21-Oct-2021 | Market Research Store

Bacteria can release various biogases by decomposing organic materials under unusual anaerobic conditions. Moreover, these biogases are loaded with carbon compounds that can be used in further experiments related to energy production.

Yu Hang, the co-author of the research conducted in UCLA’s Department of Material Science & Engineering, has succeeded in discovering a certain bacterial species in wastewater that utilizes living energy-recovery systems. This research was funded by the Office of Naval Research. He mentioned apart from decontaminating the groundwater, the bacteria are also capable of generating renewable energy. While demonstrating, the researchers specified that they employed the genus Shewanella,as these bacteria hold power production capabilities. Even though Shewanella spp. can propagate under a wide range of conditions, but under controlled environmental conditions, these bacteria efficiently degrade organic waste matter into tiny molecules. But what leads to energy generation just by decomposing natural waste? The answer is the release of by-products during the degradation process. At the stage of decomposition, bacteria generate free electrons, which get adhered to the electrodes resulting in the formation of biogas or microbial gas. During this research, the team observed that not all the electrons were able to reach the electrode and produce gas. Hence, they administrated nanoparticles, which extract silver ions from the surface and start accumulating around the electrodes of the cells. These nanoparticles act as microscopic transmission wires, which can trap additional electrons around the electrodes.

One of the researchers in the team mentioned that these nanoparticles have propelled energy production by directing as well as entrapping more electrons to reach around the electrodes. The research demonstrated that the fuel cells driven by the Shewanella-silver hybrid, which can revolutionize the energy sector. Compared to the traditional fuel cells, the novel hybrid cells are 80% more efficient and their efficiency is increased by 0.66 milliwatts per centimeter square.

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