Miller, Judith E.
Microbial fuel cells are devices that convert biochemical energy into useable electricity. This project uses Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, a chemolithoautotrophic obligate acidophile, to create a regenerative ferric/ferrous catholyte for the fuel cell. T. ferrooxidans gets its energy by oxidizing Fe2+ to Fe3+. We hypothesized that Fe3+ can then accept electrons from the anode and be converted back to Fe2+. The fuel cell did show a slight increase in current and voltage with the addition of bacteria, but the more significant increase appeared to come from the oxidation of Fe2+ by oxygen.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Biology and Biotechnology