skip to main content

Characterization of plant growth promoting potential of 3D-printed plant microbial fuel cells

1School of Chemical, Biological. and Materials Engineering and Sciences, Mapua University, Manila, Philippines

2Center for Renewable Bioenergy Research, Mapua University, Manila, Philippines

Received: 4 Feb 2023; Revised: 25 Jun 2023; Accepted: 7 Jul 2023; Available online: 28 Jul 2023; Published: 1 Sep 2023.
Editor(s): Rock Keey Liew
Open Access Copyright (c) 2023 The Author(s). Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE)
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Citation Format:

Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell (PMFC) is an emerging technology that converts plant waste into electrical energy through rhizodeposition, offering a renewable and sustainable source of energy. Deviating from the traditional PMFC configurations, additive manufacturing was utilized to create intricate and efficient designs using polymer-carbon composites. Concerning the agricultural sector, the effect of 3D-printed PMFCs on the growth and biomass distribution of Phaseolus lunatus and Ipomoea aquatica was determined. The experiment showed that electrostimulation promoted the average daily leaf number and plant height of both polarized plants, which were statistically proven to be greater than the control (α = 0.05), by energizing the flow of ions in the soil, boosting nutrient uptake and metabolism. It also stimulated the growth of roots, increasing the root dry mass of polarized plants by 155.44% and 66.30% for I. aquatica and P. Lunatus against their non-polarized counterpart. Due to the biofilm formation on the anode surface, the number of root nodules of the polarized P. lunatus was 51.30% higher than the control, while the protein content in the PMFC setup was 42.22% and 8.26% higher than the control for I. aquatica and P. lunatus, respectively. The voltage readings resemble the plants' average growth rate, and the polarization studies showed that the optimum external resistances in the I. aquatica- and P. lunatus-powered PMFC were 4.7 kΩ and 10 kΩ, respectively. Due to other prevailing pathways of organic carbon consumption, such as methanogenesis, the effect of polarization on the organic carbon content in soil is currently inconclusive and requires further study.

Fulltext View|Download
Keywords: 3D-printed electrodes; organic carbon; plant growth; protein; root system
Funding: Mapua University

Article Metrics:

