Integrated Microfluidic Flow-Through Microbial Fuel Cells.

Scientific reports

PubMedID: 28120875

Jiang H, Ali MA, Xu Z, Halverson LJ, Dong L. Integrated Microfluidic Flow-Through Microbial Fuel Cells. Sci Rep. 2017;741208.
This paper reports on a miniaturized microbial fuel cell with a microfluidic flow-through configuration: a porous anolyte chamber is formed by filling a microfluidic chamber with three-dimensional graphene foam as anode, allowing nutritional medium to flow through the chamber to intimately interact with the colonized microbes on the scaffolds of the anode. No nutritional media flow over the anode. This allows sustaining high levels of nutrient utilization, minimizing consumption of nutritional substrates, and reducing response time of electricity generation owing to fast mass transport through pressure-driven flow and rapid diffusion of nutrients within the anode. The device provides a volume power density of 745?µW/cm(3) and a surface power density of 89. 4?µW/cm(2) using Shewanella oneidensis as a model biocatalyst without any optimization of bacterial culture. The medium consumption and the response time of the flow-through device are reduced by 16. 4 times and 4. 2 times, respectively, compared to the non-flow-through counterpart with its freeway space volume six times the volume of graphene foam anode. The graphene foam enabled microfluidic flow-through approach will allow efficient microbial conversion of carbon-containing bioconvertible substrates to electricity with smaller space, less medium consumption, and shorter start-up time.