In the present world scenario the demand for fresh water and clean energy is driving the need to convert a microbial fuel cell (MFC) into an algal-based microbial desalination cell (MDC) that can support algal growth along with desalination of saline water. In this study, the performance of a five-chambered MDC fed with saline water having two different salt concentrations, namely 2.5 g/L and 5.0 g/L in desalination chamber, as well as MDC operated without algae in catholyte was investigated. The algal-based MDC operated with 5 g/L of total dissolved solid (TDS) in desalination chamber exhibited the best performance results among all other combinations giving a maximum power density of 45.52 mW/m2 and a desalination efficiency of 71 ± 2 %. Also, a chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency of 78 % and coulombic efficiency of 12.24 % was achieved with 5 g/L NaCl concentration in desalination chamber. Based on this experimental performance evaluation, it can be inferred that algal-based MDC can provide a promising and sustainable approach for wastewater treatment with the capability of simultaneous desalination, algal production and electrical energy recovery.