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Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) for Electromicrobiology

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 One of the pleasures of our craft is that we learn about developments in science and technology through our customers, who are often on the cutting edge in their fields. Pictured on the right is a great example of this. These are microbial fuel cells (MFC) developed for work in this field.

 The idea is to study electron transfer between bacteria and their environment. Among many exciting possibilities, this research may yield surfaces that can "totally inhibit corrosion", produce energy while cleaning water, and even help with tooth decay. Cool!

Who knew. Check out a broadcast on this subject on NPR's Science Friday, April 30th, 2010. Also this video from the University of Massachusetts Amherst is informative.

Microbial fuel cell 1

The main idea for these glass cells is to support a membrane, such as Nafion®, between the flanges, and is esentially a modified "H"style electrochemical cell.

We have used several configurations for this membrane support, but have been making quite a number of these using the NW style flanges with the knuckle clamp shown in this series of pictures. For MFC's, we use these flanges with sizes ranging from 10mm ID to 50 mm.  See our  MFC page showing our now standard configurations.

Microbial fuel cell with teflon sealing gasket

One of our clients writes...

Dear Tom,

The microbial fuel cell reactors that you have prepared for our team are fantastic. Thank you for your thoughtful design suggestions, interest in our science, and following up to ensure that the Adams & Chittenden reactors work as well we anticipated. We look forward to working with you again as our projects develop.
All the best,

Orianna Bretschger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Electromicrobiology Group
J. Craig Venter Institute

Microbial fuel cell assembled