Investigation and Taguchi Optimization of Microbial Fuel Cell Salt Bridge Dimensional Parameters

  • Dhrupad SarmaEmail author
  • Parimal Bakul Barua
  • Nabendu Dey
  • Sumitro Nath
  • Mrinmay Thakuria
  • Synthia Mallick
Original Contribution


One major problem of two chamber salt bridge microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is the high resistance offered by the salt bridge to anion flow. Many researchers who have studied and optimized various parameters related to salt bridge MFC, have not shed much light on the effect of salt bridge dimensional parameters on the MFC performance. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to investigate the effect of length and cross sectional area of salt bridge and the effect of solar radiation and atmospheric temperature on MFC current output. An experiment has been designed using Taguchi L9 orthogonal array, taking length and cross sectional area of salt bridge as factors having three levels. Nine MFCs were fabricated as per the nine trial conditions. Trials were conducted for 3 days and output current of each of the MFCs along with solar insolation and atmospheric temperature were recorded. Analysis of variance shows that salt bridge length has significant effect both on mean (with 53.90% contribution at 95% CL) and variance (with 56.46% contribution at 87% CL), whereas the effect of cross sectional area of the salt bridge and the interaction of these two factors is significant on mean only (with 95% CL). Optimum combination was found at 260 mm salt bridge length and 506.7 mm2 cross sectional area with 4.75 mA of mean output current. The temperature and solar insolation data when correlated with each of the MFCs average output current, revealed that both external factors have significant impact on MFC current output but the correlation coefficient varies from MFC to MFC depending on salt bridge dimensional parameters.


Microbial fuel cell Salt bridge parameters Taguchi method Karl-Pearsons co-efficient of correlation ANOVA 


A1, A2, A3

Three levels of factor A


Analysis of variance


American wire gauge


Confidence level


Chlorinated poly vinyl chloride


Error term in ANOVA calculation


Degree of freedom (DOF)


Variance ratio

F(α) Crit

Critical F value for a particular α, DOF of a factor and DOF of error. Where α is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true


Mean output current of MFC at optimal setting


The average current output of ith trial number on jth repetition (or day)


Average output current density of MFC

L1, L2, L3

Three levels of factor L


MFC designation having factor L at mth and factor A at nth level

L × A

Interaction of factor L and factor A


Microbial fuel cell


Orthogonal array


Percent contribution


Average output power of MFC


Average output power density of MFC


Electrical resistance

R1, R2, R3

First, second and third repetition of the trial conditions


Sum of squares


Pure sum of square


Signal to noise ratio




Average output voltage of MFC


Karl Pearson’s co-efficient of correlation

Supplementary material

40032_2017_436_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 1089 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Institution of Engineers (India) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentJorhat Engineering CollegeGarmur, JorhatIndia

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