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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 186016, 7 pages
Research Article

Effective Control of Bioelectricity Generation from a Microbial Fuel Cell by Logical Combinations of pH and Temperature

1Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
2Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
3College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China

Received 27 December 2013; Accepted 27 January 2014; Published 11 March 2014

Academic Editors: B. Cao, Y.-C. Yong, and S.-G. Zhou

Copyright © 2014 Jiahuan Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) with switchable power release is designed, which can be logically controlled by combinations of the most physiologically important parameters such as “temperature” and “pH.” Changes in voltage output in response to temperature and pH changes were significant in which voltage output decreased sharply when temperature was lowered from 30°C to 10°C or pH was decreased from 7.0 to 5.0. The switchability of the MFC comes from the microbial anode whose activity is affected by the combined medium temperature and pH. Changes in temperature and pH cause reversible activation-inactivation of the bioanode, thus affecting the activity of the entire MFC. With temperature and pH as input signals, an AND logic operation is constructed for the MFC whose power density is controlled. The developed system has the potential to meet the requirement of power supplies producing electrical power on-demand for self-powered biosensors or biomedical devices.