Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New harvesting approach boosts energy output from bacteria

26.04.2012
CU Denver team develops process resulting in 70 times more energy

A team of scientists from University of Colorado Denver has developed a novel energy system that increases the amount of energy harvested from microbial fuel cells (MFCs) by more than 70 times. The new approach also greatly improves energy efficiency. MFCs are emerging as a way to use bacteria to directly harvest electricity from biodegradable materials, such as wastewater or marine sediments

The energy from a single MFC reactor is usually too low to be used in the real world. But CU Denver engineers developed a harvesting system to allow active extractions of electrons from bacteria.

"This process changes the way we think about MFC energy," said Zhiyong (Jason) Ren, PhD, assistant professor of civil engineering in CU Denver's College of Engineering and Applied Science. "This may be a game changer for waste treatment or remote sensing because we've proven we can harvest energy as well as generate savings."

Data collected shows the system increased energy output by 76 times and improved energy efficiency by 21 times compared to a commonly used charge pump.

"The energy output from an MFC reactor is difficult to use directly," said Jae-Do Park, PhD, assistant professor of electrical engineering at CU Denver, who developed the harvesting scheme and prototype system. "That is why the role of the control system is so important. Our prototype has shown great progress toward harvesting energy."

The article, "Active Energy Harvesting from Microbial Fuel Cells at the Maximum Power Point without Using Resistors" was published in Environmental Science & Technology (DOI: 10.1021/es300313d) and was rated excellent by 3 of the 4 reviewers. The group, which included Ren, Park and PhD student Heming Wang also published a series of related articles in the Journal of Power Sources and IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion.

The study was funded by the Office of Naval Research.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science offers programs of study in the engineering disciplines of bioengineering, civil engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. The University of Colorado Denver offers more than 128 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. The University is located on the Denver Campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. and is part of a system of four University of Colorado campuses. For more information, visit the online newsroom.

Erika Matich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia
23.04.2019 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Bacteria use their enemy -- phage -- for 'self-recognition'
23.04.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>