Single-step inkjet-printed paper-origami arrayed air-breathing microfluidic microbial fuel cell and its validation

Prakash Rewatkar, Prasanth K. Enaganti, Manish Rishi, Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Sanket Goel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Microfluidic paper based microbial fuel cells (μP-MFCs) have gained considerable popularity due to their compact, quick and low-cost fluid manipulation paradigm. Compared to conventional technologies, paper as a substrate with advanced nanomaterial electrode material has many distinct advantages from point-of-care monitoring to energy harvesting. As a result, these have been used and are more popular in a variety of fields, such as health diagnostics, environmental and food quality management. By this encouragement, herein a portable microbial fuel cell as an origami array has been demonstrated using custom carbon electrodes with a modified the transition metal oxide MnO2 nanomaterial. This customized electrode design was first printed using a tabletop PCB inkjet printer where the anode was further modified with synthesized MnO2 nanoparticles. The entire cell was formed by folding the paper along predefined edges where the fuel, Shewanella putrefaciens, was streamed continuously via inherent capillary cation. Various studies, such as morphological, surface catalyst coating, amount loading and volumetric culture optimization experiments, have also been accomplished to find the most appropriate optimum parameter to enhance power conversion efficiency. The developed origami arrayed microbial fuel generated an open-circuit potential (OCP) for two parallel connected MFCs of 0.534 V and a maximum power density of 15.9 μW/cm2 with a maximum current density of 130 μA/cm2. In the end, the harvested power was used by powering the digital watch circuit through the ultra-low DC-DC booster board. Such an MFC origami array, with simple electrode manufacturing and modification process, has a great potential and bright future in Internet of Things (IoT) applications by making multiple stacks where the data can be monitored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35408-35419
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number71
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021


  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Shewanella putrefaciens
  • Origami microfluidics
  • Array-type
  • MnO₂
  • Inkjet printer


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