HNEI researchers investigated the efficacy of microbial fuels cells for a variety of applications. To treat wastewater, a flow through microbial fuel cell was linked downstream from an anaerobic digester. Results showed the development of functionalized biofilms were possible under non-sterile environments and digestion rates that suggested microbial fuels to perform well as a polishing unit supporting anaerobic digestion. HNEI researchers also investigated enzymatic biocatalysts to convert chemical energy directly into electricity as a power source. Key technical thrusts pursued included development of macro-porous electrodes, standardized platforms for electrochemical characterization, and in-situ techniques to probe the chemical microenvironments of immobilized enzymes.
Project Profile 
Point Person: M. Cooney 
- Biofuel Cell Excerpt from Final Technical Report , submitted to ONR December 2011
- 2013, Scott R. Higgins, Ryan J. Lopez, Eulyn Pagaling, Tao Yan, Michael J. Cooney, Towards a hybrid anaerobic digester-microbial fuel cell integrated energy recovery system: An overview of the development of an electrogenic biofilm , Enzyme and Microbial Technology, Volume 52, Issues 6–7, 10 May 2013, Pages 344-351, ISSN 0141-0229, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enzmictec.2013.02.017 .
- 2011, Scott R. Higgins, Daniel Foerster, Andrea Cheung, Carolin Lau, Orianna Bretschger, Shelley D. Minteer, Ken Nealson, Plamen Atanassov, Michael J. Cooney, Fabrication of macroporous chitosan scaffolds doped with carbon nanotubes and their characterization in microbial fuel cell operation , Enzyme and Microbial Technology, Volume 48, Issues 6–7, 6 May 2011, Pages 458-465, ISSN 0141-0229, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enzmictec.2011.02.006 .
- 2011, M.J. Cooney, Kinetic Measurements for Enzyme Immobilization  book section in Enzyme Stabilization and Immobilization, Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 679, 2011, pp 207-225
- 2011, Scott R. Higgins, Carolin Lau, Plamen Atanassov, Shelley D. Minteer, and Michael J. Cooney, Hybrid Biofuel Cell: Microbial Fuel Cell with an Enzymatic Air-Breathing Cathode , ACS Catalysis 2011 1 (9), 994-997, DOI: 10.1021/cs2003142
- 2008, Michael J. Cooney and Bor Yann Liaw, In Situ Characterization Techniques for Design and Evaluation of Micro- and Nano-Enzyme-Catalyzed Power Sources , Biomolecular Catalysis. June 23, 2008, 289-333, Doi:10.1021/bk-2008-0986.ch019