In an MFC, microbes such as bacteria or archaea are used to catalyze the oxidation of organic matter (such as wastewater or biomass) in the anode compartment of a specially designed electrochemical cell. As the microbes oxidize the organic matter, they transfer electrons to the anode, creating a flow of electrical current. This current can then be harnessed as a source of electricity.
MFC technology is still in its early stages of development and has not yet been widely adopted as a source of energy. However, it has the potential to be a sustainable and renewable energy source, as it can use a wide range of organic materials as fuel, and the microbes used in the process are naturally occurring and can be replenished relatively easily. Additionally, MFCs have been explored as a way to treat wastewater and generate electricity simultaneously, providing a dual benefit.