UCSC researchers have recently developed a self-biased and sustainable photoelectrochemical (PEC) microbial fuel cell hybrid device for electricity and hydrogen generation using wastewater and sunlight as the exclusive energy sources. The new PEC-MFC device provides photovoltage that enables microbial electrohydrogenesis to occur without the need of an additional electrical bias. The researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of continuous, self-sustained hydrogen gas production based solely on sunlight and biodegradable biomass recycling, by coupling solar water splitting and microbial electrohydrogenesis in a PEC-MFC device assembly. The results provide new insights into the development of efficient energy solutions by integrating solar and microbial technology, which may revolutionize the conventional wastewater treatment methods currently applied nationwide. This invention has the potential to disrupt existing process systems and create new fields of use.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9,825,321||11/21/2017||2013-222|
Additional Patent Pending
Electricity, microbial, sunlight, PEC, MEC, sustainable, waste, waste treatment, electrohydrogenesis, water splitting, hydrogen, energy, sustainable energy, energy efficient, solar, biotechnology, environment, bioenergy