OUTPUT POWER OPTIMIZATION OF MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS BY SCALABLE MICROFLUIDIC DEVICES - Video Portal
OUTPUT POWER OPTIMIZATION OF MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS BY SCALABLE MICROFLUIDIC DEVICES
Tricia D. Nguyen, LT, U.S. Navy
The purpose of this research is to determine if microfluidic technology can be used as a renewable energy application to determine optimization for increased power of Benthic Microbial Fuel Cells (BMFC). A microfluidic chip based BMFC was designed to evaluate bacterial electricity at microscale distances. The system could be used to optimize biological parameters, geometry, and electrode scaling towards increased power. The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) chip is built using elastomer microfluidics to provide biologically-inert microfluidic confinement of the bacteria. The microelectrode matrix patterned onto glass substrate is based on the binary fractal H-architecture, which captures the charge without location bias and conducts it to the outside circuit. The results show up to ~120 mW/m^2 average power output density, non-optimized. This encouraging output shows that this device and associated technique are a major step forward for renewable power systems for maritime environments and demonstrates that microfluidics can be considered for power production. This can become a standardized test platform for future MFC research and optimized for power production. Once optimized, one chip can serve as a unit device in an array comprising a large-scale renewable power source and integrate continuous or periodic food sources.