Award for best poster presentation for PhD student Sam Molenaar

Published on
November 19, 2016

During the yearly congress of the International Society for Electrochemical Technologies (ISMET), held in Rome last September, Ph.D. student Sam Molenaar won a prize for his ‘poster’ presentation. Molenaar’s research resulted in the design of a completely new rechargeable battery by combining two existing technologies: The Microbial fuel cell and microbial electrosynthesis.

In both technologies, microorganisms play a key role. At the bio-cathode bacteria use electricity and CO2 to produce acetate, while at the bio-anode different microbiota use acetate to produce electricity. His finding, the Microbial Rechargeable Battery (RMB) may form a stable, environmental friendly and inexpensive alternative to store energy.

Molenaar’s ‘poster’ was original, to say the least. Instead of an ordinary paper poster, he chose to present his research with a working experimental set-up, where a small propeller was driven by his RMB. ‘This way, I could clearly show the proof of principle of my finding’, Molenaar explains. The jury specifically valued that the technology was not just stuck in a theoretical stage, but was clearly proven to work: the theory behind the RMB was demonstrated in a visible and working system. Molenaar: ‘With my presentation I clearly gave the proof of the concept, and that was highly appreciated.’

Photo: Sam Molenaar