Directory:Microbial Fuel Cells

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Directory of technologies and resources relating to Microbial Fuel Cells, which harness bacteria to produce electricity.

These microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy to offer a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels.


Research and Development

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Directory:Waste to Energy > Directory:Energy from Sewage > Directory:Microbial Fuel Cells > Major Advance in Generating Electricity From Wastewater - The new technology developed at Oregon State University uses new concepts — reduced anode-cathode spacing, evolved microbes and new separator materials — and can produce more than two kilowatts per cubic meter of liquid reactor volume — 10 to 50 more times the electrical per unit volume than most other approaches using microbial fuel cells. (WakingTimes January 24, 2013)
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Directory:BioElectricity / Directory:Fuel Cells > Directory:Microbial Fuel Cells > New, clean energy source: Living plants - Plants produce such enormous quantities of organic material from photosynthesis that they actually excrete 70 percent of it, unused, into the soil by their roots. This provides important nutrients for bacteria and other soil organisms. When bacteria metabolize this organic matter, they release electrons into the soil. The premise of the Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell is that electrodes placed close to the roots of plants can absorb these electrons.... (Natural News December 1, 2012)
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Directory:Microorganisms in Energy Production / Directory:Fuel Cells > Directory:Microbial Fuel Cells > Mobile phones in developing nations could charge up using dirt - A team at Harvard is developing a project for a mobile phone charger device based on microbial fuel cells taken from the soil to generate energy. Dr.Aiden expects local people can build their own, using easily-available materials such as window screens and cans of soda. The device assembly process is very fast and cost less than a dollar and it could fully charge a phone within 24 hours. (GizMag May 9, 2011) 
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Directory:Fuel Cells > Directory:Microbial Fuel Cells > Navy's microbial fuel cell generates electricity from mud - Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy to offer a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels. The U.S. Office of Naval Research has developed an MFC that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity. (GizMag April 20, 2010)
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Directory:BioElectricity > Dirt-Powered Bacteria Batteries - Overview article describes the general process whereby a battery can be made which runs on bacteria -- also called a microbial fuels cell or MFC. A quick look at recent developments as well as a peek into the future of bacteria-powered batteries. (Alt Energy News Oct. 21, 2009)

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Directory:Water > Directory:Desalination > Process to clean wastewater also produces electricity and desalinates water - An international team of researchers has proven a process that cleans wastewater can also remove 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater while generating electricity. This is done by modifying a microbial fuel cell – a device that uses naturally occurring bacteria to convert wastewater into clean water - so it could also desalinate salty water. (GizMag August 17, 2009)

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Directory:Penn State Microbial Fuel Cells Produce Hydrogen from Waste Water - Bacteria that feed on vinegar and waste water zapped with a shot of electricity could produce a clean hydrogen fuel to power vehicles that now run on petroleum. These microbial fuel cells can turn almost any biodegradable organic material into zero-emission hydrogen gas fuel.

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Microbial Fuel Cells Produce Power by Cleaning Domestic Wastewater - Penn State boosts output six times while reducing costs by two thirds. (

Microbial fuel cell: high yield hydrogen source and wastewater cleaner - Using a new electrically-assisted microbial fuel cell (MFC) that does not require oxygen, Penn State environmental engineers and a scientist at Ion Power Inc. have developed the first process that enables bacteria to coax four times as much hydrogen directly out of biomass than can be generated typically by fermentation alone. (PhysOrg April 22, 2005)

Scaled up microbial fuel cells - Generating electricity from renewable sources will soon become as easy as putting a brush and a tube in a tub of wastewater. A carbon fiber, bottle-brush anode will provide more than enough surface for bacteria to colonize, for the first time making it possible to use microbial fuel cells for large scale electricity production. (PhysOrg Mar. 21, 2007)

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Microbial Fuel Cells Eye Market - An environmental engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has created a device similar to a hydrogen fuel cell that uses bacteria to treat wastewater and create electricity. Their chambers are on top of one another rather than side by side. (PhysOrg July 8, 2005)

Biofuel cells select for microbial consortia that self-mediate electron transfer - Study elucidates whether a bacterial community, either suspended or attached to an electrode, can evolve in a microbial fuel cell to bring about higher power output, and looks for species responsible for the electricity generation." (FuelCellsWork Nov. 11, 2004)


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