This study demonstrates that microbial film power generation is a potentially viable source of alternative energy. This research occurred over a period of two years. In the first year (2016) I tested a new method of generating renewable energy, referred to as microbial film power generation. I showed that electricity could be captured from microbial decomposition using solid graphite plates (29cm x 20cm) placed in lightly decomposed muskeg (collected in northern British Columbia).
In the second year (2017) the purpose was to increase the power output of the fuel cell, while also compacting the setup. Certain changes were made to the experimental set up, namely the use of spongy graphite felt in place of solid graphite plates, thus providing a larger surface area for microbial activity to occur. The new fuel cells made produced about twice as much power. Not only was the power output greater, but it was produced from a much smaller area: 7.82 mWh/cm2 on graphite felt, compared to 0.21 mWh/cm2 on graphite plates. In other words, graphite felt produced 37 times more power per unit area than graphite plates. Furthermore, it would appear that by removing the load from the fuel cell for approximately 24 hours, the fuel cell could essentially recharge. This may be due to microbial activity releasing more electrons onto the anode permitting a new cycle to take place. This would suggest that the system could naturally recharge itself.