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Self-stratifying microbial fuel cell: The importance of the cathode electrode immersion height

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


Carlo Santoro

John Greenman


© 2018 The Author(s) Power generation of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) is a very important electrochemical parameter to consider particularly when the output has to be harvested for practical applications. This work studies the effect of cathode immersion on the performance of a self-stratified membraneless microbial fuel cell (SSM-MFC) fuelled with human urine. Four different electrolyte immersion heights, i.e. 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 and fully submerged were considered. The SSM-MFC performance improved with increased immersion up to 3/4. The output dropped drastically when the cathode was fully submerged with the conditions becoming fully anaerobic. SSM-MFC with 3/4 submerged cathode had a maximum power output of 3.0 mW followed by 2.4 mW, 2.0 mW, and 0.2 mW for the 2/4, 1/4 and fully submerged conditions. Durability tests were run on the best performing SSM-MFC with 3/4 cathode immersed and showed an additional increase in the electrochemical output by 17% from 3.0 mW to 3.5 mW. The analysis performed on the anode and cathode separately demonstrated the stability in the cathode behaviour and in parallel an improvement in the anodic performance during one month of investigation.


Walter, X. A., Santoro, C., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2019). Self-stratifying microbial fuel cell: The importance of the cathode electrode immersion height. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 44(9), 4524-4532.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 2, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 7, 2018
Publication Date Feb 15, 2019
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2018
Journal International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Print ISSN 0360-3199
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 9
Pages 4524-4532
Keywords bioenergy, microbial fuel cell, urine, membrane-less
Public URL
Publisher URL


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