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Microbial Fuel Cells

Microbial Fuel Cells

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Published by Rahul

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Published by: Rahul on Dec 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/19/2010

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Microbial Fuel Cells
 Advanced fuel cells for ³Hydrogen Economy´ 
 
Wh
en do we need Fuel Cells?
W
hen small, light power sources are needed that cansustain over long periods, in remote locations(space and exploration).
Biofuel cells
copy nature¶s solutions to energy  generation
 They consume renewable BIOMASS
Microbes (bacteria) use substrates (fuel) from renewablesources,convert them into benign by-products &generate electricity.The fuel can even be taken from a living organism !(e.g. Glucose from the blood stream).
Implantable devices (e.g. Pacemakers,
dr 
ug
d
elive
ry
 
d
evices
)
 
could take advantage!
 ± 
to draw power as long as thesubject lives.
L
arge scale production of power possible from renewablesources: sugars found in waste material (in sewage) or sugars in carbohydrate-rich crops (corn).
 
What
is BIOMASS?Ce
ta
in o
g
a
nisms use sunlig
ht
 
(Photosynthesis) 
in
th
e visible
a
nge (400±800 nm)
t
o s
y
n
th
esize (lipi
d
s, p
o
t
eins, c
a
bo
h
ydr 
at
es)
Only about 0.12% of solar radiation energy falling onearth is converted into chemically bonded energy inthe form ofbiomass(from plants):
~
170 G
t
pe
 
y
e
a
, wi
th
ene
g
y
con
t
en
t
of 
~3
,000 EJ (Ex
a
Joule)
 
i.e.
3
x10
21
J, w
h
ic
h
is
t
en
t
imes of m
a
nkin
s
a
nnu
a
l nee
d
s!
enerally, microorganisms (e.g. algae and bacteria)
 
alone cant convert biomass into electrical energy, butdo so using enzymes, such as theoxidoreductases,which catalyze electron transfer for the redoxreactions involved in fuel cells.

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