Ethanol Blog
Cheryl Anderson DTN Staff Reporter

Thursday 09/06/12

New Technology Uses DDGS to Generate Electricity

British researchers have developed technology that uses dried distillers grains with solubles to power microbial fuels cells to generate electricity, according to an article by Phys.org (http://bit.ly/…).

The scientists, from the University of Surrey in England, incorporated DDGS with a bacteria-inoculated sludge from waste water treatment plants in a microbial fuel cell. The bacteria use the DDGS for growth, then are physically separated from their oxygen supply. The bacteria are then forced to send electrons around a circuit leading to an oxygen supply.

By tapping into this flow of electronics, the researchers found they could generate electricity from the waste. Microbial fuel cells can convert a wide range of complex organic waste products into electricity.

The technology is very environmentally friendly, as the waste left after extracting the electricity is less reactive with oxygen and less polluting. The technology could also be used to develop self-powered devices that could both clean up waste water and survey weather in extreme environments.

Before the process can be commercialized, the researchers must find cost-effect starting products.

The team will next be trying to identify the electrogenic bacterial species that grow on DDGS in order to better understand the metabolic processes and essential genes involved in electron liberation and transfer.

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at Cheryl.anderson@telventdtn.com.

Posted at 12:11PM CDT 09/06/12 by Cheryl Anderson
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