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Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Vol. 79, 2016, Pages: 406–410

Enhanced biofilm distribution and cell performance of microfluidic microbial fuel cells with multiple anolyte inlets

Yang Yang, Dingding Ye, Qiang Liao, Pengqing Zhang, Xun Zhu, Jun Li, Qian Fu

Key Laboratory of Low-grade Energy Utilization Technologies and Systems (Chongqing University), Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400030, China.


A laminar-flow controlled microfluidic microbial fuel cell (MMFC) is considered as a promising approach to be a bio-electrochemical system (BES). But poor bacterial colonization and low power generation are two severe bottlenecks to restrict its development. In this study, we reported a MMFC with multiple anolyte inlets (MMFC-MI) to enhance the biofilm formation and promote the power density of MMFCs. Voltage profiles during the inoculation process demonstrated MMFC-MI had a faster start-up process than the conventional microfluidic microbial fuel cell with one inlet (MMFC-OI). Meanwhile, benefited from the periodical replenishment of boundary layer near the electrode, a more densely-packed bacterial aggregation was observed along the flow direction and also the substantially low internal resistance for MMFC-MI. Most importantly, the output power density of MMFC-MI was the highest value among the reported µl-scale MFCs to our best knowledge. The presented MMFC-MI appears promising for bio-chip technology and extends the scope of microfluidic energy.

Keywords: Microfluidic; Miniature microbial fuel cells; Laminar flow; Biofilm.

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