Modelling and simulation of two-chamber microbial fuel cell

Yingzhi Zeng, Yeng Fung Choo, Byung Hong Kim, Ping Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) offer great promise for simultaneous treatment of wastewater and energy recovery. While past research has been based extensively on experimental studies, modelling and simulation remains scarce. A typical MFC shares many similarities with chemical fuel cells such as direct ascorbic acid fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells. Therefore, an attempt is made to develop a MFC model similar to that for chemical fuel cells. By integrating biochemical reactions, Butler-Volmer expressions and mass/charge balances, a MFC model based on a two-chamber configuration is developed that simulates both steady and dynamic behaviour of a MFC, including voltage, power density, fuel concentration, and the influence of various parameters on power generation. Results show that the cathodic reaction is the most significant limiting factor of MFC performance. Periodic changes in the flow rate of fuel result in a boost of power output; this offers further insight into MFC behaviour. In addition to a MFC fuelled by acetate, the present method is also successfully extended to using artificial wastewater (solution of glucose and glutamic acid) as fuel. Since the proposed modelling method is easy to implement, it can serve as a framework for modelling other types of MFC and thereby will facilitate the development and scale-up of more efficient MFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume195
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Microbial fuel cells
fuel cells
chambers
simulation
Fuel cells
chemical fuels
Wastewater
Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
Ascorbic acid
Ascorbic Acid
Power generation
Glucose
glutamic acid
Glutamic Acid
ascorbic acid
Acetates
Flow rate
acceleration (physics)
glucose

Keywords

  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Model
  • Parameter estimation
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Modelling and simulation of two-chamber microbial fuel cell. / Zeng, Yingzhi; Choo, Yeng Fung; Kim, Byung Hong; Wu, Ping.

In: Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 195, No. 1, 01.01.2010, p. 79-89.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zeng, Yingzhi ; Choo, Yeng Fung ; Kim, Byung Hong ; Wu, Ping. / Modelling and simulation of two-chamber microbial fuel cell. In: Journal of Power Sources. 2010 ; Vol. 195, No. 1. pp. 79-89.
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