Original Research Paper

Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 705-714

Performance of microbial fuel cell with volatile fatty acids from food wastes

  • Jin-dal-rae ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST
  • , Ho Nam ChangAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST
  • , Jong-In HanAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, KAIST Email author 

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Food wastes were used as feedstock for the direct production of electricity in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). MFC operations with volatile fatty acids (VFA) produced 533 mV with a maximum power density of 240 mW/m2. Short-chain VFAs, such as acetate, were degraded more rapidly and thus supported higher power generation than longer chain ones. In general, the co-existence of other, different VFAs slowed the removal of each VFA, which indicated that anodic microbes were competing for different substrates. 16S rRNA gene analysis using PCR-DGGE indicated that the MFC operation with VFAs had enriched unique microbial species.


Food waste Microbial fuel cell Ostrich dung inoculum Volatile fatty acid