Production of electricity from proteins using a microbial fuel cell

Jenna Heilmann, Bruce E. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Electricity generation was examined from proteins and a protein-rich wastewater using a single chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). The maximum power densities achieved were 354 ± 10 mW/m2 using bovine serum albumin (BSA) and 269 ± 14 mW/m2 using peptone (1100 mg/L BSA and 300 mg/L peptone). The recovery of organic matter as electricity, defined as the Coulombic efficiency (CE), was comparable to that obtained with other substrates with CE = 20.6% for BSA and CE = 6.0% for peptone. A meat packing wastewater (MPW), diluted to 1420 mg/L chemical oxygen demand, produced 80 ± 1 mW/m2, and power was increased by 33% by adding salt (300 mg/L sodium chloride) to increase solution conductivity. A wastewater inoculum generated 33% less power than the MPW inoculum. The MFC was an effective method of wastewater treatment, demonstrated by > 86% of biochemical oxygen demand and total organic carbon removal from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-537
Number of pages7
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Production of electricity from proteins using a microbial fuel cell'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this