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Proceedings Paper

Microbial power house: design and optimization of a single chamber microbial fuel cell
Author(s): Cassandra McFadden; Xiong Yu
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Paper Abstract

Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) are batteries driven by bacteria. MFCs have the potential of powering small sensors in remote areas and disposing of organic waste safely as they harvest the energy stored in the waste products. From previous research in this field, a few important factors for MFC performance have been identified. These include the internal resistance of MFC, the surface area of anode with catalyst for the biofilm development, the type and number of bacteria, and the abundance of nutritional supplies to the bacteria. With internal resistance as the focus of this MFC research, this experiment uses previous discoveries to develop and optimize the single chambered fuel cell for large-scale applications. A variety of methods were applied to improve MFC efficiency. Mainly, the researchers employed design techniques to increase the surface area of the electrodes, so that more of the generated electrons could be transported to the anode. In addition to that, several other measures were implemented to reduce the internal resistance, namely, adding ionic content, as well as introducing conductive particles such as carbon powder. These resulted in findings crucial to MFC technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7647, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010, 76472V (1 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849229
Show Author Affiliations
Cassandra McFadden, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Xiong Yu, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7647:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010
Masayoshi Tomizuka, Editor(s)

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