A German television channel team (ZDF) visited the Energypolis campus and the Châteauneuf wastewater treatment plant to report on the world's longest microbial electrolysis reactor. The team led by Fabian Fischer, professor of chemical biotechnology at the School of Engineering, developed this reactor as part of their research on microbial fuel cells.
The research team has succeeded in generating electricity from wastewater and treating the water at the same time. "Our goal is threefold: we want to reduce the plant’s electricity consumption, treat the wastewater and generate electricity," explains Dr Fischer.
The fuel cell, which has been operational since 2018, not only generates enough electricity to feed several lithium batteries, but also treats the wastewater free of charge. The 14-metre-long system – the longest in the world – consists of 64 fuel cells connected in series and parallel.