  1. Agüera, E., & De la Haba, P. 2018. Leaf senescence in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration and low nitrogen supply. Biologia Plantarum, 62(3), 401–408.
  2. Arulmani, S. R. B., Gnanamuthu, H. L., Kandasamy, S., Govindarajan, G., Alsehli, M., Elfasakhany, A., Pugazhendhi, A., & Zhang, H. 2021. Sustainable bioelectricity production from Amaranthus viridis and Triticum aestivum mediated plant microbial fuel cells with efficient electrogenic bacteria selections. Process Biochemistry, 107, 27–37.
  3. Bataillou, G., Haddour, N., & Vollaire, C. 2022. Bioelectricity production of PMFC using Lobelia Queen Cardinalis in individual and shared soil configurations. E3S Web of Conferences, 334, 08001.
  4. Cheng, J., Sun, Z., Li, X., & Yu, Y. 2020. Effects of modified nanoscale carbon black on plant growth, root cellular morphogenesis, and microbial community in cadmium-contaminated soil. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 27(15), 18423–18433.
  5. Costa, O. Y. A., Raaijmakers, J. M., & Kuramae, E. E. 2018. Microbial extracellular polymeric substances: Ecological function and impact on soil aggregation. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9(JUL), 1–14.
  6. Dunaj, S. J., Vallino, J. J., Hines, M. E., Gay, M., Kobyljanec, C., & Rooney-Varga, J. N. 2012. Relationships between soil organic matter, nutrients, bacterial community structure, and the performance of microbial fuel cells. Environmental Science and Technology, 46(3), 1914–1922.
  7. Egamberdieva, D., Wirth, S. J., Alqarawi, A. A., Abd-Allah, E. F., & Hashem, A. 2017. Phytohormones and beneficial microbes: Essential components for plants to balance stress and fitness. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8(OCT), 2104.
  8. Guan, C. Y., & Yu, C. P. 2021. Evaluation of plant microbial fuel cells for urban green roofs in a subtropical metropolis. Science of the Total Environment, 765, 142786.
  9. Gude, V. G. 2016. Microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment and energy generation. Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells: Fundamentals and Applications, 247–285.
  10. Han, Q., Ma, Q., Chen, Y., Tian, B., Xu, L., Bai, Y., Chen, W., & Li, X. 2020. Variation in rhizosphere microbial communities and its association with the symbiotic efficiency of rhizobia in soybean. ISME Journal, 14(8), 1915–1928.
  11. He, P., Osaki, M., Takebe, M., & Shinano, T. 2003. Comparison of whole system of carbon and nitrogen accumulation between two maize hybrids differing in leaf senescence. Photosynthetica, 41(3), 399–405.
  12. Hoseinzadeh, E., Wei, C., Farzadkia, M., & Rezaee, A. 2020. Effects of Low Frequency-Low Voltage Alternating Electric Current on Apoptosis Progression in Bioelectrical Reactor Biofilm. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 8(January), 1–11.
  13. Huang, X., Duan, C., Duan, W., Sun, F., Cui, H., Zhang, S., & Chen, X. 2021. Role of electrode materials on performance and microbial characteristics in the constructed wetland coupled microbial fuel cell (CW-MFC): A review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 301, 126951.
  14. Imbrogno, F., Assini, S. P., Granata, M., Di Lorenzo, R., & Malcovati, P. 2019. Experimental characterization of the electrical energy produced by microbial fuel cells supplied by pot plants. 2019 IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for Agriculture and Forestry, MetroAgriFor 2019 - Proceedings, 269–273.
  15. Jiang, J., Zhao, Q., Wei, L., Wang, K., & Lee, D. J. 2011. Degradation and characteristic changes of organic matter in sewage sludge using microbial fuel cell with ultrasound pretreatment. Bioresource Technology, 102(1), 272–277.
  16. Jyoti Sarma, P., & Mohanty, K. 2022. A novel three-chamber modular PMFC with bentonite/flyash based clay membrane and oxygen reducing biocathode for long term sustainable bioelectricity generation. Bioelectrochemistry, 144, 107996.
  17. Kabutey, F. T., Zhao, Q., Wei, L., Ding, J., Antwi, P., Quashie, F. K., & Wang, W. 2019. An overview of plant microbial fuel cells (PMFCs): Configurations and applications. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 110, 402–414.
  18. Kamali, M., Guo, Y., Aminabhavi, T. M., Abbassi, R., Dewil, R., & Appels, L. 2023. Pathway towards the commercialization of sustainable microbial fuel cell-based wastewater treatment technologies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 173(December 2022), 113095.
  19. Karamzadeh, M., Kadivarian, H., Kadivarian, M., & Kazemi, A. 2020. Modeling the influence of substrate concentration, anode electrode surface area and external resistance in a start-up on the performance of microbial fuel cell. Bioresource Technology Reports, 12, 100559.
