Microbial fuel cells and METs- Penn State

  • Cube MFC with a brush anode

The US uses about 3.3 terra watts (TW) of energy, and produces 500 gigawatts (GW) of electricity. New sources of energy are needed. Using other types of fossil fuels is possible, but fossilized sources will continue to increase releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. For these reasons, the Logan lab is developing new bioenergy technologies with a focus on systems that can help sustain the global need for potable water and sanitation to protect human health, even as oil and other fossil fuels become less available and more costly.

The Logan lab is working to address both energy and water needs through the development of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for electricty production, and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for biofuel (hydrogen and methane gas) production. The production of electricity or biofuels is important to sustainable wastewater treatment as 5% of electricity produced in the USA is used for the water infrastructure (all aspects, including pumping, treatment, etc.), with 3% used for wastewater treatment alone.

Links- MFCs and related topics

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