The influence of anodic helical design on fluid flow and bioelectrochemical performance

Iain S. Michie*, Jung Rae Kim, Richard M. Dinsdale, Alan J. Guwy, Giuliano C. Premier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study three different tubular helical anode designs are compared, for each helical design the pitch and nominal sectional area/liquid flow channel between the helicoids was varied and this produced maximum power densities of 11.63, 9.2 and 6.73Wm-3 (small, medium and large helical flow channel cross-sections). It is found that the level of mixing and the associated shear rates present in the anodes affects both the power development and biofilm formation. The small helical flow channel carbon anode produced 40% more biofilm and this result was related to modelling data which determined a system shear rate of 237s-1, compared to 52s-1 and 47s-1 for the other reactor configurations. The results from computational fluid dynamic modelling further distinguishes between convective flow conditions and supports the influence of helical structure on system performance, so establishing the importance of anodic design on the overall electrogenic biofilm activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue numberCESE 2013
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2014


  • Biofilm
  • Fluid flow
  • Helical anode
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Performance


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