EC black ceramics


Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are technologies that produce electricity while treating wastewater due to the metabolism of electroactive bacteria, which convert organic matter into electrons. While there has been significant progress in recent years, the technology’s broader adoption beyond the laboratory has been hindered by the need for more inexpensive and sustainable materials.

In this design research project, the aim has been to develop several Microbial Fuel Cell prototypes using black ceramic as the main material. Black ceramic is obtained from a firing process in a reducing atmosphere. When the kiln is enriched with carbon and hydrogen, the chemical reaction that carbonizes the clay takes place. Due to its carbonization, the ceramic acquires electroconductive properties that make it suitable as both the material for the electrodes and proton exchange. This approach would streamline the manufacturing process, allowing for the simultaneous construction and kilning of the entire reactor.

Realised with the support of  Medialab Matadero research grant 2022-2023.
Artisans | Enric Orobitg & Josep Matés

Credits to Laura Guerrero  (PhD Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology)

Photography | Astro Escudero