Electricity Generation and De-contamination Effect for Characteristic Electrode Material in a Microbial Fuel Cell System Using Bay Sediment

MFC의 금속 및 탄소전극에 의한 전기생산 특성과 오염저감 효과

  • Kwon, Sung-Hyun (Department of Marine Environmental Engineering/Institute of Marine Industry, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Song, Hyung-Jin (Department of Energy & Environmental Engineering, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Lee, Eun-Mi (Department of Energy & Environmental Engineering, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Cho, Dae-Chul (Department of Energy & Environmental Engineering, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Rhee, In-Hyoung (Department of Energy & Environmental Engineering, Soonchunhyang University)
  • 권성현 (경상대학교 해양환경공학과(해양산업연구소)) ;
  • 송형진 (순천향대학교 에너지환경공학과) ;
  • 이은미 (순천향대학교 에너지환경공학과) ;
  • 조대철 (순천향대학교 에너지환경공학과) ;
  • 이인형 (순천향대학교 에너지환경공학과)
  • Received : 2010.03.03
  • Accepted : 2010.07.16
  • Published : 2010.08.31


Sediment works as a resource for electric cells. This paper was designed in order to verify how sediment cells work with anodic material such as metal and carbon fiber. As known quite well, sediment under sea, rivers or streams provides a furbished environment for generating electrons via some electron transfer mechanism within specific microbial population or corrosive oxidation on the metal surfaces in the presence of oxygen or water molecules. We experimented with one type of sediment cell using different anodic material so as to attain prolonged, maximum electric power. Iron, Zinc, aluminum, copper, zinc/copper, and graphite felt were tested for anodes. Also, combined type of anodes-metal embedded in the graphite fiber matrix-was experimented for better performances. The results show that the combined type of anodes exhibited sustainable electricity production for ca. 600 h with max. $0.57\;W/m^2$ Al/Graphite. Meanwhile, graphite-only electrodes produced max. $0.11\;W/m^2$ along with quite stationary electric output, and for a zinc electrode, in which the electricity generated was not stable with time, therefore resulting in relatively sharp drop in that after 100 h or so, the maximum power density was $0.64\;W/m^2$. It was observed that the corrosive reaction rates in the metal electrodes might be varied, so that strength and stability in the electric performances(voltage and current density) could be affected by them. In addition to that, COD(chemical oxygen demand) of the sediment of the cell system was reduced by 17.5~36.7% in 600 h, which implied that the organic matter in the sediment would be partially converted into non-COD substances, that is, would suggest a way for decontamination of the aged, anaerobic sediment as well. The pH reduction for all electrodes could be a sign of organic acid production due to complicated chemical changes in the sediment.


  1. 강병종, 2008, 천연해수환경 중 강판에 클래딩한 스테인리스강 박판의 부식 방식 특성, 석사학위논문, 한국해양대학교.
  2. 노정빈, 황용우, 배재호, 문진영, 2006, 미생물연료전지를 이용한 유기산으로부터 전기생산 특성, 상하수도학회지, 20(2), 225-234.
  3. 배재근, 오종민 편저, 2002, 토양오염 측정분석, 신광문화사, 59.
  4. Choo, Y. F., Lee, J. Y., Chang, I. S., Kim, B. H., 2006, Bacterial communities in microbial fuel cells enriched with high concentrations of glucose and glutamate, Microbiol. Biotechnol., 16(9), 1481-1484.
  5. Du, Z., Li, H., Gu T., 2007, A state of the art review on microbial fuel cells: A promising technology for wastewater treatment and bioenergy, Biotechnol. Adv., 25, 464-482.
  6. Jones, D. A., 1996, Principles and prevention of corrosion, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, N.Y., 55-64.
  7. Liu, H., Ramnarayanan, R., Logan, B. E., 2004, Production of electricity during wastewater treatment using a single chamber microbial fuel cell, Environ. Sci. Technol., 38(7), 2281-2285.
  8. Liu, H., Logan, B. E., 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, 4040-4046.
  9. Logan, B. E., Regan, J. M., 2006, Electricity-producing bacterial communities in microbial fuel cells, Trend in Microbiology, 14(12), 512-518.
  10. Lovley, D. R., 1991, Dissimilatory Fe(III) and Mn(IV) reduction, Microbiol. Rev., 55, 259-287.
  11. Lovley, D. R., 2006, Microbial energizers: Fuel cell that keep on going, Microbe., 1(7), 323-329.
  12. Oh, S. J., Min, B. K., Logan, B. E., 2004, Cathode performance as a factor in electricity generation in microbial fuel cells, Environ. Sci. Technol., 38, 4900-4904.
  13. Robin, M., Allen, H., Peter, B., 1993, Microbial fuel cells-Electricity production from carbohydrates, Biochem. Biotechnol., 39, 27-40.
  14. Schroder, U., Niessen, J., Scholz, F., 2003, A generation of microbial fuel cells with current outputs boosted by more than one order of magnitude, Ang. Chem., 115(25), 2986-2989.
  15. Tender, L. M., Reimers, C. E., Stecher, H. A., Holmes, D. E., Bond, D. R., Lowy, D. L., Pilobello, K., Fertig, S. J., Lovley, D. R., 2002, Harnessing microbial power generation on the seafloor, Nat. Biotechnol., 20, 821-825.

Cited by

  1. A Study on Electricity Generation of Marine Sediment Cells vol.20, pp.5, 2011,