Evaluation of Activated Carbon Electrodes as Anodes in a Microbial Fuel Cell Using Shewanella Putrefaciens

Diana Marcela Vanegas-Hernández, Mónica Liliana Cardona-Aristizabal, Zulamita Zapata-Benabithe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    In this work, three types of activated carbons were evaluated as electrodes in the anode chamber of a two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). The evaluation was applied using a pure Shewanella Putrefaciens culture due to its gram-negative characteristics. In the cathode chamber, a platinum electrode was used, and a Nafion® 117 proton exchange membrane was selected as a separator of both chambers. The activated carbons were obtained from different precursors (coffee husk, commercial coal, and mineral coal), with different microporous and surface properties. From the voltage and current measurements, it was found that the cell power values varied between 0.008 mW and 0.045 mW. The electrode obtained from chemical activation of coffee husk with H3PO4at 450 °C (Q) showed the best electrochemical behaviour and highest power values. This result may be mainly related to the macroscopic morphology and mesopores that improve the wettability of the surface by the medium thought carbonaceous material. SEM images showed a better biofilm formation, larger filaments of the bacteria, and micro-beds formation over the surface of bio-anode Q, which improved the interaction with the microorganism, its metabolism, and electrons extracellular transfer. Therefore, activated carbon from coffee husk could be considered as a promising material for electrodes of microbial fuel cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere10468
    JournalRevista Facultad de Ingenieria
    Issue number54
    StatePublished - 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The project was financed by the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) through

    Publisher Copyright:
    Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under license CC


    • Shewanella Putrefaciens
    • activated carbon
    • anodic chamber
    • carbonaceous materials
    • mediators microorganism
    • two chambers cells


    Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of Activated Carbon Electrodes as Anodes in a Microbial Fuel Cell Using Shewanella Putrefaciens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this