Mary Ann Bruns, Bruce Logan, Sang-Eun Oh, and Prabha Iyer
The Pennsylvania State University
Swine wastes stored in lagoons or pits under anaerobic conditions are a potential source of fuel for energy capture. Experiments described here were undertaken to determine if electricity could be obtained from swine wastewater in the anode chamber of a microbial fuel cell. The fuel cell generated voltages ranging from 20 to 100 mV throughout a 3-week period. The electric current produced was 18 mA/m2 of electrode surface, which was comparable to that observed with pure cultures of Geobacter spp. with glucose. An added benefit was noticeable reduction in odors from the anode chamber based on sniff tests after three weeks of fuel cell operation.