Changes in microbial fuel cell (MFC) architecture, materials, and solution chemistry can be used to increase power generation by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). It is shown here that using a phosphate buffer to increase solution conductivity, and ammonia gas treatment of a carbon cloth anode substantially increased the surface charge of the electrode (from 0.38 to 3.99 meq m-2), and improved MFC performance. Power increased to 1640 mW m-2 (96 W m-3) using a phosphate buffer, and further to 1970 mW m-2 (115 W m-3) using an ammonia-treated electrode. The combined effects of these two treatments boosted power production by 48% compared to previous results using this air-cathode MFC. In addition, the start up time of an MFC was reduced by 50%.
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