Microbial Fuel Cell


Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology combines wastewater treatment with clean energy production

How it Works:

Organic contaminants present in wastewater are metabolized by anaerobic bacteria, generating electrons and protons.  An electrode is provided to act as the terminal electron acceptor.  A second electrode, exposed to air, facilitates the reduction of oxygen to produce water.  By connecting the two electrodes, an electric current is generated.  This allows for the simultaneous removal of organic contaminants and generation of clean electricity from wastewater. 




Anode Reaction:

C6H12O6 + 6H2O à CO2 + 24H+ + 24e-


Cathode Reaction:

6O2 + 24H+ +24e- à 12H2O


Overall Reaction:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 à    6CO2 + 6H2O


Reduced Carbon Footprint: 




Economic Advantage:

MFC wastewater treatment offers economic advantages over current wastewater treatment methods by: 

  1. Reducing operating costs

Ø      Eliminating the need for aeration

Ø      Reducing biosolids production

  1. Generating clean electricity as a byproduct                                                                                                                                             
  2. Reducing plant footprint by minimizing reactor size 

Advantages of Our Design:

Our innovative open-air design offers the following advantages:

1)   Efficient – Our unique MFC architecture maximizes cathode-air interface surface area, maximizing electrical potential

2)   Inexpensive – Our MFC’s were developed with economic feasibility in mind from day one

3)   Scalable – Our MFC’s are designed to be scalable for use in residential septic tanks all the way up to large municipal wastewater treatment plants

4)   Robust – By utilizing a mixed consortium of anaerobic microbes, our MFC’s are suitable for a wide range of feeds, flow rates, and BOD concentrations

5)   Modular – Our modular design will reduce engineering costs and allow for gradual expansion as our clients needs change with time


Current Status of Technology:

We are currently in the process of optimizing our design to minimize cost and improve BOD removal and electricity generation.  Following completion of this optimization, a pilot study at the Annacis Wastewater Centre will commence.