Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati have developed a microbial fuel cell (MFC), a bio-electrochemical device that can generate “green energy” by treating wastewater.
- The researchers said the device offered a dual benefit generation of bioelectricity and waste management by converting chemical energy contained in organic substrates into electrical energy through microbes.
- The IIT Guwahati claimed the device could be used for obtaining clean energy from municipal wastewater economically.
- The active biocatalyst in the anodic chamber anaerobically oxidises organic matter present in wastewater to produce electrons and protons.
- Protons are transported to the cathodic chamber through the PEM.
- The external circuit conducts the electrons to the cathode, completing the electrical circuit.
- At the cathode, electrons and protons reacted in the presence of oxygen (or another electron acceptor), which got reduced to water.
About microbial fuel cell (MFC)
- MFC is a bio-electrochemical reactor system that utilises electrons liberated in the biochemical oxidation of organic substrates catalysed by anaerobic microbes.
- A conventional MFC reactor comprises an anaerobic biotic anode chamber, an aerobic biotic or abiotic cathode chamber, and a separator such as a proton exchange membrane (PEM).
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