Several recent studies demonstrated significant charge storage in electrochemical biofilms. Aiming to evaluate the impact of charge storage on microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance, this work presents a combined bioelectrochemical-electrical (CBE) model of an MFC. In addition to charge storage, the CBE model is able to describe fast (ms) and slow (days) nonlinear dynamics of MFCs by merging mass and electron balances with equations describing an equivalent electrical circuit. Parameter estimation was performed using results of MFC operation with intermittent (pulse-width modulated) connection of the external resistance. The model was used to compare different methods of selecting external resistance during MFC operation under varying operating conditions. Owing to the relatively simple structure and fast numerical solution of the model, its application for both reactor design and real-time model-based process control applications are envisioned.
Date de publication
Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering39, nº 2 (16 décembre 2015) : 267–276.