An insight into cathode options for microbial fuel cells

O. Lefebvre*, A. Al-Mamun, W. K. Ooi, Z. Tang, D. H.C. Chua, H. Y. Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an emerging and promising technology, particularly in the field of wastewater treatment. The MFC capability of achieving organic removal and generating in situ electricity could make it an attractive alternative wastewater treatment technology over conventional treatment technologies. However, MFC is still far from being economically viable, especially because of the cost of the platinum (Pt) catalyst that makes possible the reaction at the cathode. In this study, we tested alternative cathode catalysts, namely sputter-deposited Cobalt (Co) and denitrifying bacteria (biocathode). The performance of these innovative cathodes was compared with that of classic Pt-cathodes. Co competed well with Pt, but further research is still required for biocathodes. However, biocathodes MFC have showed promise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2031-2037
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biocathode
  • Denitrification
  • Domestic wastewater
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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