Date of Award

December 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Zhen He

Committee Members

Shangping Xu, Qian Liao, Zhen He


This research demonstrates that Ceratophyllum demersum a root less non vascular aquatic plant has negatively affected the power generation from a Sediment Microbial Fuel cell (SMFC). In SMFC the reduced organic matter in the sediment in water produces electrons, which reduces oxygen. Whereas in Plant SMFC continuous supply of organic matter to the anode is done by rhizodeposition (root exudates). Six SMFCs were run for more than 3 months to see the effect of plants, pH and temperature on power generation. Out of six only two SMFC showed stable data. The maximum power density 18 ± 1mW/m3 was generated from the control SMFC which is higher than Plant SMFC (9 ± 1mW/m3). The Plant SMFC has less dissolved Oxygen 2 ± 1 mg/L than SMFC(5 ± 1 mg/L) as the large quantities of this plant grown as thick mat actually caused oxygen depletion at night. Since the experiments were conducted about few days for each SMFC there was not much significant data to explain the effect of pH and temperature on the power generation of this SMFCs. Control SMFC has a stable pH value 8. However, Plant SMFC pH were fluctuating in the range of 7 and lower than control SMFC. The dissolved oxygen concentration for Control SMFC is 5 ± 1 mg/L which has higher power density than plant SMFC with Dissolved Oxygen (DO) 2 ± 1 mg/L.