International Journal of
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Water Res. Environ. Eng.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6613
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 347

Full Length Research Paper

Investigation of voltage storage capacity for the variation of electrode materials in microbial fuel cells with experimentation and mathematical modelling

Al-Mustasin Abir Hossain
  • Al-Mustasin Abir Hossain
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas, United States.
  • Google Scholar
Nahian Masud
  • Nahian Masud
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Subrato Roy
  • Subrato Roy
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering and Computer Science (ENCS), Washington State University, Vancouver, United States
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Mohammad Ali
  • Mohammad Ali
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 June 2022
  •  Accepted: 04 October 2022
  •  Published: 31 October 2022


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are considered as one of the best prospective natural resources to be discovered on the way to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel-based electricity generation. However, low power generations from MFCs, expensive electrode materials, and the inability to scale-ups MFCs to industrially relevant capacities have made the usage of MFC even worse. The utilization of MFCs in the area of electro-chemistry and thermal science can be very promising in energy storage aspects. In this current study, we studied various combinations of electrode materials and processes that can be applied to construct economical MFCs on small scale. To figure out the best suited MFC setup, MFC systems are prepared using different electrode materials and impacts of these materials on voltage generation are investigated. The cells are observed for 10 h, and voltage generation is witnessed by natural chemical reaction. Then, voltage, current, and power density curves are generated. Next, a pseudo-two-dimensional (2D) physics-based mathematical full cell model is developed to investigate the best suited MFC as a potential energy storage device. It is observed that the numerical results generated from the model are in good agreement with those obtained from the experimental analyses. Hence, the model should be able to predict the better performing anode and cathode materials to build microbial fuel cells having a maximum amount of voltage storage capacity in a specific period. Details of this work will provide more useful information on the concept of MFC and design guidelines for several applications such as energy storage and transformation.

Key words: Bacteria, electro-chemistry, physics-based, power, energy storage device, electrodes.