Microbial fuel cell-based charger get power from soil

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A team led by Dr.Aiden at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Seas) is developing a project for a mobile phone charger device based on microbial fuel cells taken from the soil to generate energy. The device is expected to be useful in remote areas that lack of electricity such as in Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Dr.Aviva Presser Aiden is a current student at Harvard Medical School and an affiliate of the Seas. She and her team make devices that combine the conductive surface to harvest free electrons from naturally-occurring soil microbes during their metabolic processes. Project that received grants from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges program, has successfully used this technology to power the LED lights in a lab for 14 months.

Furthermore, the team will conduct field studies to Sub-Saharan Africa region as well as distribute their microbial fuel cell-based charger, where in nearly 22 percent of the households in that region already have mobile phones but they have trouble getting power to charge them. Meanwhile, solar-based chargers are expensive and lack of distribution or repair network.

Dr.Aiden expect local people can build their own, using easily-available materials such as window screens and cans of soda. She said, that the device assembly process is very fast and cost less than a dollar and it will fully charge the phone within 24 hours.

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garuda said...

Where can we find instructions for how to make these?
thanks!

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