Trouble Shooting in the Development of Microbial Fuel Cells
During the development of MFCs, it has been critically reported by researchers that some significant electrical parameters are greatly affected by technical problems. Logan et al. (2006)  experimented with combinations of MFCs in series or in parallel to increase the voltage and currents. Stacking of six individual MFCs produced a maximum hourly average power output of 258 W/m3, using hexa-cyanoferrate cathodes. Units in series attained increased voltages and currents of 2.02 V at 228 W/m3 and 255 mA at 248 W/m3, while maintaining high power outputs. Due to microbial limitations, at higher currents, individual MFC voltages diverged. With time, the composition of the microbial community shifted and short-term sharp overshoots of voltage in individual MFCs occurred, with lowering of internal resistance and decrease in mass transfer limitations. The study confirmed the relationship between the composition of the microbial population and electrochemical performance of the MFC for potential generation of energy. Watson and Logan (2011)  described the problem of overshoots in power density due to unexpected large falls in voltage at higher current densities in polarization curves from MFCs. Two techniques, linear sweep voltammetry and variable external resistance, were used at intervals of 20 minutes for determination of the power density curve in single-chamber batch-fed MFC, resulting in power overshoots. Results showed that insufficient formation of biofilms is not the only cause of overshoots, as even an increase in anode enrichment time was unable to handle overshoots. Operation of the MFC at fixed resistance for a full cycle eradicated the overshoots. Results showed that longer times were needed for the bacteria to settle generated current in MFCs. Long periods between load switching and sluggish linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) scan rates may lead to inaccuracies in power density curves.
14.2.1 Bioelectricity Production-: Practical Application of Microbial Fuel Cells
The chief function of an MFC is to utilize the biomass obtained from wastes of agriculture, the food industry, and municipalities for the production of bioelectricity. Another strong feature of MFC is the direct conversion of fuel energy into electricity without any intermediate step which limits the efficiency of the conversion process. At present, MFCs are not an economical method for power production, but, with time, research, and advances in this technology, the past decade has proved to be a progressive period for improvement of power production by MFCs. Therefore, MFC technology can be considered to be a potential source of sustainable source of energy for the future.
MFC is a novel technology, chiefly for bioelectricity production by using organic substrates as fuel via bacterial activity. Bioelectricity production from the activity of microbial populations can act as a sustainable and renewable source of energy, allowing partial replacement of the use of fossil fuels, whereas protection of the environment, through waste utilization and reduced fossil fuel use, is an added attraction of this technology.
- 1. Mukhopadhyay, K., (2004), “An Assessment of Biomass Gasification Based Power Plant in the Sunderbans,” Biomass and Bioenergy, 27, pp. 253-264.
- 2. Chauhan, Suresh, (2010), “Biomass Resource Assessment for Power Generation: A Case Study from Haryana State, India,” Biomass and Bioenergy, 34, pp. 1300-1308.
- 3. Murphy, J.D., and McKeogh, E., (2004), “Technical Economic and Environmental Analysis of Energy Production from Municipal Solid Waste,” Renewable Energy, 29, pp. 1043-1057.
- 4. Bhattacharyya, S.C., (2006), “Energy Access Problem of the Poor in India: Is Rural Electrification a Remedy?,” Energy Policy, 34, pp. 3387-3397.
- 5. Abbasi, Tasneem, (2010), “Biomass Energy and Environmental Impacts Associated with its Production & Utilization,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14, pp. 919-937.
- 6. Chasnyk, O., Solowski, G.. and Shkarupa. O., (2015), “Historical Technical and Economic Aspects of Biogas Development: Case of Poland and Ukraine,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 52. pp. 227-239.
- 7. Sun, Q.. Li. H., Yan. J., Liu. L.. Yu. Z., and Yu, X.. (2015), “Selection of Appropriate Biogas Upgrading Technology-А Review of Biogas Cleaning, Upgrading and Utilization,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, pp. 521-532.
- 8. Kaur, Gagandeep, Brar, Yadwinder S., and Kothari, D.P., (2017), “Potential of Livestock Generated Biomass: Untapped Energy Source in India,” Energies, 10(847), pp. 1-15.
