Towards Miniature Microbial Fuel Cells for Water Quality Monitoring

Jonathan Chouler, Mirella Di Lorenzo

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

1 Citation (SciVal)
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To ensure adequate sanitation of water supplies a rapid, cheap and simple method to test water systems is required. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has potential for the effective testing of water sources in real time. A single chamber (68 μL) miniature MFC biosensor for detection of the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of water systems and to detect toxicants is presented. The device showed a response to a change in BOD within 19 minutes. The effect of operational conditions (pH, temperature, flow rate) on current generation was shown to have a maximum sensitivity of 0.944 μA cm-2 per unit change of the operational parameter. The power output of the device was enhanced by a factor of 28 by doubling the length of the anodic chamber and doping the cathode with a sustainable biochar based catalyst. The promise for detection of ‘emerging’ contaminants and toxicants in developing countries is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Fuel Cell Conference 2015, Book of Proceedings
EditorsC. Barchiesi, M. Chianella, V. Cigolotti
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEuropean Fuel Cell 2015 - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 15 Dec 201518 Dec 2015


ConferenceEuropean Fuel Cell 2015


  • Microbial Fuel Cell; microbial sensors; Toxicant; Water Quality


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