Publication:
Microfluidic Microbacterial Fuel Cell Chips and Related Optimization Methods

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Authors
Kartalov, Emil Paskalev
Nguyen, Tricia
Arias-Thode
Arias-Thode, Yolanda Meriah
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Advisors
Date of Issue
2023-01-24
Date
Publisher
The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, DC (US)
Language
en_US
Abstract
Benthic microbial biofuel cells (BMFCs) are a potential non-toxic and renewable source of underwater power. BMFCs function by coupling an anaerobic anode to an oxygenated cathode. However, current in-situ BMFCs on average produce less than 1W of power. Potential causes are internal ohmic resistance and low capture efficiency of the bacteria-generated charge due to macroscopic average distances between bacteria and electrodes. A microfluidic BMFC chip is enclosed to study those potential causes. The chip is built using elastomer microfluidics to provide biologically-inert microfluidic confinement of the bacteria, forcing them to be no further away than the height of the containment microchamber ( .. 90 μm) from the microelectrode matrix built on the glass substrate of the chip. The matrix captures the charge without location bias (due to its H-architecture) and conducts it to the outside circuit. The microfluidic chip system can be used as an evaluation station to optimize biological parameters, geometry, and electrode scaling towards increased power. That would lead to the development of an optimized power unit that can then be arrayed to build renewable power stations in maritime environments.
Type
Patent
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Format
10 p.
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This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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