Simultaneous electricity, bioethanol, and algal biodiesel production using microbial fuel cell



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With an ever increasing world population, the energy needs for this population will only grow. A renewable sustainable energy is needed to maintain the world’s energy consumption. A study of a device that would be capable of simultaneously producing bioelectricity and bioethanol and algae oil was conducted. The microbial fuel cell was catalyzed with Chlorella vulgaris and Saccharomyces bayanus in the cathode and anode, respectively. A series of four experimental runs were conducted, along with three different control experiments. The algae growing in the microbial fuel cell was also monitored, and the algae was harvested for lipid content. The yeast in the anode was run in batch and continuous conditions over the course of the experiments and samples were taken to measure ethanol concentrations. Polarization curves were obtained to calculate the power density and current density, and intermittent energy harvesting was performed. The MFC with yeast and algae in the anode and cathode, respectively, achieved a power density of 70.61 ± 12.41 mW/m2, and a current density of 155.02 ± 31.23 mA/m2. The volumetric productivity of the ethanol was found to be 0.49±0.37 g l-1 hr-1, and an algae oil content of 13 ± 1.7 grams of lipids per grams of algae biomass