Title

The Effect of Organic Substrate on the Energy Output in Microbial Fuel Cells

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

10th Grade

Presentation Topic

Engineering

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a potential source of affordable and renewable energy production. However, they currently are only known to produce small amounts of power, and are not practical for power production. One large factor of the energy output of a MFC is the substrate used. In this experiment, three different substrates, acetic acid, glucose, and a control test of distilled water, were compared in order to determine which would lead to the most power production. It was hypothesized that if acetic acid was used as the substrate, then the energy output would be at its highest. This hypothesis was tested by constructing thirty single-chambered MFCs and using them to test these three substrates thirty times each. Power output was determined by taking voltage readings 3 times a day for four days, and determining an average and peak voltage for each trial. For the purpose of this experiment the direction of the current was not considered. Once average and peak voltages for all trials had been collected, two one-way ANOVA tests were completed to determine if there was a significant difference between the substrates. At α = 0.05, it was found that there was no significant difference between the means of average voltages, F(2.71) = 0.269, p = 0.7648, and that there was no significant difference between the means of the peak voltages, F(2.71) = 1.437, p = 0.2432. It was concluded that there was no significant difference between the the substrates tested, and that the hypothesis was not supported.

Start Date

4-11-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

4-11-2015 1:45 PM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 1:30 PM Apr 11th, 1:45 PM

The Effect of Organic Substrate on the Energy Output in Microbial Fuel Cells

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a potential source of affordable and renewable energy production. However, they currently are only known to produce small amounts of power, and are not practical for power production. One large factor of the energy output of a MFC is the substrate used. In this experiment, three different substrates, acetic acid, glucose, and a control test of distilled water, were compared in order to determine which would lead to the most power production. It was hypothesized that if acetic acid was used as the substrate, then the energy output would be at its highest. This hypothesis was tested by constructing thirty single-chambered MFCs and using them to test these three substrates thirty times each. Power output was determined by taking voltage readings 3 times a day for four days, and determining an average and peak voltage for each trial. For the purpose of this experiment the direction of the current was not considered. Once average and peak voltages for all trials had been collected, two one-way ANOVA tests were completed to determine if there was a significant difference between the substrates. At α = 0.05, it was found that there was no significant difference between the means of average voltages, F(2.71) = 0.269, p = 0.7648, and that there was no significant difference between the means of the peak voltages, F(2.71) = 1.437, p = 0.2432. It was concluded that there was no significant difference between the the substrates tested, and that the hypothesis was not supported.