Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are comparatively new technique of simultaneously generating electricity from bio-waste while degrading the organic waste. The use of microbes to generate electricity is an uninterrupted process in MFCs since the bacteria replicate and continue to produce power indefinitely as long as there is enough food source to nurture the bacteria. Besides, MFCs have the potential to produce hydrogen for fuel cells, desalinate sea water, and provide sustainable energy sources for remote areas. Factors like type of electrodes used in the cells, partitioning of cells, oxygen complement and configurations are important factors that affect the performance of MFCs. The fabrication of microbial fuel cells of different configurations and the relationship between the factors affecting the efficiency of single chambered (SC-MFCs) and double chambered (DC-MFCs) will be presented. The experimental data on observations made on the effects of these materials on the MFCs characteristics, electricity generation and wastewater treatment have also been included. The main aim of this study is to find out whether a nonconventional inexpensive clay could be used as an ion-exchange medium alternative to the conventional expensive PEM in the fabrication of MFCs. The results obtained on power generation, current density, open circuit voltage, etc., clearly show that PEM-less MFCs can be used as practical devices for sustainable energy generation.
Part of the book: Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell