Abstract This study reports on the fabrication of a novel annular single chamber microbial fuel cell (ASCMFC) with spiral anode. The stainless steel mesh anode with graphite coating was used as anode. Dairy wastewater, containing complex organic matter, was used as substrate. ASCMFC had been operated for 450h and results indicated a high open circuit voltage (about 810mV) compared with previously published results. The maximum power density of 20.2W/m3 obtained in this study is significantly greater than the power densities reported in previous studies. Besides, a maximum coulombic efficiency of 26.87% with 91% COD removal was achieved. Good bacterial adhesion on the spiral anode is clearly shown in SEM micrographs. High power density and a successful performance in wastewater treatment in ASCMFC suggest it as a promising alternative to conventional MFCs for power generation and wastewater treatment. ASCMFC performance as a power generator was characterized based on polarization behavior and cell potentials.