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Vol. 106
, 2015, Pages: 105–114

Chemometrical assessment of the electrical parameters obtained by long-term operating freshwater sediment microbial fuel cells

Mario Mitov, Ivo Bardarov, Petko Mandjukov, Yolina Hubenova

Department of Chemistry, South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, 66 Ivan Mihajlov Str., 2700 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.


The electrical parameters of nine freshwater sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were monitored for a period of over 20 months. The developed SMFCs, divided into three groups, were started up and continuously operated under different constant loads (100, 510 and 1100 Ω) for 2.5 months. At this stage of the experiment, the highest power density values, reaching 1.2 ± 0.2 mW/m2, were achieved by the SMFCs loaded with 510 Ω. The maximum power obtained at periodical polarization during the rest period, however, ranged between 26.2 ± 2.8 and 35.3 ± 2.8 mW/m2, strongly depending on the internal cell resistance. The statistical evaluation of data derived from the polarization curves shows that after 300 days of operation all examined SMFCs reached a steady-state and the system might be assumed as homoscedastic. The estimated values of standard and expanded uncertainties of the electric parameters indicate a high repeatability and reproducibility of the SMFCs' performance. Results obtained in subsequent discharge–recovery cycles reveal the opportunity for practical application of studied SMFCs as autonomous power sources.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Sediment microbial fuel cells; Freshwater sediments; Statistics; Sustainability; Autonomous power generation.

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