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The practical implementation of microbial fuel cell technology

Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Winfield, Jonathan; Gajda, Iwona; Walter, Xavier Alexis; Papacharalampos, Georgios; Merino Jimenez, Irene; Pasternak, Grzegorz; You, Jiseon; Tremouli, Asimina; Stinchcombe, Andrew; Forbes, Samuel; Greenman, John


Georgios Papacharalampos

Irene Merino Jimenez

Grzegorz Pasternak

Jiseon You
Research Fellow - Bristol BioEnergy Centre

Asimina Tremouli

Andrew Stinchcombe

Samuel Forbes


Keith Scott

Eileen Hao Yu


© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. New green technologies are emerging in response to decades of damaging human activity. Among those are microbial fuel cells (MFCs), electric transducers that transform wet organic matter into electricity via the electroactive respiration of anaerobic microorganisms. Over the past two decades, research into MFCs has drastically improved performance, both in terms of power and treatment efficiency. To demonstrate the suitability of MFCs for incorporation into a wider market, there needs to be examples of practical implementation. This chapter highlights the potential by showing how the technology can be used in meaningful roles. The direct output can be harnessed both as a sensing mechanism and to power applications such as LEDs. Energy harvesting electronics can be employed that enable MFCs to energise more energy-intensive applications such as air fresheners, smoke alarms, transmitters, and charging mobile phones. After the lab-based examples, various field trials are discussed such as the deployment of MFCs in wastewater treatment plants. Finally, details are provided of a successful prototype MFC urinal that could one day be used in developing countries. The examples showcased in this chapter hopefully go some way to demonstrating that the practical implementation of MFCs into everyday life might not be that far away.


Ieropoulos, I., Winfield, J., Gajda, I., Walter, X. A., Papacharalampos, G., Merino Jimenez, I., …Greenman, J. (2016). The practical implementation of microbial fuel cell technology. In K. Scott, & E. Hao Yu (Eds.), Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells (357-380). Woodhead (Elsevier).

Online Publication Date Feb 12, 2016
Publication Date Feb 12, 2016
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 357-380
Book Title Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells
Chapter Number 12
ISBN 9781782423751
Keywords MFC, microbial fuel cell, bio-energy, bioenergy, BBiC
Public URL
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