Student Projects

Examples of MFC projects by students and other researchers (universities and public schools)

It is great to see all the different types of reactors that students have built over the years for science and engineering competitions. This is a great idea for a project as the reactors can be quite inexpensive to build, and yet scientifically they cross so many disciplines of biology, materials, and chemistry, with room for art (make them beautiful), science and engineering.

The photos are temporarily missing as we work to transfer materials from the old website to this new website.

Have you built one?  Send me your photos, website, or other information (email:


Carlos Pazmiño (Renewable energy researcher) used 3D printing to make a cube MFC (10-28-18). A nice looking reactor!
Carlos Pazmiño.  Want to print one of your own? Here are his files for the printer: 3D-printer-MFC cube-1; 3D-printer-MFC reactor-1; 3D-printer-MFC side 1; 3D-printer-MFC side 2
Jonathan Rieco:  (8th Grade, Flat Rock Middle School, NC): He designed and tested sediment-type MFCs, and won lots of awards for his work, including the NC State Science Fair (“Mud Power”), and a Navy science award and an EPA award. Report (7-26-12).
Wendy Willner (A junior at Briarclff High School in NY)- Won the Navy Award for Outstanding projects in Engineering, Math and Technology in the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF) for her MFCs and her study on power generation using food wastes. (3-30-12)
Zain Lakhani (Niles North High School) Constructed sediment type MFCs and used different soil innocula. He won his regional science fair and the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award. (3/30/12)
Billy Follett– (7th grade, Medea Creek Middle School, Oak Park, CA) Made a test apparatus to examine different types of membranes and separators (7th grade) (3-1-12); Later, he built a cube-shaped MFC with an air cathode (8th grade). This setup allowed him to switch between different systems.
Justin Bauldock– High school student won first place at the Delaware Valley Science fair with his MFC (microbiology division). (4-26-11)
Peter McAveney, Brett Pedersen, Jun-Chung Wong. Peter McAveney, Brett Pedersen, Jun-Chung Wong– Univ of Iowa students made from a soda pop bottle, GoreTex and loose weave carbon. Report. (2-5-10)Read about their project
Gene Snider- made a two chamber MFC with a salt bridge made using food grade unflavored gelatin, over the counter anaerobic septic tank treatment as the innoculum, and sugar and shredded paper as the fuels (6-16-09).  More info
Julie Paone (student at Manhasset High School, NY) constructed a biofuel cell (not a mediatorless cell) using a dialysis bag containing the anode and a methylene blue mediator, and a ferricyanide cathode (4-24-09).
Khanik Bohra, who is from Guwahati, India, sent a picture of his home-made MFC. See below (4-4-08).
Aaron Ong (7th grade student at Terman Middle School) built an MFC for his science fair project. He used two 0.5 L water bottles attached back to back and connected them with a salt bridge (made of agar). The source of organic matter was rotten vegetables and diluted Dr. Pepper. The total cost of the system was $2. (11-1-08)
Ian Bennett (7th grade, La Entrada School) for the local science fair build an MFC. His project was “Generating Electricity From Wastewater Using A Microbial Fuel Cell”. It had a a very simple design, but generated a 152.45 mV (2008) Abstract
Sikandar Porter-Gill (Gaithersburg High School). Harvesting Energy from Wastewater in a 2-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell. Sikander later attended Penn State and worked in the Logan lab.
Abbie Groff (Conastoga Valley High School). Abbie won the Lancaster county grand prize for her project.”Identification of Benthic Microbes Utilizing Bioremediation and Microbial Fuel Cells”.  Abbie was one of the first students to find out about MFCs, and try presenting one at a science fair, which she won. Newspaper release


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