  20. Karra, U., Manickam, S. S., McCutcheon, J. R., Patel, N., & Li, B. 2013. Power generation and organics removal from wastewater using activated carbon nanofiber (ACNF) microbial fuel cells (MFCs). International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(3), 1588–1597.
  21. Kumar, V., Khare, T., Srivastav, A., Surekha, C., Shriram, V., & Wani, S. H. 2018. Oxidative stress and leaf senescence: Important insights. In Senescence Signalling and Control in Plants. Elsevier Inc.
  22. Kwon, K. J., & Park, B. J. 2021. Efficiency of Spathiphyllum spp. as a plant-microbial fuel cell. Ornamental Horticulture, 27(2), 173–182.
  23. Li, Z. G., Gou, H. Q., & Li, R. Q. 2019. Electrical stimulation boosts seed germination, seedling growth, and thermotolerance improvement in maize (Zea mays L.). Plant Signaling and Behavior, 14(12).
  24. Lim, P. O., & Nam, H. G. 2005. The Molecular and Genetic Control of Leaf Senescence and Longevity in Arabidopsis. In Current Topics in Developmental Biology (Vol. 67, Issue 04). Elsevier Masson SAS.
  25. Lin, C. W., Alfanti, L. K., Cheng, Y. S., & Liu, S. H. 2022. Enhancing bioelectricity production and copper remediation in constructed single-medium plant sediment microbial fuel cells. Desalination, 542, 116079.
  26. Liu, Y., Zhang, H., Lu, Z., de Lourdes Mendoza, M., Ma, J., Cai, L., & Zhang, L. 2018. Decreasing sulfide in sediment and promoting plant growth by plant–sediment microbial fuel cells with emerged plants. Paddy and Water Environment 2018 17:1, 17(1), 13–21.
  27. Lu, Z., Yin, D., Chen, P., Wang, H., Yang, Y., Huang, G., Cai, L., & Zhang, L. 2020. Power-generating trees: Direct bioelectricity production from plants with microbial fuel cells. Applied Energy, 268(October 2019), 115040.
  28. Ma, J., Zhang, C., Xi, F., Chen, W., Jiao, K., Du, Q., Bai, F., & Liu, Z. 2022. Experimental study on the influence of environment conditions on the performance of paper-based microfluidic fuel cell. Applied Thermal Engineering, 119487.
  29. Maddalwar, S., Kumar Nayak, K., Kumar, M., & Singh, L. 2021. Plant microbial fuel cell: Opportunities, challenges, and prospects. Bioresource Technology, 341, 125772.
  30. Matassa, S., Boon, N., Pikaar, I., & Verstraete, W. 2016. Microbial protein: future sustainable food supply route with low environmental footprint. Microbial Biotechnology, 9(5), 568.
  31. Mobilian, C., & Craft, C. B. 2022. Wetland Soils: Physical and Chemical Properties and Biogeochemical Processes. In Encyclopedia of Inland Waters (2nd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 157–168). Elsevier.
  32. Morales, C., Solís, S., Bacame-Valenzuela, F. J., Reyes-Vidal, Y., Cárdenas, J., Manríquez, J., & Bustos, E. 2021. Electrical stimulation of Cucumis sativus in an Antrosol using modified electrodes with transition metal oxides at the in situ pilot level. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 895(June), 115528.
  33. Mori, D., Moriyama, A., Kanamaru, H., Aoki, Y., Masumura, Y., & Suzuki, S. 2021. Electrical stimulation enhances plant defense response in grapevine through salicylic acid‐dependent defense pathway. Plants, 10(7), 1–10.
  34. Narayana Prasad, P., & Kalla, S. 2021. Plant-microbial fuel cells - A bibliometric analysis. Process Biochemistry, 111, 250–260.
  35. Nitisoravut, R., & Regmi, R. 2017. Plant microbial fuel cells: A promising biosystems engineering. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 76, 81–89.
  36. Nogué, F., Gonneau, M., & Faure, J.-D. 2003. Cytokinins. In Encyclopedia of Hormones (pp. 371–378).
  37. Omar, M. H., Razak, K. A., Ab Wahab, M. N., & Hamzah, H. H. 2021. Recent progress of conductive 3D-printed electrodes based upon polymers/carbon nanomaterials using a fused deposition modelling (FDM) method as emerging electrochemical sensing devices. RSC Advances, 11(27), 16557–16571.
  38. Peng, T., Kellens, K., Tang, R., Chen, C., & Chen, G. 2018. Sustainability of additive manufacturing: An overview on its energy demand and environmental impact. Additive Manufacturing, 21, 694–704.
  39. Regmi, R., Nitisoravut, R., Charoenroongtavee, S., Yimkhaophong, W., & Phanthurat, O. 2018. Earthen Pot–Plant Microbial Fuel Cell Powered by Vetiver for Bioelectricity Production and Wastewater Treatment. CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water, 46(3), 1700193.
  40. Rocha, R. G., Ramos, D. L. O., de Faria, L. V., Germscheidt, R. L., dos Santos, D. P., Bonacin, J. A., Munoz, R. A. A., & Richter, E. M. 2022. Printing parameters affect the electrochemical performance of 3D-printed carbon electrodes obtained by fused deposition modeling. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 116910.
  41. Roy Choudhury, S., Johns, S. M., & Pandey, S. 2019. A convenient, soil‐free method for the production of root nodules in soybean to study the effects of exogenous additives. Plant Direct, 3(4), 1–11.
