Aug 23, 2006

University to Study Wastewater as Energy Source

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison are studying ways to generate electricity by giving bacteria sunlight and wastewater.

The microbial fuel cells were discovered over thirty years ago when a researcher from England fed carbohydrates to a bacteria culture, and then produced tiny amounts of electricity by connecting electrodes.

Environmental engineering professor Daniel Noguera told the university that he feels this could be a viable alternative source for energy.

Noguera, civil and environmental engineering Professor Marc Anderson, civil and environmental engineering Assistant Professor Trina McMahon, bacteriology Professor Timothy Donohue, senior scientist Isabel Tejedor-Anderson and graduate students Yun Kyung Cho and Rodolfo Perez are all working together in an effort to develop a large-scale microbial fuel cell system that can be used in wastewater treatment plants.