Glycerol degradation in single-chamber microbial fuel cells

Vanita Roshan Nimje, Chien Yen Chen, Chien Cheng Chen, Hau Ren Chen, Min Jen Tseng, Jiin-Shuh Jean, Young Fo Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Glycerol degradation with electricity production by a pure culture of Bacillus subtilis in a single-chamber air cathode of microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been demonstrated. Steady state polarization curves indicated a maximum power density of 0.06mW/cm2 with an optimal external resistance of 390Ω. Analysis of the effect of pH on MFC performance demonstrated that electricity generation was sustained over a long period of time under neutral to alkaline conditions. Cyclic voltammetry exhibited the increasing electrochemical activity with the increase of pH of 7, 8 and 9. Voltammetric studies also demonstrated that a two-electron transfer mechanism was occurring in the reactor. The low Coulombic efficiency of 23.08% could be attributed to the loss of electrons for various activities other than electricity generation. This study describes an application of glycerol that could contribute to transformation of the biodiesel industry to a more environmentally friendly microbial fuel cell-based technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2629-2634
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


Dive into the research topics of 'Glycerol degradation in single-chamber microbial fuel cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this