Microbial Fuel Cell as Energy Alternative Source


Microbial Fuel Cell
Microbial Fuel Cell is the answer of energy alternative source. This kind of research has actually been done a few years ago and has reached developing phase recently. Microbial fuel cell is the name of this new technology in generating the energy alternative. This kind of technology, which is also commonly known as MFC is actually a kind of electrical energy generator which is done by using the interaction that happens among the bacteria in the nature. Of course, for the ordinary people, such thing seems to be really magical and impossible to do.

What we usually know about bacteria is that it can lead to several diseases. Thus, to imagine that it can actually give some benefits especially in providing the energy might sound nearly impossible to do. However, the science has proven that such thing is really possible as long as it is done in proper way. The bacteria which are placed in organic medium will turn the organic material into electrical energy. The nature of the bacteria which can degrade such organic medium or enrichment medium will provide electron and proton ions to the MFC. These ions are the ones that will generate electrical potential and finally it can be formed as the electrical energy source.

The need of energy alternative especially electrical energy at this recent time has been really great. It seems that the demand is getting higher and higher. The fact that the fuel has been lower in its amount becomes the reason behind this. The fuel that cannot be renewed such as fossil fuels has been really lower in its quantity. If this condition carries on, in the future, the people will live without any energy supplies and the life will be like the ancient time once again.

The people need to live in the dark since there is no electric source to light the lamps. That is why to make sure that such illustration will not come to reality, the scientists and also the researchers do so many efforts to make sure that they can find the alternatives for energy source. Well, they also hope that the new alternatives for the energy source can also be friendly to the environment. You need to know that at this recent time, some researchers and scientists are trying to develop the energy source which is generated from microbe.

Normally, MFC consists of two chambers which are the anode chamber and the chamber for the cathode. Both rooms are separated by some kind of membrane where the exchange of proton happens. That is why the membrane is also called as proton exchange membrane. Yet, this system has not been working optimally alongside with the bacteria since the anode chamber is the one that contains the bacteria. Meanwhile, the cathode side is still using chemical reaction such as PAC or polialumunium chloride. However, lately, it has been developed a kind of MFC which uses bacteria to the cathode and it is usually known as bio-cathode. The bacteria in the cathode chamber have the function which is just the same with the mediator for the electron which is previously done by the chemical matter like what has been stated before.

In various researches about microbial fuel cell, acetate is common to be used as the substrate for the bacteria in order to generate the electricity. This chemical reaction is easier to be processed by the bacteria compared to the process of the waste. Acetate belongs to the simple chemical matter which functions the carbon source for the bacteria. Another benefit from the acetate is the fact that this material does not create the other reaction to the bacteria such as the fermentation and methanogenesis that might happen in room temperature.
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