Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy as a Powerful Analytical Tool for the Study of Microbial Electrochemical Cells

Rachel A. Yoho, Sudeep C. Popat, Francisco Fabregat-Santiago, Sixto Giménez, Annemiek T. Heijne, Cesar Torres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


In microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs), not only classic overpotentials known from other types of fuel cells are encountered, but also overpotentials associated with the metabolic processes and electron-transport pathways in bacteria are encountered. Of the many techniques that can be used to investigate the contributions of various processes to the total overpotential in MXCs, this chapter focuses on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). This technique is an alternating current technique that involves applying sinusoidal voltage amplitude over a range of frequencies to investigate the processes that control the overall i-V response. The use of EIS allows differentiating these various processes, as they are often manifested at different frequencies. We discuss the principles and theory behind EIS, especially with respect to its use in MXCs, as well as important experimental methods and design parameters. We show that EIS is an important method that can be used to characterize Ohmic resistance, electrode processes, or an MXC as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiofilms in Bioelectrochemical Systems
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Laboratory Practice to Data Interpretation
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781119097426
ISBN (Print)9781118413494
StatePublished - Sep 12 2015


  • Bioanode
  • Biocathode
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Electrodes
  • Equivalent circuit modeling
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Overpotential
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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