A new design devised by a team of Penn State graduate researchers opens up a future of sustainable wastewater treatment.
The same kinds of bacteria used in wastewater treatment plants can also generate small amounts of electricity. But these two abilities have rarely been combined so cleverly.
In a study published last week, Penn State University researchers outlined a system called the microbial reverse electrolysis cell (MRC) that both cleans water and creates electricity.
Today it’s too expensive for practical applications in the field, but it opens up the possibility not only for more efficient wastewater cleanup, but also for hybrid water-treatment and power plants that can do both.