- 9. Rabaey. K., Lissens, G., Siciliano, S.D., Verstraete, W.. (2003), “A Microbial Fuel Cells Capable of Converting Glucose to Electricity at High Rate and Efficiency,” Biotechnology Letter, 25. pp. 1531-1535.
- 10. Logan, B.E., and Regan, J.M., (2010), “Microbial Challenges and Fuel Cell Applications,” Environment Science Technology, 40, pp. 5172-5180.
- 11. Rahimnejad, M., Adhami, Arash, Darvari, Soheil, (2015), “Microbial Fuel Cell as New Technology for Bioelectricity Generation: A Review,” Alexandria Engineering Journal, 54, pp. 745-756.
- 12. Lovely, D., (2006), “Microbial Fuel Cells: Novel Microbial Physiologies and Engineering Approaches,” Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 17, pp. 327-332.
- 13. Strik. D., Terlouw. H., Hamalers, H.. and Buisman, C„ (2008), “Renewable Sustainable Biocatalyzed Electricity Production in a Photosynthetic Algal Microbial Fuel Cell,” Applied Microbial Biotechnology, 81, pp. 659-668.
- 14. Franks, Ashlay E.. and Nevin. Kelly R. (2010), “Microbial Fuel Cells- A Current Review.” Energies, 3(5). pp. 899-919.
- 15. Potter, M.C., (1911), “Electrical Effects Accompanying the Decomposition of Organic Compounds.” JSTOR, LXXXIV-B, pp. 260-276.
- 16. Steele. B.C.H.. and Heinzel. A.. (2001), “Materials for Fuel Cell Technologies,” Nature, 414, pp. 345-352.
- 17. Gupta, G., Sikarwar, B., Vasudevan, V., Boopathi, M., Kumar, 0., Singh, B., and Vijayaraghavan, R., (2011), “Microbial Fuel Cell Technology: A Review on Electricity Generation,” Journal of Cell & Tissue Research, 11(1), pp. 2631-2654.
- 18. Logan, Bruce E., Hamelers, Bert, Rozendal, Rene, Schroder, Uwe, Keller, Jurg, Freguia, Stefano, Aelterman, Peter, Verstrafte, Willy, and Rabaey, Korneel, (2006), “Microbial Fuel Cells: Methodology and Technology,” Environmental Science & Technology, 40(17), pp. 5181-5190. '
- 19. Davis, J.B., and Yarbrough, H.F., (1962), “Preliminary Experiments on Microbial Fuel Cells,” Science, 116, pp. 615-616.
- 20. Berk, Richard S., and Canfield, H. James, (1964), “Bioelectrochemical Energy Conversion,” Applied Microbiology, 12(1), pp. 10-12.
- 21. Fornero, Jeffrey J., Rosenbaum, Miriam, Angenent, Largus T., (2010), “Electric Power Generation from Municipal, Food, Animal Wastewaters using Microbial Fuel Cells,” Electroanalysis, 22, pp. 832-843.
- 22. Rahimnejad, M., Ghoreyshi, A.A., Najafpour, G.D., Younesi, H., and Shakeri, M., (2012), “A Novel Microbial Fuel Cell Stack for Continuous Production of Clean Energy,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 37, pp. 5992-6000.
- 23. Jeongdong, Choi, and Youngho, Ahn, (2013), “Continuous Electricity Generation in Stacked Air Cathode Microbial Fuel Cell Treating Domestic Wastewater,” Journal of Environmental Management, 130, pp. 146-152.
- 24. Inoue, Kengo, Ito, Toshihiro, Kawano, Yashihiro, Iguchi, Atshushi, Mirahara, Morio, Suzuki, Yoshihiro, and Watanabe, Kazuya, (2013), “Electricity Generation from Cattle Manure Slurry by Cassette-electrode Microbial Fuel Cells,” Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, 116(5), pp. 610-615.
- 25. You, Shijie, Qinghang, Zhao, Jinna, Zhang, Junqiu, Jiang, Shiqi, Zhao, (2006), “A Microbial Fuel Cell using Permanganate as the Cathodic Electron Acceptor,” Journal of Power Sources, 162. pp. 1409-1415.
