By mc solar (August 3, 2009)

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have recently increased the production ability of one of their microbial fuel cell possibilities. Microbial Fuel cells [wikipedia] have shown a lot of promise for utilizing bacteria to break down and convert different enzymes, often found in biomass waste products, into electrical currents. But it has been difficult to generate high enough currents yet for actual use. However, the GeoBacter microbe that Derek Lovely and co-researchers at the UM Amherst work with has shown more promise due to their creation of a new method for strengthening the organisms:

“In very short order we increased the power output by eight-fold, as a conservative estimate,” says Derek Lovley. “With this, we’ve broken through the plateau in power production that’s been holding us back in recent years.” Now, planning can move forward to design microbial fuel cells that convert waste water and renewable biomass to electricity, treat a single home’s waste while producing localized power (especially attractive in developing countries), power mobile electronics, vehicles and implanted medical devices, and drive bioremediation of contaminated environments. [Full Article]

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