Microbial Fuel Cells use bacteria to convert waste into electrical energy. These bacteria break

1800 WordsApr 23, 20198 Pages
Microbial Fuel Cells use bacteria to convert waste into electrical energy. These bacteria break down almost any biodegradable organic waste including sewage and water waste and use it as fuel to generate power. Places like Penn State University and The Biodesign Institute in Arizona State University are already testing and improving this new alternative energy. According to Penn State University they have achieved in producing 1.5 watts per meter squared of amount of waste water taken in and believe that a large industrial plant will be able to produce near 0.8 watts per meter squared and will be able to support about 500 homes (9). This is a new technology that is being avidly researched, however it is not currently used in large…show more content…
This cell uses bacteria like Shewanella oneidensis and Rhodoferax ferrireducens and many labs are attempting to find better strains of bacteria more suited to the process (3). This fuel cells work in two parts. Basically, the microbial fuel cell has two halves, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic means with presence of oxygen, anaerobic means a lack of oxygen. When bacteria consume their “food” in aerobic conditions they produce carbon dioxide and water, however when it’s in an anaerobic condition they produce carbon dioxide, electrons and protons. The MFC has the bacteria put in the anaerobic chamber of the cell and decompose water material that contain glucose and/or acetate. The bacteria also free hydrogen ions and electrons. The electrons flow from an anode into the cathode. The hydrogen ions however just pass through the barrier; soon the electrons and hydrogen ions are in the aerobic chamber and combine with the oxygen forming h2o. The H2O is released and electrical energy is produced from the transfer off the energy between the Anode and Cathode (or Anaerobic and Aerobic chambers). Microbial Fuel Cells have a large variety of benefits due to its versatility and choice of fuel. Firstly it can use most biodegradable organic matter including human and animal waste, sewage, etc. This is great as there is no limit to the fuel and it is easy to find. Secondly, it reduces cost
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