We have run with stories regarding fuel cells which produce electricity using bacteria before, so the technology being shown off by Oregon State University is not particularly new. But, the amount of electricity being generated using such a solution is in fact a big increase. What I find really interesting is the applications that the University researchers can see for their new fuel cell. Did you know that 5 percent of all the electricity consumed in the U.S. was used for the treatment of water and waste water? I didn't. Being that this waste water is an excellent source for bacteria and the "food" for them to feed off, the idea is that the electricity generated could feed back into the plant while the clean water that is produced from the fuel cell could feed back into the fresh water output. Using a method such as this could have a big impact in developing countries, and could even find use in smaller applications like rural and remote homes in the States. Renewable energy using your own waste, how lovely!
[Source: Oregon State University]