Poo is Cool
Kezmen Chen, Benjamin Chung
Britannia Community Secondary
Floor Location : M 136 V
We are to compare two battery models; the Daniell Cell and the Microbial Fuel Cell. Since there is wide range of electrochemical cells, we decided to use the Daniell cell because it had the most similar cell configuration to the Microbial cell, in the aspect that the electrons flow out of the anode to the cathode rather than the opposite, like in a typical electrolytic cell. Microbial fuel cells would actually raise the monetary value of waste water treatment plants. Waste water treatment plants sustain themselves, through use of biogas which is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. It even adds power back to the grid. Implementing microbial fuel cells means that companies sponsoring the wastewater treatment plant can sell energy back to the grid for more money. This has been tested before but only in raw sewage. We speculate that it would work better in the anaerobic chamber where biogas is produced in waste water treatment plants. The only challenge is biofouling, which is an algae growth buildup on wet surfaces. We are currently working on that challenge.
Microbial fuel cells are actually very practical, and relatively new technology. Implemented into an average wastewater plant, it could use the wastewater to produce enough energy to power up to 500 houses. One house, on average in the US, uses about 900 kWh of electricity every month. 500 houses adds up to 450000 kWh a month, and 5400000 kWh a year. This could potentially save a lot of money. Furthermore, powering all those houses help with a natural effect with an alarming growing rate. Global warming is caused often by using a lot of electricity, and using microbial fuel cells could potentially slow down global warming relatively quickly. Theoretically, the implementation of microbial fuel cells can help with and mitigate the world's rapidly increasing energy problems.