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Passive feeding in paper-based microbial fuel cells

Winfield, Jonathan; Milani, Paolo; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis


Jonathan Winfield
Acting Associate Head of Department in Electronics & Robotics

Paolo Milani


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are often constructed using materials such as plastic that can be hazardous to the environment. Building MFCs from paper is a sustainable option, making the fuel cells lightweight and easy to carry. Transported in the bottom of luggage until needed they could be used as backup power supplies in remote locations. Ideally, they would extract nutrients from the environment without extensive input from the operator, particularly if the user was injured. The current study looked at different paper MFC designs to observe whether they could produce useful power after simply being dropped onto liquid puddles containing organic matter. The results showed that both flat and 3D MFCs could generate current when dropped onto liquid without any need for physical feeding. The 3D tetrahedron MFCs generated power for over 2 weeks with the output sufficient for useful applications such as broadcasting via a transceiver


Winfield, J., Milani, P., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2018). Passive feeding in paper-based microbial fuel cells. ECS Transactions, 85(13), 1193-1200.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 4, 2018
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Journal ECS Transactions
Print ISSN 1938-5862
Publisher Electrochemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 85
Issue 13
Pages 1193-1200
Keywords microbial fuel cell, bioenergy, sustainable, energy
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available here:


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