Microfluidic microbial fuel cell fabrication and rapid screening of electrochemically microbes

Battistelli, Elisa (2014) Microfluidic microbial fuel cell fabrication and rapid screening of electrochemically microbes. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Ingegneria biomedica [LM-DM270] - Cesena, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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The demand for novel renewable energy sources, together with the new findings on bacterial electron transport mechanisms and the progress in microbial fuel cell design, have raised a noticeable interest in microbial power generation. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an electrochemical device that converts organic substrates into electricity via catalytic conversion by microorganism. It has represented a continuously growing research field during the past few years. The great advantage of this device is the direct conversion of the substrate into electricity and in the future, MFC may be linked to municipal waste streams or sources of agricultural and animal waste, providing a sustainable system for waste treatment and energy production. However, these novel green technologies have not yet been used for practical applications due to their low power outputs and challenges associated with scale-up, so in-depth studies are highly necessary to significantly improve and optimize the device working conditions. For the time being, the micro-scale MFCs show great potential in the rapid screening of electrochemically active microbes. This thesis presents how it will be possible to optimize the properties and design of the micro-size microbial fuel cell for maximum efficiency by understanding the MFC system. So it will involve designing, building and testing a miniature microbial fuel cell using a new species of microorganisms that promises high efficiency and long lifetime. The new device offer unique advantages of fast start-up, high sensitivity and superior microfluidic control over the measured microenvironment, which makes them good candidates for rapid screening of electrode materials, bacterial strains and growth media. It will be made in the Centre of Hybrid Biodevices (Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, University of Southampton) from polymer materials like PDMS. The eventual aim is to develop a system with the optimum combination of microorganism, ion exchange membrane and growth medium. After fabricating the cell, different bacteria and plankton species will be grown in the device and the microbial fuel cell characterized for open circuit voltage and power. It will also use photo-sensitive organisms and characterize the power produced by the device in response to optical illumination.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Battistelli, Elisa
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Microbial fuel cell, microfluidic device, microorganisms, energy production
Data di discussione della Tesi
17 Luglio 2014

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