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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

How bacteria can produce electricity, treat wastewater

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How bacteria can produce electricity, treat wastewater

What if the bacteria found in wastewater could power the water’s own purification system?

Chemical engineering professor César Torres is exploring this possibility through research in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), supported in large part by a $1,900,000 grant from the Department of Defense.

An MFC is a bio-electrochemical device that converts the power of respiring microorganisms into electrical energy.

Specifically, MFCs contain anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) that can produce electricity when electrons from wastewater organics are transferred to an anode.

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