Conditions for high resistance to starvation periods in bioelectrochemical systems

Yolanda Ruiz, Edgar Ribot-Llobet, Juan Antonio Baeza, Albert Guisasola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. The present work aims at understanding the performance of bioelectrochemical systems when subjected to different starvation periods, which is very relevant in view of their industrial application or use as biosensor. The results show that both microbial fuel cells (MFC) and microbial electrolysis cells (MEC) could resist starvation periods up to 10-11. days without any significant decrease in their performance when endogenous consumption was enabled by closing the circuit in MFC or applying an external voltage in MEC. By contrast, starvation periods longer than 5. days in both MFC and MEC when the flow of electrons from the anode to the cathode was not permitted thereby avoiding endogenous consumption, led to a reversible decrease in the cells performance. A longer starvation period of 21-days under open-circuit caused an irreversible performance loss of the MFC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-334
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Exoelectrogenic bacteria
  • Microbial electrolysis cell
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Starvation
  • Substrate accumulation


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