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Scalability of self-stratifying microbial fuel cell: Towards height miniaturisation

Walter, Xavier Alexis; Santoro, Carlo; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis A.



© 2019 The Authors The scalability of bioelectrochemical systems is a key parameter for their practical implementation in the real-world. Up until now, only urine-fed self-stratifying microbial fuel cells (SSM-MFCs) have been shown to be scalable in width and length with limited power density losses. For practical reasons, the present work focuses on the scalability of SSM-MFCs in the one dimension that has not yet been investigated, namely height. Three different height conditions were considered (1 cm, 2 cm and 3 cm tall electrodes). The normalised power density of the 2 cm and 3 cm conditions were similar either during the durability test under a hydraulic retention time of ≈39 h (i.e. 15.74 ± 0.99 μ −3 ) and during the polarisation experiments (i.e. 27.79 ± 0.92 μ −3 ). Conversely, the 1 cm condition had lower power densities of 11.23 ± 0.07 μ −3 and 17.73 ± 3.94 μ −3 both during the durability test and the polarisation experiment, respectively. These results confirm that SSM-MFCs can be scaled in all 3 dimensions with minimal power density losses, with a minimum height threshold for the electrode comprised between 1 cm and 2 cm.


Walter, X. A., Santoro, C., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. A. (2019). Scalability of self-stratifying microbial fuel cell: Towards height miniaturisation. Bioelectrochemistry, 127, 68-75.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 9, 2019
Publication Date Jun 1, 2019
Journal Bioelectrochemistry
Print ISSN 1567-5394
Electronic ISSN 1878-562X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 127
Pages 68-75
Keywords microbial fuel cell, urine treatment, scaling, self-stratification, power generation
Public URL
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