Energy transition and decarbonization

Festa de la Ciència in Barcelon: Bacterias are our friends

On the 26th and 27th of October, the Festa de la Ciència will take place in Barcelona. It is an initiative that the Barcelona City Council created to promote the scientific knowledge and involve citizens in its development process. For the first time, Leitat will take part in this year edition with a presentation about microbial fuel cells, microorganisms that produce electricity while cleaning wastewater at the same time. Daniele Molognoni and Maria del Pilar Bernicola will present their research activities in the field.

How do bacteria breath? How do electrons move? How can we benefit from bacterial breathing with an electrode? These are some questions that both speakers will go through during their talk at the Festa de la Ciència. The main challenge remains how to produce the largest amount of energy with wastewater? The two researchers developed a system that cleans wastewater and generates electricity at the same time. The idea is to extract the energy contained within the organic matter and use it to clean the wastewater. This way, the electricity needed for the cleaning process could be significantly reduced and make the entire process more sustainable and environmentally friendly. During the presentation, the researchers will present how this technology is applied in different way within large European research projects such as MIDES, which uses bacteria to desalinate water, and also Run4Life, that recovers nutrients and nitrogen from wastewater to produce fertilisers for agriculture. What we must remember from this presentation is that bacteria are our friends.

The presentation can be downloaded here.


Given the particular circumstances of the city during the recent days, the Institute of Culture of Barcelona has decided to move the location of the 13th Science Festival. The great citizen date with science and technology, that will be held on October 26 and 27, has moved from the Ciutadella Park to the neighbouring Moll de la Fusta.