Factors affecting the performance of microbial fuel cells for sulfur pollutants removal

Feng Zhao, Nelli Rahunen, John R. Varcoe, Alexander J. Roberts, Claudio Avignone-Rossa, Alfred E. Thumser, Robert C.T. Slade

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    123 Citations (Scopus)


    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been developed for removal of sulfur-based pollutants and can be used for simultaneous wastewater treatment and electricity generation. This fuel cell uses an activated carbon cloth + carbon fibre veil composite anode, air-breathing dual cathodes and the sulfate-reducing species Desulfovibrio desulfuricans. 1.16 g dm-3 sulfite and 0.97 g dm-3 thiosulfate were removed from the wastewater at 22 °C, representing sulfite and thiosulfate removal conversions of 91% and 86%, respectively. The anode potential was controlled by the concentration of sulfide in the compartment. The performance of the cathode assembly was affected by the concentration of protons in the cation-exchanging ionomer with which the electrocatalyst is co-bound at the three-phase (air, catalyst and support) boundary. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1931-1936
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
    Issue number7
    Early online date15 Oct 2008
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2009


    • Anode
    • Bacteria
    • Cathode
    • Microbial fuel cell
    • Sulfur pollutants


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