Renewable Bio-anodes for Microbial Fuel Cells

  • Chris M. Bhadra
  • Palalle G. Tharushi Perera
  • Vi Khanh Truong
  • Olga N. Ponamoreva
  • Russell J. Crawford
  • Elena P. IvanovaEmail author
Reference work entry


The demand for sustainable alternative energy sources such as fuel cells and solar cells has significantly increased over the last decade. Electroactive bacteria have the potential to transfer electrons over physical or biological membranes to or from their extracellular environment. Some bacteria possess the ability to directly transfer electrons, while some other bacterial cells can transfer electrons from their outer membrane to an electrode in the presence of redox mediator. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have attracted attention as substitute fuel cells, which have the ability to efficiently convert energy under mild working conditions and using lower cost substrates than used in conventional biofuel cells. One of these working conditions involves the physico-chemical encapsulation of electroactive bacteria (EAB) within a three-dimensional nanostructured polymeric network, which acts as a modified “bio-anode.” One of the most critical factors that may influence the MFC performance is the composition and structure of the electrode material. The nanostructured electrode must possess a high specific surface area to ensure that the catalytic processes take place and to ensure the biocompatibility of the electrode. Some currently used nano-structured bio-electrodes are reviewed in this chapter.


Fuel cells Electroactive bacteria Electron transfer Bio-anodes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris M. Bhadra
    • 1
  • Palalle G. Tharushi Perera
    • 1
  • Vi Khanh Truong
    • 1
  • Olga N. Ponamoreva
    • 2
  • Russell J. Crawford
    • 3
  • Elena P. Ivanova
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Science, Faculty of Science, Engineering and TechnologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia
  2. 2.Biotechnology Department and Chemistry DepartmentTula State UniversityTulaRussia
  3. 3.School of ScienceRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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