Waste to Watts: Green and Sustainable Electricity generation from Wastewater using Bacteria in Microbial Fuel Cell.

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Description

The smallest inhabitants in our planet may help us addressing two of the biggest environmental challenges in our society: and nbsp; how to deal with the vast quantities of organic waste produced and where to find clean, renewable energy. The smallest inhabitants are certain types of bacteria that can convert waste into useful energy. These microorganisms are presently being applied through an innovative engineering process known as a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) to produce electrical energy directly from the degradation of organic waste present in waste stream. MFC technology is fundamentally an anaerobic engineering process in which bacteria acts as bio-catalyst to recover electrical energy from the metabolic degradation of organic waste by their respiratory enzymes. MFC seems to be a battery which is a combined system of electrochemical cell and biological reactor. and nbsp; Typically, it contains two electrodes, separated by an ion exchange membrane. and nbsp; On the anode surface, bacteria grow and multiply their numbers, forming a dense cell layer known as biofilm. and nbsp; During the microbial metabolism, the bacteria degrade the organic substrate into CO2, protons and electrons. The produced electrons are recovered from the metabolic process to form a continuous electricity supply. and nbsp; The great advantage of the MFC technology is the direct conversion of organic waste into electricity without any intermediate steps. In future, MFC technology may be linked to the municipal waste streams or the organic waste produced by agricultural and animal husbandry, providing a sustainable solution for the waste treatment and the electrical energy production. and nbsp; Before scaling up of the MFC technology for versatile use in wastewater treatment, the improvements in energy production efficiency will be required. and nbsp; The particular focus of this study is to understand the environmental and operating factors affecting voltage generation in MFC, the optimum architecture of the electrode and reactors for better performance of the MFC for waste removal and energy production and how the electrode respiring bacteria transfer electrons from their body cell onto the electrode surface. The ultimate objective of this research is to design an optimum MFC system that is both economically feasible and efficient in generation of clean and renewable electrical energy.

Layman's description

The smallest inhabitants in our planet may help us addressing two of the biggest environmental challenges in our society: and nbsp; how to deal with the vast quantities of organic waste produced and where to find clean, renewable energy. The smallest inhabitants are certain types of bacteria that can convert waste into useful energy. These microorganisms are presently being applied through an innovative engineering process known as a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) to produce electrical energy directly from the degradation of organic waste present in waste stream. MFC technology is fundamentally an anaerobic engineering process in which bacteria acts as bio-catalyst to recover electrical energy from the metabolic degradation of organic waste by their respiratory enzymes. MFC seems to be a battery which is a combined system of electrochemical cell and biological reactor. and nbsp; Typically, it contains two electrodes, separated by an ion exchange membrane. and nbsp; On the anode surface, bacteria grow and multiply their numbers, forming a dense cell layer known as biofilm. and nbsp; During the microbial metabolism, the bacteria degrade the organic substrate into CO2, protons and electrons. The produced electrons are recovered from the metabolic process to form a continuous electricity supply. and nbsp; The great advantage of the MFC technology is the direct conversion of organic waste into electricity without any intermediate steps. In future, MFC technology may be linked to the municipal waste streams or the organic waste produced by agricultural and animal husbandry, providing a sustainable solution for the waste treatment and the electrical energy production. and nbsp; Before scaling up of the MFC technology for versatile use in wastewater treatment, the improvements in energy production efficiency will be required. and nbsp; The particular focus of this study is to understand the environmental and operating factors affecting voltage generation in MFC, the optimum architecture of the electrode and reactors for better performance of the MFC for waste removal and energy production and how the electrode respiring bacteria transfer electrons from their body cell onto the electrode surface. The ultimate objective of this research is to design an optimum MFC system that is both economically feasible and efficient in generation of clean and renewable electrical energy.
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