Power generation from microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is an emerging technology with great potential for alternative energy generation, environmental remediation, and other applications. WRI is conducting state-of-the-art research on MFC designs which focuses on enhancing degradation of organic contaminants while generating electricity. One WRI study has demonstrated that an MFC design can increase the rate of diesel degradation by approximately 200 percent over normal anaerobic degradation. We are also investigating the use of MFCs as a trickle charge source for isolated outdoor and military applications. Additionally, we have developed alternative catalytic materials to replace expensive platinum and other platinum-group metals conventionally used as catalysts on MFC cathodes, making this technology more economical for scaled-up, real world designs. Power generated by MFCs is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and very versatile because the fuel source can easily vary from sugar, to sewage, to groundwater contaminated with petroleum products. Opportunities for this multi-tasking technology are virtually limitless.
WRI has patents pending on MFC design and its applications. For further information on how WRI can help you create energy from MFCs while cleaning the environment click here.