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Waste water management has been a big issue across the globe and more so in India due to the acute shortage in several places. A 23-year-old student of IIT Kharagpur has not only found a solution to this problem but has also demonstrated how to produce electricity from it.


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The product uses the concept of microbial fuel cell (MFC is a bio-electrochemical system that drives a current by mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature), which can not only treat waste water but also produce electricity in the process.

The project is named LOCUS which stands for Localised Operation of Bio-cells Using Sewage, can achieve chemical oxygen demand (COD) reduction levels in waste water to about 60-80 per cent. LOCUS is a microbial fuel cell integrated with sewage treatment systems to treat wastewater and simultaneously generate electricity.

Presumably the B in Bio-cells is silent.

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Awesome. We'll never run out of waste water!


This should just be done everywhere. The electricity would probably end up paying for whatever the cells cost in the end.
 

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I skimmed through the article and it didn't say what I was looking for.. so

How is he actually making the electricity? Sure he could extract oxygen or hydrogen and burn it.. but he's not directly getting any electricity?
 

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The unique bio cell, in the form of a plant, can accommodate sewage water from a housing complex. The cell, called LOCUS, grows millions of anaerobic bacteria that multiply through respiration. The bacteria clean the sewage water, and in the process generate free electrons, the Times reported. The electrons can then be harnessed to produce electricity.

The team, including students Manoj Mandelia, Prateek Jain, Shobhit Singhal, Pulkit Anand, Mohan Yama, and biotech faculty member Debabrata Das spent more than a year on the concept before entering it into the Ministry's business plan competition. They placed second in the contest, focused on using biotechnology products for sustainable development.

The cell can clean 50,000 liters of sewage water, which is about the amount generated from 100 flats in India in a given day. The water has household applications, however, it isn't safe for human consumption.

Better source.

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The cell, at this stage, can clean up 50,000 litres of sewage water, about the amount generated by 100 flats in a day. The water produced this way can be compared with that supplied provided by a civic body, the students say. "The purified water has been tested and has been certified to be clean and fit for household use. It is, however, not fit for drinking," Mandelia explained.

The IIT-Kgp team has even produced electricity with the bio cell. "A township of 100,000 people needs about 2.3 megawatts of electricity a day. It will be years before we reach that stage. But we have already been able to generate electricity. By next year, we aim to generate 350 units, enough to meet 50% of the demand of a 100-flat complex. When we say this we are not taking airconditioners into consideration," said Prateek.

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Originally Posted by MrDeodorant
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Better source.

That makes more sense. The cell is like a battery, the bacteria creates a charge if I am understanding it correctly.
 

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Originally Posted by CryWin
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That makes more sense. The cell is like a battery, the bacteria creates a charge if I am understanding it correctly.

Apparently. There are other people trying to do something like that with algae, too.
 
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