In this study, we experimentally revealed that the microscale surface geometry of anodes strongly affects the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). MFCs have much need to be improved in their power. The power generated by an MFC is considered to be strongly affected by the interaction between the organic bacteria and the inorganic electrode surfaces. In prior work, the nanoscale surface roughness of the anode was discussed; however, we consider that the microscale surface geometry may play a crucial role given the bacteria size of micrometer order. We used a two-chamber MFC and the direct electron transfer bacteria Shewanella putrefaciens. We prepared seven types of anode electrodes with different microscale surface geometries and experimentally found that the MFC performance depended on the contact area between the bacteria and the anode. The MFC generated the maximum power when the contact area between the anode and bacteria was the largest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas