Battery that Works on Bacteria

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bacterial Energy

A team of ten students from Universitat Bielefield, Germany are developing a battery that can produce energy from bacteria. The bio–battery would make use of Escherichia Coli (E. coli) bacteria to convert glucose into energy.

The battery is being designed in the background of a rising demand for alternative sources of clean energy. Researchers say that it is not only large scale electricity production that pollutes the environment but also the harmful substances that are emitted from household batteries after improper handling. Therefore, they are developing an environment–friendly bio–battery, which consists of an apparatus similar to conventional batteries, except for one difference, that is, the anode area of the battery contains bacteria and not electrolyte. These bacteria breakdown the substrates present around; in this case glucose is broken down in a metabolic process. After the process, electrons are produced, which travel in an external loop to the cathode.

The bio–battery is a simple structure due to which, it can be provided in regions where there is shortage of electricity. Also, since these batteries work on bacteria, more nourishment means more energy, unlike the solar and wind power which are dependent on weather conditions.

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