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DIYbio Toronto Message Board › Pretty cool Synthetic Bio/Environmental Microbiology Project on IndieGoGo

Pretty cool Synthetic Bio/Environmental Microbiology Project on IndieGoGo

user 82448352
Toronto, ON
Post #: 5

These guys are creating a bioreactor system that can generate electrical power from the chemical potential energy in degrading organic pollutants in wastewater. Its a pretty commonplace idea; you're essentially combining water treatment and power generation into the same process, something almost all municipal wastewater treatment plants already do. However, standard treatment plants generate power by burning off methane (which is produced by biological degradation of waste). This particular system runs through an Electrogenic BioReactor (­, which separates biological redox reactions into separate compartments, effectively creating an electrical gradient that can be harvested for power. I'm not sure exactly where the "synthetic biology" occurs, but it looks like they did something with the electron transport chain of the degrading microcosm; perhaps to increase efficiency?

In any case, these guys arent the only ones in the world trying to develop this particular system. But the cool thing about their crowdfunding is that a $50 donation gives you 3D CAD drawings and schematics to build your own reactor! Provided of course you know some mechanical engineers and fabricators, and access to workshops, but I think within this group we might actually do! The DIY version will of course not have the creators strain of bacteria, but it should be expected that a local soil strain would do the trick (albeit less efficiently).

Just thought it would be of interest to you guys.
user 82448352
Toronto, ON
Post #: 6
This page has a schematic, and better explains how an Electrogenic BioReactor (EBR) works.­
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