Low-cost urine-powered fuel cell could power electronic devices

Cell phones of the future could be pee-powered. Using renewable sources such as solar and wind to power the batteries of electronic devices isn’t anything new, but some scientists are taking their green energy research beyond conventional renewable resources and are looking into using less common types of clean sources of power like urine. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Bath in England announced in a newly published study that they have developed a cheap urine-powered fuel cell that is able to run mobile phones and other…

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Microbial fuel cells could solve the waste management problem in the US

Wastewater represents an untapped energy resource for the US A great deal of potential energy is wasted in the U.S. due to the country’s sewage system. Wastewater contains approximately 10 times the electrical power that is needed to process it, but the U.S. does not currently focus on converting this wastewater into energy. As much as 3% of the country’s energy is spent on processing wastewater without getting any kind of return in terms of electrical power. Microbial fuel cells may be the solution to this problem, as they can…

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Researchers modify bacteria to produce hydrogen fuel

University of Massachusetts - Hydrogen Fuel Research

Researchers find new way to organically produce hydrogen fuel Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have released a new report concerning the use of bacteria, hydrogen fuel, and carbon dioxide. The report highlights how these can be used for the sake of energy production. Researchers claim they have developed an innovative microbial fuel cell that generates electricity organically through the use of hydrogen fuel. This microbial fuel cell is a genetically modified strain of Geobacter sulfurreducens. Geobacter continues to prove popular for its uses in renewable energy Geobacter bacteria have…

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Microbial fuel cells produce energy from DDGS waste material

University of Surrey research in microbial fuel cells

New microbial fuel cells could lead to efficient energy production Information provided by the Society of General Microbiology shows that a byproduct of biofuel production could be used by microbial fuel cells to produce energy. Microbial fuel cells generate electricity by consuming organic waste material. These fuel cells contain bacteria that thrive on this organic waste, producing hydrogen, methane, and other gases when consumed. Scientists believe that the biofuel byproduct could lead to a new generation of microbial fuel cells that are more capable than current models. Researchers use DDGS…

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Microbial fuel cells could lead to surplus energy production

Microbial fuel cells process

*Image from Wikipedia   Microbial fuel cells beginning to gain ground as technology advances Microbial fuel cells are quickly garnering more attention for their abilities to produce energy and consume organic waste. Research and development of microbial fuel cells has increased in recent years as the technology has become more advanced. Researchers from Oregon State University have developed a microbial fuel cell that may be capable of producing up to 100 times more electricity than similar forms of technology. If this is true, the fuel cell would be capable of…

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Microbial fuel cells may see improvement through new research

Microbial fuel cells

Waste to energy becoming a popular concept Turning waste into electricity is a concept that is gaining a great deal of attention. As the world’s population grows, the problems presented by waste are growing. An expanding population also means more stress put on the planet’s existing energy resources, fossil-fuels and otherwise. Converting organic waste into electricity is beginning to be considered a viable way to solve the energy and waste problems associated with a growing population. Microbial fuel cells may hold the key to this endeavor. Microbial fuel cells able…

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Microbial fuel cells could bring access to clean water and energy to millions

Hydrogen Fuel - New Product

Waste may be the answer to many country’s energy and water problems As the world’s population continues to expand without showing signs of slowing down, clean water and energy availability are becoming paramount issues. In developing countries, access to clean water and energy can be, at times, impossible. Many of these countries are unable to meet the needs of their citizens due to the high costs associated with comprehensive energy infrastructure and water procurement. Though clean water and energy may be rare in some parts of the world, there is…

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Microbial fuel cells could open the way to affordable energy systems

solar energy costs drop

Researchers find a way to produce more affordable fuel cells Fuel cells have become popular energy systems. As the energy systems become more popular, their faults are attracting more attention. Currently, cost is one of the most unattractive aspects of fuel cells. Engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) have been working to address the issue of cost. Experimenting with a new type of catalyst that is used with microbial fuel cells, researchers believe that they have successfully found a way to manufacture more cost effective fuel cell energy systems.…

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Massachusetts proposes turning food waste into electricity

