Team:Missouri Miners


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"It is well known that microorganisms can produce fuels, such as ethanol, methane and hydrogen, from organic matter. It is less well known that microorganisms can also convert organic matter into electricity in devices known as microbial fuel cells."
~ Dr. Derek Lovley, 2006.

Jumping from the pages of a science fiction novel, the concept of using microorganisms as a source of electricity is considered by most to be a work of fantasy. In contrast, scientists are starting to explore how using living organisms can solve the impending fuel crisis. Modern thought concludes using microbes to produce energy as inefficient and ineffective; however, microbes can be more reliable than other fuel sources.

Microbes were the first form of life on this planet, and have existed for billions of years. The abundance and heartiness of microbes creates the perfect environment for an unlimited sustainable source of energy.

Similar to other fledging scientific fields, a breakthrough in microbial fuel cell development does not occur without difficulties. Our goal has been to transport the electron shuttling pathway from an anaerobic bacterium to an easily manageable aerobic system within E. coli. After countless hours of trial and error, a breakthrough is materializing.