IRC-SET 2018 pp 143-151 | Cite as

Microbial Fuel Cells: Food Waste as a Sugar Source

  • Phua WilliamEmail author
  • Emma Tan Xiu Wen
  • Ho Jia Yi Jenevieve
Conference paper


The recent threat of climate change and rising demands for electricity globally has prompted research into Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), a potential source of renewable energy. Another troubling global issue is large amounts of food waste. Use of food waste as substrates in MFCs could convert the food waste into clean energy, tackling both global problems. Hence, this research aims to determine if food waste is a viable substitute for currently used substrates (glucose) in MFCs by replacing glucose (substrate) with banana peels and sugarcane bagasse (inner and outer layers). For each substrate, MFC set-ups were run and the Benedict’s Test (quantitative) and Iodine Test were performed. Banana peel was found to be the best substrate among the three food wastes, with the stablest power performance, highest peak and highest average power performance. This was followed by the outer layer of sugarcane and lastly, the inner layer of sugarcane which also had the lowest concentration of reducing sugar. Thus, it was concluded that the substrate’s concentration of reducing sugar may affect power performance of the MFC. Furthermore, banana peels and the outer layer of sugarcane were found to be viable alternatives for glucose due to a higher power performance.


Microbial fuel cell Food waste Substrate 



We would like to thank our school National Junior College, Singapore for the opportunity to conduct this research project under the Science Research and Training Programme (Junior).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phua William
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emma Tan Xiu Wen
    • 1
  • Ho Jia Yi Jenevieve
    • 1
  1. 1.National Junior CollegeSingaporeSingapore

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