6 1 1 7 3 2 1 0 0 2 2 g
Home About us MoEF Contact us Sitemap Tamil Website  
About Envis
Whats New
Research on Microbes
Microbiology Experts
Online Submission
Access Statistics

Site Visitors

blog tracking

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Vol. 61, 2016, Pages: 501–525

Recent advances and emerging challenges in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for microbial production of hydrogen and value-added chemicals

Abudukeremu Kadier, Mohd Sahaid Kalil, Peyman Abdeshahian, K. Chandrasekhar, Azah Mohamed, Nadia Farhana Azman, Washington Logroņo, Yibadatihan Simayi, Aidil Abdul Hamid

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, National University of Malaysia (UKM), 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.


Microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) is a potentially attractive green technology to tackle the global warming and energy crisis, which employs electrochemically active bacteria to convert organic matter into hydrogen or a wide range of chemicals, such as methane, acetate, hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, and formic acid, without causing environmental pollution. Until now, probably the cleanest and the most efficient method of producing hydrogen has been MEC. However, this technology is still in its infancy period and poses various challenges towards up-scaling and widespread applications, such as such as lower hydrogen production rate (HPR), high internal resistance, complicated architecture, and expensive materials. New advances are needed in biofilm engineering, materials for electrodes and reactor configuration for successful real-world application of this technology. Thus, the present review deals with development of practical MEC technology and includes the following sections: firstly a general introduction to MECs; their operating principles, thermodynamics of MEC, and energy or voltage losses in the MEC system were provided. Followed by a section on the critical factors affecting MEC performance; microorganisms, anode, cathode, membrane or separator, fuel sources, the state-of-art MECs designs, other key operational factors, and its potential application in microbial production of value added products are discussed in detail. Afterwards, current challenges involved in developing practical MEC systems are highlighted, and outlooks for future development are also suggested. The review aims to assist researcher and engineers to gain fundamental understandings of MEC, and it also provides several future research directions and a road map on how to overcome the barriers, so the MEC technology can be further advanced and applied in larger scale.

Keywords: Hydrogen production; Microbial electrolysis cell (MEC); Exoelectrogens; Hydrogen production rate (HPR); Cathode catalysts; Hydrogen recovery; Energy efficiency.

Copyright © 2005 ENVIS Centre ! All rights reserved
This site is optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution