WG4 – Point-of-load
WG4 will focus on the electrical management aspect of energy harvesting techniques with MFCs. Assuming as primary objective the improvement of electrical outputs performance and energy storage systems: develop MFC systems with higher than state-of-the-art power outputs, considering miniaturization of systems, increase in capacity and decrease in energy losses. Objectives of WP4 are the organization of activities in-field with interactive training sessions or schools programmed in a Festival (D5) – in a Natural Lake/Park (D8) and a conference on Environmental Biotechnologies and energy harvesting from waste and workshops on BESs in connection with existing conferences (D14, D15).
Following the two working task descriptions:
- WT41: electrical performance of BESs: this will cover all the electrical aspects of advancements on MFCs electrical efficiency and electrical management. It will be supported by a STSM and will be responsible for organising workshops in BES within Conferences such as ECS 2021 (D14) and EFCF 2022 (D15) as well as promoting the work through outreach activities available to the general public (such as science centres and festivals) and a training school in-lab.
- WT42: environmental biotechnologies and energy harvesting from waste: this will focus on the relation between biological activities, waste degradation and electrical behaviour of BESs. Thus:
- selective technological solutions for biological treatment of wastewater, using bacterial cultures, will be tested. Two STSMs will be considered for this purpose, with regard to identification of the new species of microorganisms with valence in wastewater treatment, using a bacterial consortium as the source of microorganisms, with a high capacity to degrade different classes of chemical compounds from the hydrocarbons class;
- selective technological solutions for quaternary treatment of wastewater, using specific plants (Lemna sp., algae etc), will be tested. One STSM will be considered for this purpose, with regard 15 to identification and exploitation of the ability of some plant species to remove antibiotics and heavy metals;
- study of the potential impact of gaseous output from CO2 intensive industries such as sulphuric compounds on biocathode for methane production with BESs; Study of microbial-carbon material interactions in wastewater treatment processes. An STSM will be considered to support these activities;
- waste water treatment using MFC with a focus on pure water formation on the cathode side via the oxygen reduction reaction, the support of an STSM will be considered; Moreover, this task manages possible activities related on COVID-19 emergency. A conference on environmental biotechnologies and energy harvesting from waste will be organized, as well as a scientific report on combined selective eco-technologies for water protection, conservation and treatment (D 7 – Month 48).
- WT43: energy storage in MFCs: A scientific report will be delivered (Month 24) on energy storage systems for MFCs using super capacitors or capacitive electrodes to continuously supply small devices (D13). The recovered energy will be assessed for directly connecting to a microbial electrolysis cell to produce hydrogen; this is novel. The activities will be supported by STSMs in order to train two young researchers or PhD students in monitoring, characterisation and integration of the systems.
Aimola, G., Gagliardi, G., Pietrelli, A., Ancona, V., Caracciolo, A. B., Borello, D., Ferrara, V. & Grenni, P. (2022). Environmental Remediation and Possible Use of Terrestrial Microbial Fuel Cells. WIT Transactions on The Built Environment, 207, 121-133.