A single-chambered microbial fuel cell protrotype developed by researchers at Pennsylvania State University may have proven that someone's trash could indeed become another person's treasure. During their research, the scientists found that when a steady flow of wastewater was pumped into the chamber to feed the bacteria, bacterial digestion of the wastewater's organic matter unleashed electrons into the electrical circuit and positively charged hydrogen ions into the solution. As a result, the ions reduced the solution's oxygen demand, which is a key goal of wastewater management. Such findings suggest that microbial fuel cell technology may provide a new method to save operating costs of wastewater treatment.
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