The need for water security pushes for the development of sensing technologies that allow online and real-time assessments and are capable of autonomous and stable long-term operation in the field. In this context, Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) based biosensors have shown great potential due to cost-effectiveness, simplicity of operation, robustness and the possibility of self-powered applications. This review focuses on the progress of the technology in real scenarios and in-field applications and discusses the technological bottlenecks that must be overcome for its success. An overview of the most relevant findings and challenges of MFC sensors for practical implementation is provided. First, performance indicators for in-field applications, which may diverge from lab-based only studies, are defined. Progress on MFC designs for off-grid monitoring of water quality is then presented with a focus on solutions that enhance robustness and long-term stability. Finally, calibration methods and detection algorithms for applications in real scenarios are discussed. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16307-16317
Number of pages11
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number27
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/L016214/1).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial fuel cells for in-field water quality monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this