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Iwona Gajda SELF SUSTAINABLE CATHODES FOR MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) Research Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Iwona Gajda SELF SUSTAINABLE CATHODES FOR MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) Research Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iwona Gajda SELF SUSTAINABLE CATHODES FOR MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) Research Group

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3  Energy “locked” in organic matter may be liberated by the use of microorganisms Michael C. Potter 1911 – First MFC Generated power from cultures of Escherichia coli MFC Technology is already 100 years old! Major improvements in the technology in the last 10 years

4 Pharmaceuticals Wastewater treatment Decomposing Fermentation

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6 Microorganisms are only catalysts Not a source of electrons Microorganisms can drive electrons to the anode by oxidising the organic matter

7 Gastrobot (Chew-chew) train invented by S. Wilkinson (University of South Florida) 2001

8 Both developed by researchers at Bristol Robotics Laboratory: Dr I.Ieropoulos, Prof J. Greenman, Prof C.Melhuish and I.Horsfield Ecobot I (2001) performs phototaxisEcobot II (2003) performs phototaxis, sensing, communication

9 Ecobot III (2008) -48 small-scale Microbial Fuel Cells, world's first robot to exhibit true self-sustainability

10 Though this technology is quite promising as a source of renewable energy, it will be some time before large-scale, highly efficient MFCs enter the commercial scene. Powering underwater monitoring devices Power supply to remote sensors Wastewater treatment Powering small everyday use devices- mobile phones Powering autonomous robots

11 ANODECATHODE BeforeAfter Research based on: - Anode improvement - Cathode improvement - Scalability and stacks SLUDGESLUDGE

12 To develop: Self sustainable Cost efficient Better performing CATHODE Improvement of: Design Electrode materials Methodology

13 Platinum.....expensive Ferricyanide.....non sustainable and toxic Photosynthetic Organisms: Algae Cyanobacteria Produce Oxygen Use CO2 and light Self sustainable

14  75% world’s oxygen is produced by marine algae  Naturally occurring  Fast grown  Already used as biofuel source  Used also in wastewater treatment

15 Abiotic cathodeBiotic cathode Biocathode types Photoreactors

16 ABIOTIC CATHODE BIOCATHODES

17  Biotic cathodes outperform abiotic (water based) cathodes  Photosynthethic organisms multiply creating more biomass that might be used as a substrate!

18 Comparison between pure and mixed culture algae and cyanobacteria Various metals as current collectors Different design, stacking

19 MFC Team: Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos Prof John Greenman Prof Chris Melhuish

20 University of the West of England Frenchay Campus North Entrance Bristol


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