TU Delft

A computational model for biofilm-based microbial fuel cells

Cristian Picioreanu*1, Ian Head2, Krishna Katuri2, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht1, Keith Scott2

1 Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology
Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft, The Netherlands.
Tel: +31-(0)15-2781551, Fax: +31-(0)15-2782355

2 University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle, UK

*Corresponding author. E-mail: c.picioreanu@tudelft.nl

This web page contains SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL and VIDEO FILES of the simulations presented in the paper "A computational model for biofilm-based microbial fuel cells" published in Water Research, 41(13):2921-2940 (link to PDF paper).

Supplementary Material

Figure S1    Compartments and sub-domains of the computational model. (A) The large scale comprises an ideally mixed bulk liquid and a biofilm compartment attached to the electrode surface. (B) The small scale biofilm model contains three sub-domains characterized by the presence of different processes: (1) a completely mixed zone B which is connected to the bulk liquid, (2) a mass transfer boundary layer L and, (3) the biofilm matrix F developing on the electrode support. Typical solute concentration profiles averaged along the x direction are represented as a function of distance z from the electrode surface for: non-electroactive reactant, electroactive reactant, non-electroactive product, and electroactive product.


Figure S2.  Model solution algorithm and software implementation. The three-dimensional (3d) model construction allows a general description of the time-dependent spatial distributions of dissolved and biomass components, and of currents on the anode surface. The model was implemented in this full 3d setup, but also in computationally faster two-dimensional and one-dimensional reductions. The software implementation is written on a modular base in C/C++, and it runs on ordinarily available personal computers. The program code is based on the multidimensional biofilm modelling software described in Picioreanu et al. (2004) and Xavier et al. (2005), with major additions for the specific MFC processes. Being a rather flexible framework in which specific model setups can be built, the software allows an easy choice of any number of components and processes. Therefore, it is relatively easy to construct different scenarios and easily test various hypotheses, within the general model assumptions described.

Picioreanu, C., Kreft, J.-U. and van Loosdrecht, M.C.M. (2004) Particle-based multidimensional multispecies biofilm model. Appl Environ Microb 70(5), 3024-3040.

Xavier, J.B., Picioreanu, C. and van Loosdrecht, M.C.M. (2005) A framework for multidimensional modelling of activity and structure of multispecies biofilms. Environ Microbiol 7(8), 1085-1103.

Press, W.H., Teukolsky, S.A., Vetterling, W.T. and Flannery, B.P. (1997) Numerical recipes in C: The art of scientific computing. Cambridge University Press, NY.


Video files

Case #1,   2d
(Figure 3)


Download files

2.5 Mb,  Microsoft RLE

0.6 Mb,  animated gif
Case #1,   3d
(Figure 4)

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9.1 Mb,  Microsoft RLE

2.2 Mb,  animated gif
Case #14,   2d
(Figure 8)
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8.6 Mb,  Microsoft RLE

4.9 Mb,  animated gif
Case #15,   2d
(Figure 8)
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7.0 Mb,  Microsoft RLE

3.2 Mb,  animated gif

2007 - Updated on June 11, 2007, by Cristian Picioreanu