Microbial electrochemical cells depend on the reaction by anode-respiring bacteria (ARB). The ARB reaction generates multiple e- and H +, which take diverging paths, creating a charge imbalance. An electric field must migrate ions to restore electrical neutrality. Here, the model proton condition in bioflim (PCBIOFILM) expands for evaluating the impact of migration on the biofilm anode: the expansion makes the proton condition (PC) work in tandem with the electrical-neutrality condition, which is a novel methodological advancement. The analysis with PCBIOFILM examines relevant scenarios of phosphate- and carbonate-buffered biofilm anodes using established parameters. The analysis demonstrates how: (1) the proton condition (PC) maintains electrical neutrality by achieving charge balance; (2) migration influences the biofilm anode more than non-ARB biofilms; (3) migration increases the overall current density, but by less than 15 percent; and (4) PCBIOFILM without migration accurately captures large-scale trends in biofilm anodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6964-6972
Number of pages9
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Issue number23
StatePublished - Sep 30 2010


  • Anode-respiring bacteria
  • Biofilm anode
  • Biofilm modeling
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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