Penn State cuts cost of waste water fuel cell

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

1 Scopus citations


Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University modified their microbial fuel cell devised to operate on municipal waste water. The new cell is made with a plastic tube an inch-and-a-half long and an inch in diameter with carbon paper placed over its ends. One of the pieces of carbon paper forms the anode and the other, which contains a small amount of platinum, forms the cathode. A platinum wire completes the circuit. Air passes through the carbon paper to provide oxygen to react directly at the cathode, thus eliminating the need for bubbling air through the liquid at the cathode in the original two-chamber cell. With the modification, the cell is not only cheaper but also produces nearly six times more electricity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages2
Specialist publicationIndustrial Bioprocessing
StatePublished - Jul 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry


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