Microbial Fuel Cells

‡ Microbial fuel cells are bio-electro-chemical devices able to directly convert chemical energy into electricity processing a wide range of organic substrates. ‡ It is a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy by the catalytic reaction of microorganisms.

Working .

In the anode compartment. generating electrons and protons.A typical microbial fuel cell consists of anode and cathode compartments separated by a cation (positively charged ion) specific membrane. there are two types of microbial fuel cells: mediator and mediator-less microbial fuel cells. . combining with oxygen to form water. Electrons and protons are consumed in the cathode compartment. Electrons are transferred to the cathode compartment through an external electric circuit. In general. and the protons are transferred to the cathode compartment through the membrane. fuel is oxidized by microorganisms.

First MFC (toxic Idea of MFC mediators) First mediator-lessMFC conceived (still low current output) 1912 .

Basic principles of fuel cell (FC) ‡ Related to battery: both convert chemical energy into electricity ‡ Battery: the chemical energy has to be stored beforehand ‡ FC only operates when it is supplied from external sources ‡ Fundamental mechanism: inverse water hydrolysis reaction .

Basic reactions in a Fuel cell ‡ When micro-organisms consume a substrate such as sugar in anaerobic conditions they produce ‡ Carbon dioxide ‡ Protons and ‡ Electrons .

C12H22O11 + 13H2O ---> 12CO2 + 48H+ + 48e- .

Types of MFCs ‡ Mediator Microbial Fuel Cell ‡ Mediator-less Microbial Fuel Cell ‡ Microbial Electrolysis Cell .

Mediator Microbial Fuel Cell ‡ Most of the microbial cells are electrochemically inactive. neutral red and so on. methyl blue. ‡ The electron transfer from microbial cells to the electrode is facilitated by mediators such as methyl viologen. .

.Mediator-less Microbial Fuel Cell ‡ A mediator-less microbial fuel cell does not require a mediator but uses electrochemically active bacteria to transfer electrons to the electrode. ‡ Electrons are carried directly from the bacterial respiratory enzyme to the electrode.

Microbial Electrolysis Cell ‡ Whilst MFC's produce electric current by the bacterial decomposition of hydrocarbons in water. in a reverse of the process MEC's generate hydrogen or methane directly by applying an electric current to bacteria .

. fuel cells are not influenced by the Carnot efficiency limit like combustion and heat engines. ‡ Since the chemical energy of the fuel is directly converted to electricity.Principle involved ‡ Fuel cells have attracted interest due to their low degree of pollution and high (theoretical) efficiency.

Principle involved ‡ The theoretical efficiency is expressed as the relationship between chemical energy available( DG) and the higher heating value of the fuel cell reaction (enthalpy change) .

.Principle involved ‡ Over a large temperature and power range fuel cells have a potentially higher efficiency than Carnot technology.

‡ A review of the substrates used in MFCs for sustainable energy production. ‡ Effect of temperature on the performance of microbial fuel cells.Papers Read ‡ Electricity generation and modeling of microbial fuel cell from continuous beer brewery waste water. . ‡ Modelling and simulation of two-chamber microbial fuel cell.

Make a Microbial Fuel Cell .

Optional for filling bottles Soldering iron Lead Solder .Materials Required ‡ Tools: Drill or drill press Razor knife or scissors Hot glue gun Funnel .

‡ Two heavy duty plastic bottles with sealable lids. ‡ Low power aquarium air pump . Wide mouth bottles are best choice for ease of inserting broad surface area electrodes.

You can probably get away with two. I use two for storing the salt bridge ‡ 2 x 1in square Silkscreen material or other nonconductive mesh ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ .1 x 2" PVC pipe 1-2 feet long 2 x 1 quart mason jars or similar 1 x 2" PVC Nipple or Sprinkler system riser 4 x PVC slip caps.

‡ Agar .100g per Liter of water ‡ Salt .400g per Liter of water ( 14 oz/Qt ). ‡ Carbon cloth or carbon paper .

.Things to be Studied ‡ Nernst Equation ‡ Reaction Kinetics ‡ Biofilm and Material of electrode.