Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Self-sustainable electricity production from algae grown in a microbial fuel cell system

Gajda, Iwona; Greenman, John; Melhuish, Chris; Ieropoulos, Ioannis


Iwona Serruys
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Management

John Greenman

Chris Melhuish
Professor of Robotics & Autonomous Systems


© 2015 The Authors. This paper describes the potential for algal biomass production in conjunction with wastewater treatment and power generation within a fully biotic Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). The anaerobic biofilm in the anodic half-cell is generating current, whereas the phototrophic biofilm on the cathode is providing the oxygen for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) and forming biomass. The MFC is producing electricity with simultaneous biomass regeneration in the cathodic half-cell, which is dependent on the nutrient value of the anodic feedstock. Growth of algal biomass in the cathode was monitored, assessed and compared against the MFC power production (charge transfer), during this process. MFC generation of electricity activated the cation crossover for the formation of biomass, which has been harvested and reused as energy source in a closed loop system. It can be concluded that the nutrient reclamation and assimilation into new biomass increases the energy efficiency. This work is presenting a simple and self-sustainable MFC operation with minimal dependency on chemicals and an energy generation system utilising waste products and maximising energy turnover through an additional biomass recovery.


Gajda, I., Greenman, J., Melhuish, C., & Ieropoulos, I. (2015). Self-sustainable electricity production from algae grown in a microbial fuel cell system. Biomass and Bioenergy, 82, 87-93.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 17, 2015
Publication Date Nov 1, 2015
Journal Biomass and Bioenergy
Print ISSN 0961-9534
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 82
Pages 87-93
Keywords photosynthetic cathode, microbial fuel cell, biomass, photo-reactor, algae
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations