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diybio-boston April 2010 meetup: Microbial Fuel Cell Edition

April 21, 2010


Fred Hapgood, Shawn Finney-Manchester, Marc Rogers, Laura, Keegan Cooke, John at sprout.

This month, Keegan Cooke brought materials to prototype several Microbial Fuel Cell kits he’s developing, I demoed my updated $50 arduino-controlled microscope, and Jason Bobe gave an update about the BioWeatherMap Project Alpha. He has actually got metagenomic data now.

Keegan explains the basics of Microbial Fuel Cells

Before the meetup, Keegan said

“I’ll bring some ingredients to put in the MFCs (soil, sugar, etc.), but I think it would be fun if you told people to bring some leftovers from their refrigerator (no more than a cup of it) and we’ll see who’s leftovers the microbes like the best (i.e. who’s leftovers generate the most power).”

What food or compost products will be converted into the most power? Can’t wait to find out. Keegan took the assembled MFCs back to his workshop for measurement. It takes a week or so for the anode’s environment to become oxygen-free, at which point the electrogenic microbes from the collected soil start colonizing the anode and “breathing” their electrons onto it.

Later, I hastily assembled the latest design for the two-axis computer-controlled slide holder. It’s designed to work with webcams that have been hacked into microscopes. Here’s a video:

More photos are available on flickr: mine, yours.

See you next time!


Post a comment
  1. Shelldon #
    May 21, 2010

    Is there a site where I can get more information on the microbial fuel cell kits or is this site going to make a project?

  2. December 20, 2011

    Oh, I’m totally digging the microbial fuel cell kits. Are they available anywhere?

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