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Investigation of ceramic MFC stacks for urine energy extraction

Tremouli, Asimina; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis


Asimina Tremouli

John Greenman


© 2018 The Authors Two ceramic stacks, terracotta (t-stack) and mullite (m-stack), were developed to produce energy when fed with neat undiluted urine. Each stack consisted of twelve identical microbial fuel cells (MFCs) which were arranged in cascades and tested under different electrical configurations. Despite voltage reversal, the m-stack produced a maximum power of 800 μW whereas the t-stack produced a maximum of 520 μW after 62.6 h of operation. Moreover, during the operation, both systems were subject to blockage possibly due to struvite. To the Authors' best knowledge, this is the first time that such a phenomenon in ceramic MFC membranes is shown to be the direct result of sub-optimal performance, which confirms the hypothesis that ceramic membranes can continue operating long-term, if the MFCs produce maximum power (high rate of e− transfer). Furthermore, it is shown that once the ceramic membrane is blocked, it may prove difficult to recover in-situ.


Tremouli, A., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2018). Investigation of ceramic MFC stacks for urine energy extraction. Bioelectrochemistry, 123, 19-25.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 19, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 21, 2018
Publication Date Oct 1, 2018
Journal Bioelectrochemistry
Print ISSN 1567-5394
Electronic ISSN 1878-562X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 123
Pages 19-25
Keywords MFC, stack, voltage reversal, ceramic, urine
Public URL
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