Keywords: renewable energy, bioelectrochemical system, exoelectrogens, microbial fuel cell


The rapid reduction of fossil fuels induces society to develop new alternative energy technologies that would use renewable energy and helped to reduce human impact on the environment. The use of biofuel cells is declared as a promising trend for solving these problems. Of particular interest is their variety – microbial fuel cells, in which electricity is generated due to the decomposition of organic compounds by exoelectrogens. In addition to electricity generating, it is also possible to produce hydrogen in a different variety of biofuel cell, namely in bioelectrochemical systems. All these systems are united by their ability to convert the energy of chemical bonds of organic molecules directly into electricity or biohydrogen with using microorganisms. Their important advantage is the possibility of using wastewaters as a raw material for their own functioning since wastewaters with a high concentration of organic compounds are a renewable resource for electricity or hydrogen production.

In the last decade in such developed countries as the USA, Australia, Germany, and China the biotechnological method of electricity and hydrogen production has developed.

An analysis of the literature about microbial fuel cells, done in the work of the research team of authors under the direction of C. Santoro, shows that over the past decade, the number of publications has grown rapidly in order (from 100 publications from 2006 to 1020 in 2016, quotes from 2000 to 32,000, respectively). Although this review has about 500 references, non-English publications of Ukrainian scholars are not provided.

Regarding research on this subject in Ukraine, there are two main groups of scientists, from the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" (Department of environmental biotechnology and bioenergy) and Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Department of Microbiology). The first group is headed by prof. Kuzminskiy Ye. V. The research of this group is aimed at the development of biotechnology of electricity and hydrogen production with the simultaneous utilization of wastewater with high concentration of organic compounds. The second group is headed by prof. Gnatush S. O. This group studies the metabolism of bacteria Desulfuromonas acetoxidans, which are typical representatives of exoelectrogens.

Unfortunately, there are no other studies in this area in Ukraine. This low interest can be explained by insufficient financing of scientific research in this area.

The prospects of large-scale development of biofuel cells lie in the area of sewage treatment, as they can be used to solve two problems: to receive electricity with the simultaneous high concentrated wastewater treatment. This problem can be solved quickly only with the close cooperation of interdisciplinary specialists in such fields of science and technology, as microbiology, electrochemistry, biotechnology and water treatment technologies, as well as provided that sufficient funding is provided.

Author Biographies

Y. Kuzminskiy, National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sykorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute"


head of the Department of environmental biotechnology and bioenergy of the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute", Doctor of Chemical Sciences, Professor, Member of the Academy of Technological Sciences of Ukraine, American and International Electrochemical Societies, New York Academy of Sciences, Scientific Council of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine on the problem "Electrochemistry". The author has over 230 scientific publications and 30 patents.

K. Shchurska, National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sykorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute"


associate Professor of the Department of environmental biotechnology and bioenergy of the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute", a candidate of technical sciences, laureate of the Award of the Parliament of Ukraine for the most talented young scientist in the field of fundamental and applied researches and scientific and technical developments. Author of more than 20 scientific works.


1. Einschlag F. S. G. Waste Water – Treatment and Reutilization / F. S. G. Einschlag. – Rijeka: InTech, 2011. – 446 p. ISBN 978-953-307-249-4.
2. Fang Q. Solar-Driven Microbial Photoelectrochemical Cells with a Nanowire Photocathode / Q. Fang, W. Gongming, L. Yat // Nano Lett. –2010. – № 10. – P. 4686–4691.
3. Kuzminskiy Y. Bioelectrochemical hydrogen and electricity production Theoretical bases, description and modeling of the process / Y. Kuzminskiy, K. Shchurska, I. Samarukha, G. Łagod. – Lublin: Politechnika Lubelska, 2013. – 102 р.
4. Kuzminskiy Y. Different types of energy conversion for biohydrogen production processes / K. Shchurska, I. Samarukha, G. Łagód // Ecological Chemistry and Engineering (SEChE), "Proceeding of ECOpole". – 2011. – Vol. 5. – No. 2. – Р. 389–394.
5. Maslovska O. The activity of enzymes of glutathione antioxidant system of Desulfuromonas acetoxidans IMV B-7384 under the influence of ferric (III) citrate / O. Maslovska, S. Hnatush, S. Katernyak // Visnyk of the Lviv University. Series Biology. – 2015. – I. 70. – P. 213–220.
6. Min B. Electricity generation from swine wastewater using microbial fuel cells / B. Min, J. R. Kim, S. E. Oh, J. M. Regan, B. E. Logan // Water Research. – 2005. – № 39. – P. 4961–4968.
7. Santoro C. Microbial fuel cells: From fundamentals to applications. A review. / Santoro C., C. Arbizzani, B. Erable, I. Ieropoulos // Journal of Power Sources. – 2017. – № 356. – Р. 225–244.
8. Zubchenko L. Characteristics of biofilm formation process in the bioelectrochemical systems, working in batch-mode of cultivation / L. Zubchenko, Y. Kuzminskiy // Chemistry & Chemical Technology. – 2017. – Vol. 11, № 1. – Р. 105–110.
9. Kuzminskiy Ye. V. State, problems and prospects of bioenergy in Ukraine / Ye. V. Kuzminskiy, N. B. Golub, K. O. Shchurska // Vidnovluvana energetika. – 2009. – № 4(15). – С. 70–80. (Ukr.)
10. Kuzminskiy Ye. V. Біопаливні елементи – проблеми і перспективи розвитку. 2. Мікробні паливні елементи / Ye. V. Kuzminskiy, P. I. Gvozdyak // Microbiology&Biotechnology. – 2009. – №3. – С. 15–30. (Ukr.)

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How to Cite
Kuzminskiy, Y., & Shchurska, K. (2018). BIOFUEL CELLS. CURRENT STATE AND PERSPECTIVES OF DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE. Vidnovluvana Energetika, (1 (52), 91-96. Retrieved from