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Harnessing Bioelectricity From Human Waste Lecture

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Come listen to guest lecturer Bruce Logan, PhD, Professor of Environmental Engineering, Penn State University, and Director of the Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute speak in the Technology Center, Room 8180 (Ellipse). 

Dr. Logan has published over 300 journal papers and several books, including one on microbial fuel cells. His research work is in bioenergy production, bioremediation, environmental transport processes, colloidal dynamics, and microbial adhesion. He is a visiting professor at Newcastle University in the UK, Harbin Institute of Technology in China, Dalian University of Technology in China, and an investigator with the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

Approximately 5% of the electricity generated in the US is used for treating and delivering clean water to our homes and for wastewater treatment. This high energy demand is not sustainable, and the solution may be found in electrogenic bacteria. Certain types of microorganisms generate an electrical current directly from the breakdown of waste organic matter. Additional processes are being developed using these microbes to produce biofuels such as hydrogen and methane gases, to desalinate water or capture the energy from salinity gradients. Dr. Logan will discuss how these processes work and the possible applications, ranging from wastewater treatment to renewable energy production.

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