Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 515–525 | Cite as

Performance assessment of a four-air cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cell under conditions of synthetic and municipal wastewater treatments

  • Asimina Tremouli
  • Michalis Martinos
  • Symeon Bebelis
  • Gerasimos Lyberatos
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Remediation


A four-air cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cell (4ACMFC) with MnO2 as cathode catalyst and a packed bed of graphite granules as anode was studied, aiming at continuous treatment of municipal wastewater in parallel to electric power production. When fed with synthetic wastewater, the system achieved a maximum power density of 13.6 W m−3, a COD removal of 85 %, and a Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 21 %. When municipal wastewater was treated, the achieved COD removal was 45 %, and the CE 7.8 %. By increasing the municipal wastewater conductivity through salt addition, the CE increased to 22.3 %. During the long-term operation of the cell, non-exoelectrogenic bacteria and catalyst degradation were observed to be present. The 4ACMFC performance was assessed at different hydraulic retention times. The electrochemical impedance characterization of the 4ACMFC was also carried out.

Graphical Abstract


Microbial fuel cell (MFC) Air cathode Municipal wastewater Long-term operation Oxygen stress Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) 



This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)—Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asimina Tremouli
    • 1
  • Michalis Martinos
    • 2
  • Symeon Bebelis
    • 1
  • Gerasimos Lyberatos
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece
  2. 2.School of Chemical EngineeringNational Technical University of AthensZografou, AthensGreece
  3. 3.Institute of Chemical Engineering SciencesPatrasGreece

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