Skip to main content

Energy Production in Mediator-Less Microbial Fuel Cells with High Internal Resistance: The Effects of Nitrate and Sulfate

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) simultaneously provide waste treatment while capturing energy in the form of electricity. These devices are being deployed in engineered and natural environments where nitrate or sulfate may inhibit power production, but the effects of these electron acceptors have not been fully explored. This research investigated the effect of nitrate and sulfate on MFC power production when these chemicals are present at the anode. Nitrate decreased the maximum current and power density by 15% and 17% respectively when present at 20 mg/L and sulfate caused the maximum current and power density to decrease by 4% and 7% respectively (also at 20 mg/L). Stronger inhibition was observed at higher nitrate and sulfate concentrations, but power production persisted. Coulombic efficiency decreased as nitrate and sulfate levels increased, but this was not primarily due to the biochemical reduction of nitrate or sulfate, but probably because of the inhibition of exoelectrogens.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cells; coulombic efficiency; internal resistance; nitrate; sulfate

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more