Microalgae-Microbial Fuel Cell (MMFC) for Bioelectricity Generation and Domestic Wastewater Treatments

Prof. H. Hadiyanto
Center of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE), Diponegoro University, Indonesia.

By Prof. H. Hadiyanto, Center of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE), Diponegoro University, Indonesia.
A microbial fuel cells (MFC) is a device that uses bacteria to oxidize organic matters in wastewater and recently has gained much attention for bioelectricity production. MFC has been also effectively used for chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal from low grade substrates such as wastewater. The objective of this research was to investigate the potential use of domestic wastewater as substrate in anode compartment while microalgae Spirulina sp was cultivated in cathodic compartment to generate oxygen as electron acceptor. A treated domestic wastewater which has Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of 33,500 -35,000 mg/ L was used as the substrate while commercial sugar was used as the control sample. During the process, the substrate was changed partially after 5 days and resulted power density of 74 mW/m2. The COD of wastewater removed by 35% from its initial concentration and then decreased by 41% after substrate partially replaced. The increase of microalgae biomass in the cathode side showed improvement of the oxygen reduction reaction which useful for electricity production. The result showed that domestic wastewater has feasibility as the substrate of yeast – Spirulina MMFCs to generate bioelectricity which can be used as an alternative electricity source for rural regions.


Prof. Dr. Hadiyanto, MSc received his BSc of Chemical Engineering from Diponegoro University in 1998 and MSc of Bioprocess Engineering from Wageningen University, The Netherlands in 2003. While the degree of Ph.D. has been obtained in 2007 from Wageningen University, Netherlands. After finishing his Ph.D., he had an opportunity to work as a scientist at NIZO Food Research BV Netherlands (2007-2009), and Research Associate at Process Intensification Group at TU DELFT Netherlands (2009-2010). Besides these works, he has also been invited as visiting research fellow at KU Leuven Belgium (2011), Kyoto University (2012) and DTU Denmark (2014). He is also actively involved in Sustainable Energy and Environmental (SEE) Forum, UNDIP green metric task force and coordinating world-class university program since 2016. In 2016, he was appointed as the head of a master program in environmental science, school of postgraduate studies and appointed as full professor on May 2017 in the field of bioprocess engineering.