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Microbial Fuel Cell Breakthrough

The microbial fuel cell creates energy as it cleans waste water.

As bacteria oxidizes organic matter, electrons are produced and run from an anode to a cathode within the fuel cell to create an electric current.

What does this mean for wastewater?  This technology could power waste treatment plants and enable them to sell electricity from an organic source.

The new technology developed at Ohio State Uuniversity can now produce 10 to 50 more times the electricity, per volume, than most other approaches using microbial fuel cells, and 100 times more electricity than some.

Experts estimate that about 3 percent of electrical energy is used to treat wastewater, and a majority of that electricity is produced by fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.

Theoretically if the biodegradable characteristics of wastewater were tapped into so that we could eliminate greenhouse emissions and resolve the waste issue with the microbial fuel cell.

This system unlike anaerobic digestion does not produce methane; another upside to the microbial fuel cell.

In addition, the microbial fuel cell desalinates seawater creating a trifecta of sustainable technology.

The byproducts of the process are cleaned wastewater and salt, which can be dumped safely back into the ocean.

What an outstanding outcome for clean oceans and healthier sea life.  The microbial fuel cell can be used in breweries, with organic material byproducts in addition to wastewater.

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