Nobody downloaded yet

Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste - Literature review Example

Comments (1) Cite this document
Due to the growing energy demands of a fast modernising world, it has become necessary to look for alternate sources of energy that are clean, renewable and available at low cost. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.6% of users find it useful
Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste"

Download file to see previous pages The latest developments in the field of microbiology have helped scientists create microbial fuel cells which exploit metabolic reactions of bacteria on waste products to produce electricity and hydrogen gas. Both of these can act as source of energy. Another concern of proper waste management to maintain a clean environment also gets answered with this invention. The microbes act on wastewater, garbage or agricultural and industrial wastes to produce hydrogen and electricity and in the process remove the pollutants and recycle the resource. Hence, MFCs find wide applicability in breweries, wastewater treatment plants, etc. This paper will deal with the concept of bioremediation and how MFCs are being used to maximise the electricity output. The purpose of the paper is to review literature about MFCs and the latest work being done by scientists to be able to harness MFCs to remediate environment and produce bioelectricity. The paper will try to answer whether MFCs can prove to be a viable solution for bioremediation other than wastewater treatment and whether the products, including electricity and hydrogen can be channelized for other applications. Keywords: microbial fuel cell, literature review on MFCs, clean renewable fuel, bioremediation, alternative fuel, wastewater management technology Introduction We are all living in a world where the energy requirements are huge, to support our ever expanding population, but the resources are very limited. So an intense search is on to discover renewable sources of energy that will be sustainable, cheap and relatively free from other non-biodegradable by-products. This has led to the discovery of microbial fuel cells which exploit the biochemical activity of microbes during the process of fermentation in order to obtain a clean fuel – hydrogen gas as well as produce electricity. Microbial fuel cells are devices which convert chemical energy into electrical energy by the metabolic activities of bacteria. This field of study though comparatively new, was first observed by M.C. Potter in 1911 at the University of Durham (Mercer, 2012). It is of great significance in present times as the use of microorganisms to produce electricity from waste means that there is an unending supply of both the substrates and the organisms. There are many other benefits as well. The wastewater gets purified by the action of the microorganisms as they break down the pollutants to produce among others, hydrogen and electrons, which are capable of generating electricity in an anion-cation compartmentalised cell. The concept of bioremediation comes from the ability of microorganisms to break down organic matter and chemicals polluting our environment. Hence, this concept has been employed for cleaning up soils, surface and ground water resources from chemical pollutants like petroleum products, etc. as an economically viable and environmentally friendly technique (Crawford and Crawford, 1998). What MFCs have done is that it has made electricity generation possible along with bioremediation. Microbial fuel cells can act as batteries powered by microorganisms. It is a renewable form of electricity generation. The main principle of the MFCs are the biochemical reactions of certain strains of bacteria called electricigen like Shewanella species that can be used to generate electricity from organic waste (Hou et al, 2009). What that means is that it is a source of “green energy” along with additional benefits like removing impurities from water and making it suitable for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste Literature review”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste Literature Review)
“Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste Literature Review”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (1)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
jhalvorson added comment 6 months ago
Student rated this paper as
This essay saved me today. I liked the style. It was very useful for my biology course.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste

Microbial fuel cells and how cay they produce electricity

...warming. Burning involves consumption of oxygen, on flaming fossil fuels which are chiefly carbon, the gas evolved is mainly carbon-di-oxide and obnoxious carbon mono-oxide. These two gases are hazardous and are chief pollutants. Therefore it is imperative to exploit other means and resources for the production of energy. The new source of energy is retrieved from microbial cells, which are biodegradable and environment friendly (Noam M, 2005). Present era witnesses the generation of electricity from biodegradable compounds, for instance pure chemicals and wastewater. Recently, the production of electricity from microbes paves the way for generating...
7 Pages(1750 words)Lab Report

Microbial Biofilms

...between bacteria other than by descent in which information travels through the generations as the cell divides. It is most often thought of as a sexual process that requires a mechanism for the mobilization of chromosomal DNA among bacterial cells. Horizontal Gene Transfer can be monitored by confocal electronic microscopy. Plasmid horizontal transfer is assessed by including plasmids with RFP and other fluorescent markers. The overlap of these markers gives a distinct colour in the confocal microscopy as determined by Sorenson et al (2005) Metagenomics, or the culture-independent genomic analysis of an assemblage of microorganisms, has potential to answer fundamental questions in...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells

