Effect of temperature on the performance of air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs)

Shaoan Cheng, Bruce Logan, Defeng Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


Effect of temperature on the performance of microbial fuel cells was studied using 4-cm cubic MFCs with air-cathodes and carbon brush anodes. At temperatures below 15 °C, the MFC could not be started up following inoculation with either effluent of an old MFC or domestic wastewater, while at the temperature over 15 °C, the MFC easily started up and produced power. The higher the temperature, the shorter the start-up time in the studied temperature region of 15° to 30°C. Once started up at 30°C, the reactors could sustainably generate electricity over the complete temperature range of 4°C to 30°C. For reactors initially run at 30°C, the maximum power densities were nearly a linear function of the temperature, increasing from 425 mW/m2 at 4°C to 1260 mW/m2 at 30°C. These findings demonstrate that the MFC can work over large temperature ranges, but that they must initially be started at 30°C to be effective at power generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event239th ACS National Meeting and Exposition - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 21 2010Mar 25 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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