Stable and high voltage and power output of CEA-MFCs internally connected in series (iCiS-MFC)

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  • Yanzhen Fan Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA
  • Anthony Janicek Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA
  • Hong Liu Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA



activated carbon, cloth electrode assembly, internally connected in series, microbial fuel cell, scaling-up


The voltage output of a single MFC is normally less than 0.8 V, often less than 0.3 V at maximum power output, which greatly limits the application of MFCs.  When MFCs are scaled up, however, increasing reactor size has typically resulted in decreased power density.  In this study, we developed a novel MFC configuration that contains multiple cloth electrode assemblies in which the MFCs were internally connected in series (iCiS-MFC). The iCiS-MFC, equivalent to 3 CEA-MFCs, produced a high voltage output over 1.8 V and a maximum power density of 3.5 W m-2 using carbon cloth cathodes containing activated carbon as the catalyst. This power density is 6% higher than that reported for a similar smaller CEA-MFC, indicating that power can be maintained during scale-up with a greater than 33-fold increase in total cathode surface area and greater than 20-fold increase in reactor volume. High stability was also demonstrated based on the performance of the iCiS-MFC over a period of one year of operation.  The high power and stability is likely due, in part, to a more efficient means of current collection through the internal series connection, which also avoids the use of expensive current collectors. These results clearly demonstrate the great potential of this MFC design for further scaling-up.


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How to Cite

Fan, Y., Janicek, A., & Liu, H. (2024). Stable and high voltage and power output of CEA-MFCs internally connected in series (iCiS-MFC). The European Chemistry and Biotechnology Journal, (1), 47–57.



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