Microbial Fuel Cell

The world’s demand for renewable and sustainable energy resources has sky-rocketed with the increasing number of human population, and not to mention that our lifestyle is changing our mother earth. A lot has been spoken of in relation to the environmental issues resulting from human activities and its contribution to the global warming issues since “generation of renewable and sustainable energy” has become the buzzword those of the scientists, environmentalist, engineers and  academicians.

Solar energy,wind power and biofuels are just a few mainstream renewable technologies available, however, not yet able to cater the needs for future use. Quite recently, a new type of clean green energy has been introduced namely Bioelecticity generation using a microbial fuel cell. An MFC is a system that utilizes microorganisms to catalyze, degrade or consume organic matters exists in its surrounding. The oxidation of organic compounds available, let’s say from waste water can be used as the nutrient sources for the bacteria for its growth, and this process eventually produces electrons, and this forces the protons to transfer to the cathode for equilibrium. By connecting this system to an external  resistor, a complete electrical circuit is then created, and this enables electron transfer to take place. By definition, electrical current is the number of charges transferred every one second. Based on the simple Ohm’s Law, voltage (V) is defined as

V = IR  while,

Electrical power (P) can be shown by the following equation.

P = VI

In easy words, electrical power can be generated from this simple set-up of so-called MFC, and this is really a fascinating fact. Although the study of MFC has not yet been fully established, “proof of principle research” findings can now be found in the literature. The chances are fat that MFCs can offer a lot in terms of its environmentally friendly approach and its sustainability aspect.