Electricity generation from the mud by using microbial fuel cell
Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Johor, Pasir Gudang Campus
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is a bio-electrochemical device that harnesses the power of respiring microbes to convert organic substrates directly into electrical energy. This is achieved when bacteria transfer electrons to an electrode rather than directly to an electron acceptor. Their technical feasibility has recently been proven and there is great enthusiasm in the scientific community that MFCs could provide a source of “green electricity”. Microbial fuel cells work by allowing bacteria to do what they do best, oxidize and reduce organic molecules. Bacterial respiration is basically one big redox reaction in which electrons are being moved around. The objective is to generate electricity throughout the biochemical process using chemical waste basically sludge, via microbial fuel cells. The methodology includes collecting sludge from different locations, set up microbial fuel cells with the aid of salt bridge and observing the results in voltage measurement. The microbial fuel cells consist of two chambers, iron electrodes, copper wire, air pump (to increase the efficiency of electron transfer), water, sludge and salt bridge. After several observations, it is seen that this MFC can achieve up until 202 milivolts (0.202volts) with the presence of air pump. It is proven through the experiments that sludge from different locations gives different results in term of the voltage measurement. This is basically because in different locations of sludge contain different type and amount of nutrients to provide the growth of bacteria. Apart from that, salt bridge also play an important role in order to transport the proton from cathode to anode. A longer salt bridge will give a higher voltage compared to a short salt bridge. On the other hand, the limitations that this experiment facing is the voltage that being produced did not last long as the bacteria activity slows down gradually and the voltage produced are not really great in amount. Lastly to conclude, microbial fuel cell essentially is a solution for a renewable energy emitted by bacteria activity that need to be take a further attention , research and development
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.