  42. Sarma, P. J., & Mohanty, K. 2023. Development and comprehensive characterization of low-cost hybrid clay based ceramic membrane for power enhancement in plant based microbial fuel cells (PMFCs). Materials Chemistry and Physics, 296, 127337.
  43. Schlesinger, W. H., & Bernhardt, E. S. 2020. Wetland Ecosystems. In Biogeochemistry (4th ed., pp. 249–291). Academic Press.
  44. Shamsi, I. H., Sagonda, T., Zhang, X., Zvobgo, G., & Joan, H. I. 2018. The role of growth regulators in senescence. In Senescence Signalling and Control in Plants. Elsevier Inc.
  45. Sharma, S., & Agarwal, S. K. 2018. Plant leaf senescence: integrating multiple environmental and internal cues. In Senescence Signalling and Control in Plants. Elsevier Inc.
  46. Slate, A. J., Hickey, N. A., Butler, J. A., Wilson, D., Liauw, C. M., Banks, C. E., & Whitehead, K. A. 2021. Additive manufactured graphene-based electrodes exhibit beneficial performances in Pseudomonas aeruginosa microbial fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources, 499, 229938.
  47. Sophia, A. C., & Sreeja, S. 2017. Green energy generation from plant microbial fuel cells (PMFC) using compost and a novel clay separator. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 21, 59–66.
  48. Vincent, S. G. T., Jennerjahn, T., & Ramasamy, K. 2021. Environmental variables and factors regulating microbial structure and functions. In Microbial Communities in Coastal Sediments (pp. 79–117). Elsevier.
  49. Wang, C., Zhang, H., Ren, D., Li, Q., Zhang, S., & Feng, T. 2015. Effect of Direct-Current Electric Field on Enzymatic Activity and the Concentration of Laccase. Indian Journal of Microbiology, 55(3), 278–284.
  50. Wang, H., Gu, C., Liu, X., Yang, C., Li, W., & Wang, S. 2020. Impact of Soybean Nodulation Phenotypes and Nitrogen Fertilizer Levels on the Rhizosphere Bacterial Community. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11(May), 1–10.
  51. Wang, Q., Liu, J., & Zhu, H. 2018. Genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying symbiotic specificity in legume-rhizobium interactions. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, 313.
  52. Winfield, J., Gajda, I., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. 2016. A review into the use of ceramics in microbial fuel cells. Bioresource Technology, 215, 296–303.
  53. Wouters, P. C., Dutreux, N., Smelt, J. P. P. M., & Lelieveld, H. L. M. 1999. Effects of pulsed electric fields on inactivation kinetics of Listeria innocua. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 65(12), 5364–5371.
  54. Yamaguchi, I., Cohen, J. D., Culler, A. H., Quint, M., Slovin, J. P., Nakajima, M., & Sakagami, Y. 2010. Plant Hormones. In Comprehensive Natural Products II (Vol. 4, pp. 9–125).
  55. Yi, J. Y., Choi, J. W., Jeon, B. Y., Jung, I. L., & Park, D. H. 2012. Effects of a low-voltage electric pulse charged to culture soil on plant growth and variations of the bacterial community. Agricultural Sciences, 2012(03), 339–346.
  56. Yolcubal, I., Brusseau, M. L., Artiola, J. F., Wierenga, P. J., & Wilson, L. G. 2004. ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND PROCESSES. Environmental Monitoring and Characterization, 207–239.
  57. Yoneyama, K., & Natsume, M. 2010. Allelochemicals for Plant–Plant and Plant–Microbe Interactions. Comprehensive Natural Products II: Chemistry and Biology, 4, 539–561.
  58. You, J., Preen, R. J., Bull, L., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. 2017. 3D printed components of microbial fuel cells: Towards monolithic microbial fuel cell fabrication using additive layer manufacturing. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 19, 94–101.
  59. Zhang, W., Zhang, F., Niu, Y., Li, Y. X., Jiang, Y., Bai, Y. N., Dai, K., & Zeng, R. J. 2020. Power to hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria: Effect of current density on bacterial activity and community spectra. Journal of Cleaner Production, 263, 121596.
  60. Zhao, F., Xin, X., Cao, Y., Su, D., Ji, P., Zhu, Z., & He, Z. 2021. Use of Carbon Nanoparticles to Improve Soil Fertility, Crop Growth and Nutrient Uptake by Corn (Zea mays L.). Nanomaterials 2021,11(10), 2717.
  61. Zhou, E., Lekbach, Y., Gu, T., & Xu, D. 2022. Bioenergetics and extracellular electron transfer in microbial fuel cells and microbial corrosion. Current Opinion in Electrochemistry, 31, 100830.

Last update:

  1. Enhancing microbial fuel cell performance with carbon powder electrode modifications for low-power sensors modules

    Mohammed Adel Al-badani, Peng Lean Chong, Heng Siong Lim. International Journal of Renewable Energy Development, 13 (1), 2024. doi: 10.14710/ijred.2024.58977

Last update: 2023-12-08 07:12:23

No citation recorded.