A MIXTURE OF SOIL AND DUNG PRODUCING MORE VOLTAGE THAN SOIL OR DUNG ALONE: TOWARDS A BETTER SOURCE OF GREEN ELECTRICITYATULONA DATTA, SHAILJA BAJAJ, MALAVIKA BHATTACHARYA, SRABANI KARMAKAR, SAYANTAN BANERJEE AND SIRSHENDU CHATTERJEEA
Once generated, electricity is, by far, the cleanest form of energy. However, in many countries like India, even to this day, we use thermal energy to produce electricity, rampantly exploiting coal (a non-renewable natural resource) at a tremendous rate and degrading quality of air on the whole. This project is aimed to look for better, environment-friendly and sustainable alternatives to coal as the source of electricity. Soil, especially from wetlands, has been known to possess a wide variety of biota, including some electrogenic bacteria. They are often held responsible for conferring electricity producing capacity to the soil. Meanwhile, dung is abounding with methanogenic bacteria. In our work, soil (from wastelands) and dung (from cow) were combined in diverse ratios of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, only soil, and dung alone; and the potential difference so generated was recorded, when placed in a MFC (microbial fuel cell). The observations were recorded for 10 days. Pure dung showed greatest degree of consistency in data, while a mixture showed the greatest potential difference on day 10. Soil, on the other hand, had least voltage initially. Quantitative analysis of cation concentration in the soil sample was also conducted. Thus, the current study indicates that combinations of dung and soil have a promising prospect as a green alternative to non-renewable energies.
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