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With the increasing growth in population and improvement in living standards, the human demand for backup power generation has also increased. Although various power generation methods are available, alternative and localized power generation for backup purposes is still not commercially viable. The energy supply may not match energy demand. Fuel cells can be used to fulfill the backup energy demands of the system. A microbial fuel cell (MFC), or biological fuel cell, is a bio-electrochemical system that drives an electric current by using bacteria and mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature. It converts chemical energy into electrical energy by action of microorganisms.
Based on type, the microbial fuel cell is divided into mediated and unmediated. Most microbial cells are electrochemically inactive. Electron transfer from microbial cells to the electrode is facilitated by mediators such as thionine, methyl viologen, methyl blue, humic acid, and neutral red. Most available mediators are expensive and toxic. Mediator-free microbial fuel cells use electrochemically active bacteria to transfer electrons to the electrode (electrons are carried directly from the bacterial respiratory enzyme to the electrode). Among the electrochemically active bacteria are Shewanella putrefaciens, Aeromonas hydrophila, and others. Based on end-user, the global microbial fuel cell is divided into residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, military, utilities, etc.
Key Market Driver -
Key Market Driver – Increase in demand for portable water and wastewater treatment
Key Market Restraint -
Key Market Restraint – High initial investment
The primary market driver for the global microbial fuel cell market is the increase in demand portable water and wastewater treatment from various industries. The key market restraint for the global microbial fuel cell is high initial investment to set up the water treatment plant and advanced technology, which increases the overall cost of the system.
Some of the notable companies in the global microbial fuel cell market are Praxair, Inc, metprocell, AVL, Ballard Power Systems, Toshiba, Plug Power, FuelCell Energy, Hydrogenics, Doosan Fuel Cell America, Inc., Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, Intelligent Energy, Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC, Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology, Vinpro, JSP Enviro and Pearl Hydrogen Technology Co.,Ltd.
The global microbial fuel cell market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are expected to dominate the microbial fuel cell technology. North America and Europe spend a considerable amount of research and development activities to make this technique economically viable.
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China and Japan have also been paying attention to upcoming high-tech technology like microbial fuel cells. Several existing fuel cell manufacturers are in the research and development phase of microbial fuel cells. Some Indian research teams and startups have developed microbial fuel cell technology, which is under demonstration phase.
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