African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5124

Full Length Research Paper

Membraneless dairy wastewater-sediment interface for bioelectricity generation employing Sediment Microbial Fuel Cell (SMFC)

  R. Saravanan1*, A. Arun1, S. Venkatamohan2, Jegadeesan1, T. Kandavelu1 and Veeramanikandan1  
  1Department of Zoology and Microbiology, P.G. Unit of Microbiology, Thiagarajar College (Autonomous), Madurai, T. N. India. 2Bioengineering and Environmental Centre, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 November 2010
  •  Published: 18 December 2010



Sediment Microbial Fuel Cell (SMFC) generates electricity by microbial oxidation of organic substance in dairy wastewater sediments without using any proton exchange membrane. SMFC constructed with graphite electrodes was deployed in simulated dairy wastewater-sediment interface in laboratory conditions showed the feasibility of electricity generation. The membrane-less SMFC developed voltage gradient of 0.78 to 0.8 V with maximum power of 0.014 mW/cm2 observed at 10 Ω. Maximum current density of 67.85 × 10-6 (mA/cm-2) and power density of 52.92 × 10-6 (mW/cm-2) was recorded. Native bacterial culture present in dairy waste sediment was used as catalyst for electricity generation. Bacteria present in dairy sediment showed the potential to generate electricity without any mediators (redox dyes). Production of renewable energy (bioelectricity) utilizing organic substance is an economical and sustainable process.


Key words: Bioelectricity, sediment microbial fuel cell, wastewater-sediment interface, anaerobic microenvironment; wastewater treatment.