Microbial Fuel Cell

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are an up and coming form of alternative energy that utilize bacteria and waste to produce electricity by profiting off of changing electrical potentials. Generally speaking, MFC’s are constructed and operated the same way as the typical battery is; however, they use environmentally sustainable inputs rather than heavy metals such as wastewater or brew water.

Currently the world population is approximately 7.6 billion people, and that number will continue to grow. As the population increases, so does the demand for reliable energy. As we slowly run out of fossil fuels, many are looking for alternative forms of energy to continue powering the world. MFCs are an interesting form of alternative energy that can help ease the world’s dependency on fossil fuels.

In order to have a better understanding of this potential energy source, the team proposes to design and implement an MFC that is capable of powering an item of use within the Alternative Energy Enterprise’s (AEE) Sustainability Demonstration House (SDH). It has yet to be decided what type of item will be powered. However it has been established that the MFC should actively contribute to the sustainability of the house and the well-being of its tenants. The MFC should also help in the environmentally friendly disposal of waste products of the SDH, or a local entity.

In fall of 2018, the team will research needed materials and techniques for the construction of an MFC, secure bio-waste from a local entity, design the prototype itself, and secure the physical materials. In the following spring, the team will construct the MFC prototype, test and analysis the overall production outputs, refine all possible aspects, and install the MFC into the SDH.