Microbial Fuel Cells

713 398 Stroud Water Research Center

Jinjun Kan, Ph.D., assistant research scientist at Stroud™ Water Research Center is exploring the possibility of generating clean and renewable energy by using microorganisms.

Microorganisms are able to oxidize a wide range of organic substrates and convert chemical energy to electrical energy directly. The devices commonly used are called microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In theory, a stream sediment MFC can generate electricity indefinitely and provide current for low-power devices. Meanwhile, MFC technology holds great promise of applications in bioremediation and biodegradation.

This video shows a blinking LED light powered by a microbial fuel cell in the Stroud Center’s indoor stream. The indoor stream has been running for decades and is fed by water and colonized by microorganisms from White Clay Creek.