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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Vol. 73, 2017, Pages: 236–248

Mini-review: Anode modification for improved performance of microbial fuel cell

Y. Hindatu, M.S.M. Annuar, A.M. Gumel

Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Microbial fuel cell (MFC) harnesses the metabolic activities of microorganism to generate electricity from substrate oxidation. However, the power generated from the MFC is relatively low for practical applications, thus the urgent need for its improvement. In MFC, anode is a crucial component of the setup, both structurally and functionally. It provides support for bacterial attachment and simultaneously acts as a sink for electrons from substrate metabolism. Poor performance of anode electrode in MFC is still a major setback for its practical applications. Successful anode electrode modification is expected to enhance the MFC electricity generation efficiency. Materials such as carbon nanotube, stainless steel, conducting polymers, metal oxides, and electrolytes have been employed as anode electrode modifiers with varying degree of success. Henceforth, this communication highlights and discusses the latest research advances made in MFC anode electrode modification using the aforementioned materials. The importance of the modification methods and their consequences towards anode architecture, biocompatibility, and longevity to improve the overall MFC performance are discussed.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cell; Anode electrode; Carbon nanotube (CNT); Graphene; Stainless steel.

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