Microbial Fuel Cells / Edition 1

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Microbial fuel cells (MFCs), devices in which bacteria create electrical power by oxidizing simple compounds such as glucose or complex organic matter in wastewater, represent a new and promising approach for generating power. Not only do MFCs clean wastewater, but they also convert organics in these wastewaters into usable energy. Given the world's limited supply of fossil fuels and fossil fuels' impact on climate change, MFC technology's ability to create renewable, carbonneutral energy has generated tremendous interest around the world.

This timely book is the first dedicated to MFCs. It not only serves as an introduction to the theory underlying the development and functioning of MFCs, it also serves as a manual for ongoing research. In addition, author Bruce Logan, a leading pioneer in MFC research and development, provides practical guidance for the effective design and operation of MFCs based on his own firsthand experience.

This reference covers everything you need to fully understand MFCs, including: Key topics such as voltage and power generation, MFC materials and architecture, mass transfer to bacteria and biofilms, bioreactor design, and fundamentals of electron transfer, Applications across a wide variety of scales, from power generation in the laboratory to approaches for using MFCs for wastewater treatment, The role of MFCs in the climate change debate, Detailed illustrations of bacterial and electrochemical concepts, Charts, graphs, and tables summarizing key design and operation variables, Practice problems and step-by-step examples, Microbial Fuel Cells, with its easy-to-follow explanations, is recommended as both a textbook for students and professionalsinterested in entering the field and as a complete reference for more experienced practitioners.

About the Author:
Bruce E. Logan, PhD, is the Stan and Flora Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, and Director of Penn State's Hydrogen Energy (H2E) Center and the Engineering Environmental Institute

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470239483
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/9/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 7.15 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce E. Logan, PHD, is the Stan and Flora Kappe Professor of EnvironmentalEngineering at Penn State University, and Director of Penn State's Hydrogen Energy (H2E) Center and the Engineering Environmental Institute. Dr. Logan's areas of expertise include bioenergy (microbial fuel cells and biohydrogen production),bacterial adhesion, colloid transport, and bioremediation. He is the author or coauthor of over 200 refereed publications and books on environmental transport processes, microbial fuel cells, and perchlorate reduction.

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Introduction     1
Energy needs     1
Energy and the challenge of global climate change     2
Bioelectricity generation using a microbial fuel cell-the process of electrogenesis     4
MFCs and energy sustainability of the water infrastructure     6
MFC technologies for wastewater treatment     7
Renewable energy generation using MFCs     9
Other applications of MFC technologies     11
Exoelectrogens     12
Introduction     12
Mechanisms of electron transfer     13
MFC studies using known exoelectrogenic strains     18
Community analysis     22
MFCs as tools for studying exoelectrogens     27
Voltage Generation     29
Voltage and current     29
Maximum voltages based on thermodynamic relationships     30
Anode potentials and enzyme potentials     36
Role of communities versus enzymes in setting anode potentials     40
Voltage generation by fermentative bacteria?     41
Power Generation     44
Calculating power     44
Coulombic and energy efficiency     48
Polarization and power density curves     50
Measuring internal resistance     54
Chemical and electrochemical analysis of reactors     57
Materials     61
Finding low-cost, highly efficient materials     61
Anode materials     62
Membranes and separators (and chemical transport through them)     68
Cathode materials     76
Long-term stability of different materials     83
Architecture     85
General requirements     85
Air-cathode MFCs     86
Aqueous cathodes using dissolved oxygen     95
Two-chamber reactors with soluble catholytes or poised potentials     97
Tubular packed bed reactors     102
Stacked MFCs     104
Metal catholytes     105
Biohydrogen MFCs     108
Towards a scalable MFC architecture     110
Kinetics and Mass Transfer     111
Kinetic- or mass transfer-based models?     111
Boundaries on rate constants and bacterial characteristics     112
Maximum power from a monolayer of bacteria     116
Maximum rate of mass transfer to a biofilm     118
Mass transfer per reactor volume     122
MECS for Hydrogen Production     125
Principle of operation     125
MEC systems     127
Hydrogen yield     131
Hydrogen recovery     132
Energy recovery     134
Hydrogen losses     142
Differences between the MEC and MFC systems     145
MFCs for Wastewater Treatment     146
Process trains for WWTPs     146
Replacement of the biological treatment reactor with an MFC     149
Energy balances for WWTPs     154
Implications for reduced sludge generation     157
Nutrient removal     158
Electrogenesis versus methanogenesis     159
Other MFC Technologies     162
Different applications for MFC-based technologies     162
Sediment MFCs     162
Enhanced sediment MFCs     166
Bioremediation using MFC technologies     168
Fun!     171
MFCs for new scientists and inventors     171
Choosing your inoculum and media     174
MFC materials: electrodes and membranes     175
MFC architectures that are easy to build     176
MEC reactors     180
Operation and assessment of MFCs     181
Outlook     182
MFCs yesterday and today     182
Challenges for bringing MFCs to commercialization     183
Accomplishments and outlook     184
Notation     186
References     189
Index     199
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