Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that exploit microbial catabolic activities to generateelectricity from a variety of materials, including complex organic waste and renewablebiomass. These sources provide MFCs with a great advantage over chemical fuel cells thatcan utilize only purified reactive fuels (e.g., hydrogen). A developing primary application of MFCs is its use in wastewater treatment coupled with electricity generation, although furthertechnical developments are necessary for its practical use.The aim of this study was to test a novel MFC design for wastewater treatment andsimultaneous electricity production. Two identical MFCs of the design were used with highconcentration substrate synthetic dairy wastewater with 4g of COD (chemical oxygendemand) per litre. The MFCs were run continuously at sub-ambient temperatures (15
C) for35 days from the 19
The hypothesis of the design was to bring MFC s closer to large scale industrialisation. Assuch the materials and mechanics of the design were conceived with the consideration of theneeds of large scale wastewater treatment plants.Many tests were carried out to assess the condition for the bacteria within the two MFCs suchas VFA, SMA as well as the continuous recording of voltage and COD removal efficiency.SEM and confocal microscopy was also carried out to describe the bacteria being used.Published works andrecent advances in MFC technologies that can become fundamentals forfuture practical MFC developments are reviewed and combined with the results of thisexperiment for evaluation and discussion.The MFC design proved successful in that it achieved 60% removal efficiency, the predictedtarget whilst producing relatively high values of electricity compared to other MFCs in theliterature with the max power per volume value for both MFCs 8.4W m
. The coulombicefficiency for the two MFCs however was very low at only 2% due to the high concentrationof COD in the substrate. This means only 2% of the wastewater treated was converted intoenergy.