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Current Affairs

Scientists develop microbial fuel cell to treat textile wastewater

Date: 03 February 2019 Tags: Biotechnology, Nanotechnology

Scientists have developed microbial fuel cell (MFC) to treat textile wastewater and generate power during degradation process. It uses simple principle to degrade wastewater. This energy-efficient technology can be also used with any other industrial wastewater.

How Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) works?

  • In this fuel cell, carefully selected cohort of bacteria is made to act on the textile wastewater placed in it. These bacteria are isolated from very wastewater they are meant to degrade.
  • They feed on organic material in water and break it down under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions, releasing electrons in process.
  • The electrons are collected at anode which results in current in circuit. The bacteria forms biofilm on anode making collection of electrons easy at anode.
  • During this entire process, bacteria act on wastewater and purify it and waste is segregated in the cell. For example, dye present in wastewater is broken to simpler form.
  • At present this technology has been tested in 200 litre capacity prototype, which can can generate power of around 1 watt per square-metre.
  • Scientists are also incorporating nanotechnology in it, to add nanotech filter to improve process to keep thickness of biofilm within prescribed limit.