NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today that one of its researchers has received a $5 million grant from the Roddenberry Foundation to fund development of new wastewater treatment approaches based on microbial fuel cell, or MFC, technology.
MFCs are based on natural microbial communities that break down the organic material in sewage and other waste for fuel. According to JCVI, this process creates electrons that pass along the fuel cell circuitry to accelerate the breakdown process and produce electricity.
The JCVI investigator, Orianna Bretschger, has been working to understand the microbes and mechanisms associated with MFCs to develop practical applications of the technology.
"With this grant, we can expand and apply what we have learned about fundamental microbial processes toward the development of integrated MFC systems that can provide reliable and cost-effective wastewater treatment," Bretschger said in a statement.