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Microbial fuel cells and their electrified biofilms

Greenman, John; Gajda, Iwona; You, Jiseon; Mendis, Buddhi Arjuna; Obata, Oluwatosin; Pasternak, Grzegorz; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

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Iwona Serruys
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Management

Jiseon You
Lecturer in Engineering/ Project Management

Buddhi Arjuna Mendis

Oluwatosin Obata

Grzegorz Pasternak

Yannis Ieropoulos
Professor in Bioenergy & Director of B-B


Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) represent a wide range of different biofilm-based bioreactors that includes microbial fuel cells (MFCs), microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) and microbial desalination cells (MDCs). The first described bioelectrical bioreactor is the Microbial Fuel Cell and with the exception of MDCs, it is the only type of BES that actually produces harvestable amounts of electricity, rather than requiring an electrical input to function. For these reasons, this review article, with previously unpublished supporting data, focusses primarily on MFCs. Of relevance is the architecture of these bioreactors, the type of membrane they employ (if any) for separating the chambers along with the size, as well as the geometry and material composition of the electrodes which support biofilms. Finally, the structure, properties and growth rate of the microbial biofilms colonising anodic electrodes, are of critical importance for rendering these devices, functional living ‘engines’ for a wide range of applications.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 19, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 20, 2021
Publication Date 2021-12
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 21, 2022
Journal Biofilm
Print ISSN 1479-0505
Electronic ISSN 1479-0513
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Article Number 100057
Keywords Cell Biology; Molecular Biology; Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology; Microbiology
Public URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Microbial fuel cells and their electrified biofilms; Journal Title: Biofilm; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V.


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