Microbial fuel cell research

Microbial fuel cell research

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This image is part of the feature Batteries From Bugs

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Microbial fuel cell. Researcher testing the electrical output of a microbial fuel cell. This fuel cell (centre) is comprised of a chamber filled with an organic solution and Geobacter sp. bacteria. Within the fuel cell are small electrodes. The bacteria colonise the anode electrode and oxidise the organic compounds. The reaction allows the bacteria to transfer electrons directly to the anode, which then flow to a cathode electrode, generating electricity. A meter (yellow) measures the electrical output (53.6 millivolts). Microbial fuel cells may one day offer a cheap and renewable source of energy. Photographed in 2007 at the University of Massachusetts, USA.

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