Flat microliter membrane-based microbial fuel cell as "on-line sticker sensor" for self-supported in situ monitoring of wastewater shocks

Zhiheng Xu, Bingchuan Liu, Qiuchen Dong, Yu Lei, Yan Li, Jian Ren, Jeffrey McCutcheon, Baikun Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Novel flat membrane-based microbial fuel cell (MMFC) sensors were developed by compacting two filter membranes coated with carbon ink. High micro-porosity and hydrophilicity of membranes offered the distinct advantages of short acclimation period (couple hours), simple compact configuration with microliter size, and high sensitivity and stability. MMFC sensors were examined at two toxic shocks (chromium and nickel) in a batch-mode test chamber, and rapidly responded to shock types and concentrations. The variation of voltage output was correlated with open circuit potential (OCP). Filter membranes facilitated bacterial attachment and shortened acclimation. The MMFC sensors showed good reusability and recovered several days after toxic shocks. The robustness of MMFC sensors was validated through 1-month tests. The stability of sensor signals was examined with coefficient of variance (CV) statistical analysis. The flat microliter MMFC has a great potential as "on-line sticker sensor" for real time in situ monitoring of wastewater quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Membrane
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • On line sticker biosensor
  • Open circuit potential (OCP)
  • Wastewater shock

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