- 26. Shaoan, Cheng, and Bruce, E. Logan, (2011), “Increasing Power Generation for Scaling up Single Chamber Air Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells,” Bioresource Technology, 102, pp. 4468-4473.
- 27. Guang, Zhao, Fang, Ma, and Li, Wei, (2012), “Electricity Generation from Cattle Dung using Microbial Fuel Cell Technology During Anaerobic Acidogenesis and the Development of Microbial Populations,” Waste Management, 32, pp. 1651-1658.
- 28. Jia, Jianna, Tang, Yu, Liu, Bingfeng, Wu, Di, Ran, Nanqi, and Xing, Defeng, (2013), “Electricity Generation from Food Wastes and Microbial Community Structures in Microbial Fuel Cells,” Bioresource Technology, 144, pp. 94-99.
- 29. Plaque, N., Cho, D., and Kwon, S., (2014), “Characteristics of Electricity Production by MetallicandNon-metallicAnodesImmersedinMud Sediment using Sediment Microbial Fuel Cell,” 7th International Conference on Cooling & Heating Technologies(ICCHT 2014). IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 88, pp. 1-9.
- 30. El Chakhtoura, Joline, El Fadel, Mutasem, Rao, Hari Ananada, Li, Dong, Ghanimeh, Sophia, and Saikaly, Pascal E., (2014), “Electricity Generation and Microbial Community Structure of Air-cathode Microbial Fuel Cells Powered with the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste and Inoculated with Different Seeds,” Biomass and Bioenergy, 67, pp. 24-31.
- 31. Gopinath, L.R.. Christy. P.M., Mahesh, K., Bhuvaneswari. R.. and Divya. D„ (2014), “Identification and Evaluation of Effective Bacterial Consortia for Efficient Biogas Production,” IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology (IOSR-JESTFT), 8(3), pp. 80-86.
- 32. Rodenas Motos, Pau, Ter Heijne, Annemiek, Van Der Weijeden, Renata, Saakes, Mickhel, Buisman, Cees C.J., Sleutels, Torn H., (2015), “High Rate Copper and Energy Recovery in Microbial Fuel Cells,” Frontiers in Microbiology, 6, pp. 527-537.
- 33. Hernandez-Fernandez, F.J., De Los Rios, A. Perez, Salar-Garcia, M.J., (2015), “Recent Progress and Perspectives in Microbial Fuel Cells for Bioenergy Generation and Wastewater Treatment,” Fuel Processing Technology, 138, pp. 284-297.
- 34. Baudler, Andre, Schmidt, Igor, and Langner, Markus, (2015), “Does It Have to Be Carbon? Metal Anodes in Microbial Fuel Cells and Related Bioelectrochemical Systems,” Energy and Environmental Science, 8,pp. 2039.
- 35. Chaturvedi, Venkatesh, and Pradeep, Verma, (2016), “Microbial Fuel Cell: A Green Approach for the Utilization of Waste for the Generation of Bioelectricity,” Bioresource and Bioprocessing, 3(38), pp. 1-14.
- 36. Prakash, Anand, (2016), “Microbial Fuel Cells: A Source of Bioenergy,” Journal of Microbial and Biochemical Technology, 8(3), pp. 247-255.
- 37. Sonu, Kumar, and Das, Bhaskaer, (2016), “Comparison of Output Voltage Characteristics Pattern Sewage Sludge, Kitchen Waste and Cow Dung in Single Chamber Single Electrode Microbial Fuel Cell,” International Journal of Science and Technology, 9(30), pp. 1-5.
- 38. Sonaware, Jayesh M., Yadav, Abhiahek, Ghosh, Prakash C., and Adeloju, Samuel B., (2017), “Recent Advances in the Development and utilization of Modern Anode Materials for High Performance Microbial Fuel Cells,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 90. pp. 5580576.
- 39. Watson, Valerie J., and Logan, Bruce E., (2011), “Analysis of Polarization Methods for Elimination of Power Overshoots in Microbial Fuel Cells,” Electrochemistry Communications, 13, pp. 54-56.