Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 17–26 | Cite as

Enhanced open-circuit voltage and power for two types of microbial fuel cells in batch experiments using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as biocatalyst

  • Silviu-Laurentiu BadeaEmail author
  • Stanica EnacheEmail author
  • Radu Tamaian
  • Violeta-Carolina Niculescu
  • Mihai Varlam
  • Cristian-Valeriu Pirvu
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Remediation


The combined influence of iron and calcium salts can increase the voltage and power of MFC systems using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as biocatalyst, but no systematic studies were performed. To explore these incomplete understood interactions, the production of bioelectricity has been studied in two types of dual-chambered MFC systems: in small volume batch system with frit as separator and in a medium volume batch system with nafion. In both MFC experiments, CaCO3 and FeSO4 were added as supplements in a modified medium. In the MFC experiment with frit, the highest OCV (1.143 V) was recorded at about 8 h, while in the MFC experiment with nafion, the highest OCV (1.128 V) was recorded at about 132 h, values which are attributable to the above-mentioned mineral salts and exceeding the OCV value of 0.847 V reported in the literature, thus, to our knowledge, higher than any OCV ever recorded from one single MFC operated in batch mode. The power density in the MFC experiment with frit was 1.031 W m− 2, being in concordance with the best literature values. The power densities in the MFC experiment with nafion were lower but increased over time, while the high OCV values were more stable over longer time periods. Overall, the experimental data showed the potential of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in generation of bioelectricity in different MFC configurations.

Graphical abstract


MFC Biocatalyst OCV Current density Power density Polarization curve 



This study was performed within the frame of ROM-EST project, Code SMIS-CSNR: 48706 and project PN 16 36 11972. We are grateful to Dr. Mihaela Ramona Buga for useful discussions and support.

Supplementary material

10800_2018_1254_MOESM1_ESM.docx (4.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4353 KB)


