Gallery: Scientists Developing Fuel Cell that Generates Power While Cle...


Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have isolated and explained the phenomenon that causes microbes to generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste. The team is hoping to use their findings to create a microbial fuel cell that is capable of generating renewable energy while it cleans up environments exposed to nuclear waste. The bacteria the team studied is a kind of geobacter that is covered in a coat of tiny, natural nanowires that protect the bacteria from the toxic materials. The nanowires are also the essential elements in immobilizing radioactive material and preventing it from seeping into the groundwater. While completing the complex task of stabilizing radioactive spills, the bacteria simultaneously creates energy that can be harnessed and used as a zero-emissions power supply.

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1 Comment

  1. AKWintermute September 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Maybe they could engineer them to neutralize spent reactor fuel cells so we don’t end up with a problem like Japan’s.

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