Sustainable electricity was generated from glucose in up-flow air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with carbon cloth cathode and carbon granular anode. Plastic sieves rather than membrane were used to separate the anode and cathode. Based on 1g/l glucose as substrate, a maximum volumetric power density of 25+/-4 W/m(3) (89 A/m(3)) was obtained for the MFC with a sieve area of 30 cm(2) and 49+/-3 W/m(3) (215 A/m(3)) for the MFC with a sieve area of 60 cm(2). The increased power density with larger sieve area was mainly due to the decrease of internal resistance according to the electrochemistry impedance spectroscopy analysis. Increasing the sieve area from 30 cm(2) to 60 cm(2) resulted in a decrease of overall internal resistance from 41 ohm to 27.5 ohm and a decrease of ohmic resistance from 24.3 ohm to 14 ohm. While increasing operational recirculation ratio (RR) decreased internal resistance and increased power output at low substrate concentration, the effect of RR on cell performance was negligible at higher substrate concentration.