Long-term performance of a plant microbial fuel cell with Spartina anglica

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The plant microbial fuel cell is a sustainable and renewable way of electricity production. The plant is integrated in the anode of the microbial fuel cell which consists of a bed of graphite granules. In the anode, organic compounds deposited by plant roots are oxidized by electrochemically active bacteria. In this research, salt marsh species Spartina anglica generated current for up to 119 days in a plant microbial fuel cell. Maximum power production was 100 mW m-2 geometric anode area, highest reported power output for a plant microbial fuel cell. Cathode overpotential was the main potential loss in the period of oxygen reduction due to slow oxygen reduction kinetics at the cathode. Ferricyanide reduction improved the kinetics at the cathode and increased current generation with a maximum of 254%. In the period of ferricyanide reduction, the main potential loss was transport loss. This research shows potential application of microbial fuel cell technology in salt marshes for bio-energy production with the plant microbial fuel cell
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-981
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • salt-marsh
  • electricity production
  • alterniflora
  • generation
  • transport
  • growth
  • rhizosphere
  • bacteria
  • dynamics
  • cathode


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