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Influence of anode surface chemistry on microbial fuel cell operation

Schuler, Andrew J.; Atanassov, Plamen; Marsili, Enrico; Ista, Linnea; Cornejo, Jose A.; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Babanova, Sofia; Bretschger, Orianna; Santoro, Carlo


Andrew J. Schuler

Plamen Atanassov

Enrico Marsili

Linnea Ista

Jose A. Cornejo

Kateryna Artyushkova

Sofia Babanova

Orianna Bretschger

Carlo Santoro
Associate Professor in Bio-Energy


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) modified gold anodes are used in single chamber microbial fuel cells for organic removal and electricity generation. Hydrophilic (N(CH3)3+, OH, COOH) and hydrophobic (CH3) SAMs are examined for their effect on bacterial attachment, current and power output. The different substratum chemistry affects the community composition of the electrochemically active biofilm formed and thus the current and power output. Of the four SAM-modified anodes tested, N(CH3)3+ results in the shortest start up time (15days), highest current achieved (225μAcm-2) and highest MFC power density (40μWcm-2), followed by COOH (150μAcm-2 and 37μWcm-2) and OH (83μAcm-2 and 27μWcm-2) SAMs. Hydrophobic SAM decreases electrochemically active bacteria attachment and anode performance in comparison to hydrophilic SAMs (CH3 modified anodes 7μAcm-2 anodic current and 1.2μWcm-2 MFC's power density). A consortium of Clostridia and δ-Proteobacteria is found on all the anode surfaces, suggesting a synergistic cooperation under anodic conditions.


Schuler, A. J., Atanassov, P., Marsili, E., Ista, L., Cornejo, J. A., Artyushkova, K., …Santoro, C. (2015). Influence of anode surface chemistry on microbial fuel cell operation. Bioelectrochemistry, 106, 141-149.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 3, 2015
Online Publication Date May 5, 2015
Publication Date Dec 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 25, 2018
Journal Bioelectrochemistry
Print ISSN 1567-5394
Electronic ISSN 1878-562X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Pages 141-149
Keywords microbial fuel cells, self assembled monolayer, surface modification, bioelectrocatalysis, anode biofilm analysis
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