A Microfluidic Platform for Evaluating Anode Substrates for Microbial Fuel Cells

My masters thesis presents design, manufacturing, testing, and modeling of a laminar-flow microbial fuel cell. Novel means were developed to use graphite and other bulk-scale materials in a microscale device without loosing any properties of the bulk material. Micro-milling techniques were optimized for use on acrylic to achieve surface rough- ness averages as low as Ra = 100 nm for a 55 μm deep cut. Power densities as high as 0.4 mW · m−2, (28 mV at open circuit) in the first ever polarization curve for a laminar-flow microbial fuel cell. A model was developed for biofilm behavior incor- porating shear and pore pressure as mechanisms for biofilm loss. The model agrees with experimental observations on fluid flow through biofilms, biofilm structure, and other biofilm loss events.

This was also presented at the ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition and published at the same.