Plant Microbial Fuel Cell: Experimental Data and Future Applications

Plant microbial fuel cell are bioelectrochemical systems converting chemical reactions naturally occurring between the rhizosphere region of a plant and bacteria, into electricity. Derived from traditional Microbial fuel cell, P-MFC is distinguished by its capacity to turn solar energy and organic substrates into bioelectricity, in-situ and without external input. Initially studied to be applied in wetlands, P-MFC can potentially be integrated in any vegetation area with low environmental risks, both for the energy generation and water quality sensing. This work is focused on the main factors limiting PMFC application: the low energy production and the cost of the materials used for the electrodes design. First of all, a description of P-MFC is presented, follow by preliminary results of P-MFC performance. Secondly, a study of a new configuration is proposed with the aim to improve the energy output. This part is accompanied by the analysis of alternative materials derived from waste and organic materials (such as Biochar), more sustainable to those usually employed for the electrodes. At the end of this research, an exhaustive overview of PMFC future application and challenges will be introduce and discussed in detail.

Author Information
Giada Daga, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Elena Comino, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Tonia Tommasi, Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: ECSEE2018
Stream: Energy: Renewable Energy and Environmental Solutions

This paper is part of the ECSEE2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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