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Harnessing heat energy from the environment

Bioelectrochemical systems include technologies such as microbial fuel and electrolysis cells. They hold promise as energy efficient waste treatment systems, yet the energy efficiency of the current generation is low.

Project leader

Dr Jan Dolfing



Project staff

Dr Carl Samuel


EPSRC (Bright Ideas programme)


The aim of our research is to make microbial fuel and electrolysis cells more efficient. 

Based on thermodynamic calculations, we have identified that heat is taken up from the environment at the anode of these systems.

We are now quantifying this somewhat unexpected heat flow with the idea of using the energy to improve the energy efficiency of the system.