Nanoscience and Microsystems ETDs

Publication Date



Supercapacitive microbial fuel cells with various anode and cathode dimensions were investigated in order to determine the effect on capacitance and delivered power quality. The cathode size was determined to be the limiting component of the system, while anode size showed little effect on the devices performance. By doubling the cathode area, peak power output was improved by roughly 120% for a 10 ms pulse discharge. Doubling the cathode area also had a positive effect on the internal resistance of the cell, lowering the equivalent series resistance by approximately 47%. Doubling the anode area increased peak power output slightly, with an 11% increase in peak power output observed. A model was constructed in order to predict the performance of a hypothetical cylindrical MFC design with larger relative cathode size. The analysis predicts that a small device based on conventional materials with a volume of approximately 21 cm3 would be capable of delivering a peak power output of approximately 76 mW at 190 mA, or ~1200 W/m3'


Supercapacitive Microbial Fuel Cell


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Document Type




Degree Name

Nanoscience and Microsystems

Level of Degree


Department Name

Nanoscience and Microsystems

First Advisor

Atanassov, Plamen

First Committee Member (Chair)

Santoro, Carlo

Second Committee Member

Cerrato, Jose

Third Committee Member