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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Oct;102(20):9335-44. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.07.019. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Recent progress in electrodes for microbial fuel cells.

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State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China.


The performance and cost of electrodes are the most important aspects in the design of microbial fuel cell (MFC) reactors. A wide range of electrode materials and configurations have been tested and developed in recent years to improve MFC performance and lower material cost. As well, anodic electrode surface modifications have been widely used to improve bacterial adhesion and electron transfer from bacteria to the electrode surface. In this paper, a review of recent advances in electrode material and a configuration of both the anode and cathode in MFCs are provided. The advantages and drawbacks of these electrodes, in terms of their conductivity, surface properties, biocompatibility, and cost are analyzed, and the modification methods for the anodic electrode are summarized. Finally, to achieve improvements and the commercial use of MFCs, the challenges and prospects of future electrode development are briefly discussed.

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