Organic Waste

Organic waste could be a promising source of energy Alternative energy is poised to take an interesting turn in Massachusetts. State legislators have proposed regulations that would prevent large companies, restaurants, hospitals, and hotels to discard food waste. This legislation would make Massachusetts the first state in the U.S. to adopt a ban on commercial food waste. If the legislation is successful, this food waste will not sit idle at a landfill. Instead, it will be used to generate electricity for the state. Massachusetts may utilize microbial fuel cells to…

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University of Leeds researchers seek to improve biofuel cells

Solar Energy Market - Research

Biofuel cells could produce electricity from light and hydrogen Researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom have been working on ways to develop more efficient fuel cells that use biofuel. Biofuel cells, often referred to as microbial fuel cells, are attracting a great deal of attention for their ability to convert waste into electricity. Typical biofuel cells contain enzymes that are capable of converting glucose into electricity. These fuel cells typically do not produce significant amounts of energy because of their need for a large fuel source.…

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University of Colorado researchers make improvement to microbial fuel cells

Research - Solar Energy and Hydrogen

New energy harvesting method could improve fuel cell efficiency Microbial fuel cells have been getting more attention in the alternative energy community and from companies interested in hydrogen fuel. These types of fuel cells contain bacteria that feed on organic waste or sugars. For this reason, microbial fuel cells have become popular energy machines in waste to electricity systems. As with other types of fuel cells, however, these units have long been crippled by problems with efficiency. Researchers from the University of Colorado have developed a new energy system that…

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University of Texas launches series to highlight the practicality of alternative energy

University of Texas alternative energy research

Microbial fuel cells features in first installment of Going Green Fuel cells are often steeped in controversy. This controversy stems from their cost, efficiency, and, at times, the simple fact that they are an alternative energy system. Controversy often calls into question the practicality of fuel cells, especially those that break away from conventional designs. Microbial fuel cells, for instance, have been the subject of arguments concerning practicality. These fuel cells contain bacteria that feed on organic material and produce methane or hydrogen gas, which is then used to generate…

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SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies team to build waste-to-energy power plant in the UK

Biofuel research

SSE, a British electric utility company, has announced a partnership with Wheelabrator Technologies, a waste management firm based in the United Kingdom. Together, the two companies will be building a waste-to-energy power plant worth $476 million. The plant will take root in West Yorkshire, UK, and will begin operating in early 2015, according to Wheelabrator. Both companies claim that the project will have a profound impact on the local economy and will generate hundred of throughout its construction period. The facility will collect waste from the nearby Barnsley, Doncaster and…

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J. Craig Venter Institute researchers create a fuel cell powered by raw sewage

J. Craig Venter Institute

Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute, a non-profit genomics research center based in Maryland, have created a microbial fuel cell that creates electricity by consuming raw sewage. The fuel cell is not the first of its kind, but researchers believe that it is the most efficient model that has been developed. Microbial fuel cells are gaining acclaim in the alternative energy community because of their ability to tackle two problems at once. Many microbial fuel cells can consume waste matter, organic or otherwise, and convert it into electricity. Researchers…

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Microbial fuel cells and their role in sustainability

Fracking - Drinking Water Contamination

Microbial fuel cells are getting more attention in the world of alternative energy because of their ability to multitask. Conventional hydrogen fuel cells are capable of doing more than just generating electricity – they can also produce clean water – but their microbial cousins can draw upon a wider variety of resources to generate hydrogen gas. As such, these fuel cells have begun appearing at waste management and sewage treatment facilities around the world. They have been turning waste into electricity, leaving nothing more than clean water behind. While the…

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Space bacteria could be the future of hydrogen fuel cells

Space for Fuel Research

Microbial fuel cells are getting more attention in the alternative energy community, but many have expressed reluctance to adopt the technology. At present, microbial fuel cells generate less electricity than their conventional counterparts. Though this is a marginal difference, it is enough to cause consumers and companies to shy away from the technology. Researchers from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom say that a certain type of bacteria could make microbial fuel cells much more powerful. The only problem is that these bacteria cannot be found on Earth. Researchers…

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