In situ microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for organic carbon

Luciana de Jesus dos Santos Peixoto, Booki Min, Gilberto Martins, António G. Brito, Pablo Kroff, Pier Parpot, Irini Angelidaki, Regina Nogueira

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The biological oxygen demand (BOD) may be the most used test to assess the amount of pollutant organic matter in water; however, it is time and labor consuming, and is done ex-situ. A BOD biosensor based on the microbial fuel cell principle was tested for online and in situ monitoring of biodegradable organic content of domestic wastewater. A stable current density of 282±23mA/m2 was obtained with domestic wastewater containing a BOD5 of 317±15mg O2/L at 22±2°C, 1.53±0.04mS/cm and pH 6.9±0.1. The current density showed a linear relationship with BOD5 concentration ranging from 17±0.5mg O2/L to 78±7.6mg O2/L. The current generation from the BOD biosensor was dependent on the measurement conditions such as temperature, conductivity, and pH. Thus, a correction factor should be applied to measurements done under different environmental conditions from the ones used in the calibration. These results provide useful information for the development of a biosensor for real-time in situ monitoring of wastewater quality.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)99-103
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Biological oxygen demand biosensor
  • Wastewater quality
  • Submersible microbial fuel cell

Cite this

de Jesus dos Santos Peixoto, L., Min, B., Martins, G., Brito, A. G., Kroff, P., Parpot, P., Angelidaki, I., & Nogueira, R. (2011). In situ microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for organic carbon. Bioelectrochemistry, 81(2), 99-103.