A microbial fuel cell (MFC) or biological fuel cell is a bio-electrochemical system that drives a current by mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature.A microbial fuel cell is a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy by the catalytic reaction of microorganisms.

According to BBC Science and Environment ,US researchers say they have demonstrated how cells fueled by bacteria can be “self-powered” and produce a limitless supply of hydrogen.Microbial fuel cells hold promise as a new source of electricity by their unique ability to generate an electric current from waste products.

Modeling the processes in microbial fuel cells could pave the way for improving the voltage output and take us one step nearer to using these devices to produce electricity.

How Microbial Fuel Cell works?

We all need food to survive, in the same way, bacteria needs energy to survive.

 Bacteria get this energy in a two-step process :

The first step requires the removal of electrons from some source of organic matter (oxidation).

The second step consists of giving those electrons to something that will accept them (reduction), such as oxygen or nitrate.

If certain bacteria are grown under anaerobic conditions (without the presence of oxygen), they can transfer electrons to a carbon electrode (anode). The electrons then move across a wire under a load (resistor) to the cathode where they combine with protons and oxygen to form water. When these electrons flow from the anode to the cathode, they generate the current and voltage to make electricity.

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Hydrocarbon Fuel Processing in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

SOFC is a solid state device that produce electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel at elevated temperature. It consists of porous ceramic anode,electrolyte(dense layer of ceramic) and cathode as thin porous layer. It uses ceramic electrolyte with inexpensive catalyst at high temperature of around 700 degree Celsius and has large thermal innertia.More Info


2H+ O® 2H2O + 2e

Details of Solid Oxide fuel cell
They are attracting lot of attention because of their huge potential of generating electricity.

Direct Conversion to Electricity
Reliable and Quiet
Extremely Low Emission

Related PDF :
SECA Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program
Solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) with hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon-derived fuels
Development of chemical sensors for PEM and SOFC Systems

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