Could Bacteria Be the Energy Producer of the Future?

BY Jenny Marder  August 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM EDT

What if wastewater could be turned into energy? Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on scientists from Penn State University that are developing microbial fuel cells that could channel energy produced when bacteria breaks down waste into electricity.

“The goal is that they’d eventually be able to generate enough electricity to power an entire wastewater treatment plant, maybe even more,” said O’Brien. This is the National Science Foundation’s latest in the Science Nation series.*

*For the record, the National Science Foundation is an underwriter of the NewsHour.