminoantipyrine (Fe-AAPyr); (ii) the use of an additional capacitive electrode (additional electrode, AdE) which is short-circuited with the MFC cathode and coupled with the MFC anode (MFC-AdE). The high working potential of BOx cathode and the low impedances of the additional capacitive electrode and the MFC anode permitted to achieve up to 19mW (84.4Wm-2, 152Wm-3), the highest power value ever reported for MFCs. Exploiting the supercapacitive properties of the MFC electrodes allows the system to be simpler, cheaper and more efficient without additional electronics management added with respect to an MFC/external supercapacitor coupling. The use of the AdE makes it possible to decouple energy and power and to achieve recharge times in the order of few seconds making the system appealing for practical applications.


Atanassov, P., Arbizzani, C., Serov, A., Soavi, F., & Santoro, C. (2016). Self-powered supercapacitive microbial fuel cell: The ultimate way of boosting and harvesting power. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 78, 229-235.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2015
Publication Date Apr 15, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 25, 2018
Journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Print ISSN 0956-5663
Electronic ISSN 1873-4235
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 78
Pages 229-235
Keywords microbial fuel cell, supercapacitor, additional electrode, EDLC, high-current/power
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