The world’s supply of fossil fuels is being depleted, and there is increasing pressure to develop new renewable sources of energy. Bioenergy is one such source, and microbial fuel cells can produce it.
A new kind of fuel cell that can turn urine into electricity could change the way we produce bioenergy, particularly in developing countries.
Researchers from the University of Bath, Queen Mary University of London and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have discovered a new design of microbial fuel cell that overcomes two limitations of standard microbial fuel cells: their cost and low power production. The research which has been published, describes a new design of microbial fuel cell that is smaller, cheaper and more powerful than traditional ones.
There are, however, some limitations. Microbial fuel cells can be quite expensive to manufacture because of the platinum content in the cathode, which speeds up the reactions to generate electricity. Also, microbial fuel cells tend to produce less power than the other methods of bioenergy production.
A new design could help produce sustainable energy in developing countries.
The question still remains, what other ideas do you have?