...hydrogen and fuel cells as the central technologies for the 21st century that are crucially important to ensure economic success. As a consequence, there is heavy investment and industrial activity in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector in these nations as they strongly promote the changeover to hydrogen (European Commission, 2003, page 13, para.2&3). Improvement in Air Quality and Reduction in Greenhouse Gases Automobiles and power generations {both stationary and portable} that utilize hydrogen are characterized by zero emissions. Moreover, hydrogen can be produced from carbonless energy sources or from fossil...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Fuel cells

...1,000 to 1,800º F. The promise of this fuel cell is in providing power at large, stationary power plants. The high temperature of operation provides an opportunity to increase efficiency to 85 percent through cogeneration, by capturing waste heat to generate steam for heating, industrial processing, or in a steam turbine to make more electricity. SOFCs are sulfur-resistant and are not poisoned by carbon monoxide, and so can use coal-derived gases as fuel. Start-up is slow and personnel must be protected from operating temperatures. Due to high operating temperatures, SOFCs are not suitable for small vehicle, residential,...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Microbial Fuel Cells (Design Study)

...Efficiency of Microbial Fuel Cell made from inexpensive materials is comparable to traditional MFCs The design study project will include the construction of a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) with inexpensive materials and the electricity generation capability will be compared to the traditional MFCs which require expensive membranes like Nafion by DuPont and Platinum cathodes. The simple MFC will be made from plastic containers, PVC pipes, agar or Gore-Tex membranes and galvanized metal mesh for cathodes. The experiment will include comparing the efficiencies defined by amount of energy per dollar spent in the construction and...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells the challenging proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment. Basically, the physical structure of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell comprises of seven components. These are feeding channels, diffusion layers, catalytic layer in the anode, membrane; catalytic layer, diffusion layer and feeding channels in the cathode layer. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell combines in a compact unit the electrodes and the electrolyte. This configuration referred to as the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) has a thickness of less than 100 microns. It is the main hub of the fuel cell and is constantly...
20 Pages(5000 words)Essay

Biotechnology (microbial fuel cells)

...on power generation from microbial fuel cells with non-catalyzed carbon electrodes and natural inocula,” Solar Energy, vol. 86 no. 4, 1099-1107. Liu, L., Harnisch, F., Fricke, K., Sietmann, R., & Schröder, U 2008, “Improvement of the anodic bioelectrocatalytic activity of mixed culture biofilms by a simple consecutive electrochemical selection procedure,” Biosensors and Bioelectronics, vol. 24, no.1, pp. 1006-1011. McAveney, P., Pedersen, B., & Wong, J-C n.d., Microbial fuel cell using inexpensive materials, viewed 05 February 2014,...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Microbial Produced Fuels as Economically Viable Renewable Fuel Source

...the most effective form that has thus far been engaged is with regard to the use of fuel cells and cheated/pressure-treated cylinders to create extraordinarily prolific algae that breaks down and releases a biodiesel like byproduct as its waste (El Gendy et al., 2014). The inherent benefit of all of this has to do with the fact that if this particular process is perfected, the overall energy independence that a particular region or nation Hope to exhibit will be drastically increased. Moreover, as compared to many other forms of the creation of fossil fuels and the development and purification of their derivatives, this particular process does not exhibit any toxic or...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Fuel Cells

...molecule leakage via the container’s walls. There are different fuel cells that are grouped according to the electrolyte they use. Hey include phosphoric acid fuel cells, high-temperature fuel cells, and hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells. The chemical reactions in a fuel cell occur at the interfaces of the three different segments resulting in consumption of fuel, water, or carbon dioxide in created and an electric current that can be used to power vehicles is created (Scherer 33). The anode reaction involves the oxidation of the...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Fuel cells

...of thermodynamic laws known to limit Carnot Cycle efficiencies. Theoretically, fuel cells can attain efficiency levels of 83% which is however lower in practice and stands at 50%. The operation mechanism of fuel cells operation ensures increased efficacy due to the lack of an intermediate conversion into heat that is the case with conventional power schemes. Fuel cells have also been established to attain full power of operation with half an hour and their high responsivity (Fuel Cells, 2015). With the use of fuel cells in the production...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Literature review on topic Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste for FREE!

Contact Us