  1. 1.
    Franks AE, Nevin KP (2010) Microbial fuel cells, a current review. Energies 3(5):899–919. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Santoro C, Arbizzani C, Erable B, Ieropoulos I (2017) Microbial fuel cells: from fundamentals to applications. A review. J Power Sources 356:225–244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Logan BE, Wallack MJ, Kim K-Y, He W, Feng Y, Saikaly PE (2015) Assessment of microbial fuel cell configurations and power densities. Environ Sci Technol Lett 2(8):206–214. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lovley DR (2006) Bug juice: harvesting electricity with microorganisms. Nat Rev Microbiol 4(7):497–508. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Venkata Mohan S, Velvizhi G, Annie Modestra J, Srikanth S (2014) Microbial fuel cell: critical factors regulating bio-catalyzed electrochemical process and recent advancements. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 40:779–797. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Logan BE, Hamelers B, Rozendal R, Schröder U, Keller J, Freguia S, Aelterman P, Verstraete W, Rabaey K (2006) Microbial fuel cells: methodology and technology. Environ Sci Technol 40(17):5181–5192. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang CP, Li MC, Liu GL, Luo HP, Zhang RD (2009) Pyridine degradation in the microbial fuel cells. J Hazard Mater 172(1):465–471. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Franks AE, Nevin KP, Jia HF, Izallalen M, Woodard TL, Lovley DR (2009) Novel strategy for three-dimensional real-time imaging of microbial fuel cell communities: monitoring the inhibitory effects of proton accumulation within the anode biofilm. Energy Environ Sci 2(1):113–119. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lu N, Zhou SG, Zhuang L, Zhang JT, Ni JR (2009) Electricity generation from starch processing wastewater using microbial fuel cell technology. Biochem Eng J 43(3):246–251. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dheilly A, Linossier I, Darchen A, Hadjiev D, Corbel C, Alonso V (2008) Monitoring of microbial adhesion and biofilm growth using electrochemical impedancemetry. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 79(1):157–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Donovan C, Dewan A, Heo D, Beyenal H (2008) Batteryless, wireless sensor powered by a sediment microbial fuel cell. Environ Sci Technol 42(22):8591–8596. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dumas C, Mollica A, Feron D, Basseguy R, Etcheverry L, Bergel A (2008) Checking graphite and stainless anodes with an experimental model of marine microbial fuel cell. Bioresour Technol 99(18):8887–8894. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Franks AE, Nevin KP, Glaven RH, Lovley DR (2010) Microtoming coupled to microarray analysis to evaluate the spatial metabolic status of Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms. ISME J 4(4):509–519. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Luo HP, Liu GL, Zhang RD, Jin S (2009) Phenol degradation in microbial fuel cells. Chem Eng J 147(2–3):259–264. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhu XP, Ni JR (2009) Simultaneous processes of electricity generation and p-nitrophenol degradation in a microbial fuel cell. Electrochem Commun 11(2):274–277. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Liu H, Logan BE (2004) Electricity generation using an air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cell in the presence and absence of a proton exchange membrane. Environ Sci Technol 38(14):4040–4046. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    You S-j, Zhao Q-l, Jiang J-q (2006) Biological wastewater treatment and simultaneous generating electricity from organic wastewater by microbial fuel cell. Huan Jing Ke Xue 27(9):1786–1790Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yuan H, Hou Y, Abu-Reesh IM, Chen J, He Z (2016) Oxygen reduction reaction catalysts used in microbial fuel cells for energy-efficient wastewater treatment: a review. Mater Horiz 3(5):382–401. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Feng Y, Wang X, Logan BE, Lee H (2008) Brewery wastewater treatment using air-cathode microbial fuel cells. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 78(5):873–880. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Galvez A, Greenman J, Ieropoulos I (2009) Landfill leachate treatment with microbial fuel cells; scale-up through plurality. Bioresour Technol 100(21):5085–5091. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Patil SA, Surakasi VP, Koul S, Ijmulwar S, Vivek A, Shouche YS, Kapadnis BP (2009) Electricity generation using chocolate industry wastewater and its treatment in activated sludge based microbial fuel cell and analysis of developed microbial community in the anode chamber. Bioresour Technol 100(21):5132–5139. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Freguia S, Teh EH, Boon N, Leung KM, Keller J, Rabaey K (2010) Microbial fuel cells operating on mixed fatty acids. Bioresour Technol 101(4):1233–1238. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Morris JM, Jin S (2008) Feasibility of using microbial fuel cell technology for bioremediation of hydrocarbons in groundwater. J Environ Sci Health A 43(1):18–23. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Permana D, Rosdianti D, Ishmayana S, Rachman SD, Putra HE, Rahayuningwulan D, Hariyadi HR (2015) Preliminary investigation of electricity production using dual chamber microbial fuel cell (DCMFC) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as biocatalyst and methylene blue as an electron mediator. Procedia Chem 17:36–43. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rahimnejad M, Ghoreyshi AA, Najafpour GD, Younesi H, Shakeri M (2012) A novel microbial fuel cell stack for continuous production of clean energy. Int J Hydrogen Energy 37(7):5992–6000. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    An J, Kim B, Chang IS, Lee H-S (2015) Shift of voltage reversal in stacked microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 278:534–539. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Oh SE, Logan BE (2007) Voltage reversal during microbial fuel cell stack operation. J Power Sources 167(1):11–17. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lobo FL, Wang X, Ren ZJ (2017) Energy harvesting influences electrochemical performance of microbial fuel cells. J Power Sources 356:356–364. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Yahiro AT, Lee SM, Kimble DO (1964) Bioelectrochemistry: I. enzyme utilizing bio-fuel cell studies. Biochim Biophys Acta 88(2):375–383. Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kováč L (1985) Calcium and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochim Biophys Acta 840(3):317–323. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rogowska A, Pomastowski P, Złoch M, Railean-Plugaru V, Król A, Rafińska K, Szultka-Młyńska M, Buszewski B (2018) The influence of different pH on the electrophoretic behaviour of Saccharomyces cerevisiae modified by calcium ions. Sci Rep 8(1):7261. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Park DH, Zeikus JG (2000) Electricity generation in microbial fuel cells using neutral red as an electronophore. Appl Environ Microbiol 66(4):1292–1297. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Holmes E, Loo RL, Stamler J, Bictash M, Yap IKS, Chan Q, Ebbels T, De Iorio M, Brown IJ, Veselkov KA, Daviglus ML, Kesteloot H, Ueshima H, Zhao LC, Nicholson JK, Elliott P (2008) Human metabolic phenotype diversity and its association with diet and blood pressure. Nature 453(7193):396. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Li-ping Fan SX (2016) Overview on electricigens for microbial fuel cell. Open Biotechnol J 10:398–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Eliato TR, Pazuki G, Majidian N (2016) Potassium permanganate as an electron receiver in a microbial fuel cell. Energy Sources A 38(5):644–651. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Logan BE (2008) Voltage generation. In: Logan BE (ed) Microbial fuel cells. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 29–43. Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Fan YZ, Hu HQ, Liu H (2007) Enhanced Coulombic efficiency and power density of air-cathode microbial fuel cells with an improved cell configuration. J Power Sources 171(2):348–354. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Samsudeen N, Radhakrishnan TK, Matheswaran M (2015) Performance comparison of triple and dual chamber microbial fuel cell using distillery wastewater as a substrate. Environ Prog Sustain Energy 34(2):589–594. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ghasemi M, Halakoo E, Sedighi M, Alam J, Sadeqzadeh M (2015) Performance comparison of three common proton exchange membranes for sustainable bioenergy production in microbial fuel cell. Procedia CIRP 26:162–166. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic TechnologiesRâmnicu VâlceaRomania
  2. 2.SC Biotech Corp SRLRâmnicu VâlceaRomania
  3. 3.Department of General Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials ScienceUniversity Politehnica of BucharestBucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations