Scale-up microbial fuel cell for direct conversion of food waste to electricity

Dania Zinner, Zhiyong Jason Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Organic wastes such as food waste represent an abundant domestic resource for energy production. A novel energy conversion technology, microbial fuel cells (MFCs), can convert food waste to electricity. These are bio-electrochemical systems that use microbes as biocatalysts directly converting biodegradable resources into electricity. Preliminary lab-scale experiments using Colorado Convention Center (CCC) food waste showed a sustainable power density of 155 mW/m 2 with a waste reduction of ∼70%. A scaled-up version of a MFC reactor was designed and constructed as a continuous flow-through system. COD and HRT were optimized for best performance. The scale-up MFC was discovered to have an average waste reduction of 85% and a power density of ∼25 mW/m 2. The energy input of manufacturing the scale-up MFC was also compared with the energy output from its electricity generation. These results will be used to determine the feasibility of an on-site pilot scale MFC reactor for the CCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event242nd ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2011Sep 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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