FabriFuel – Developing a microbial fuel cell to improve polyester recycling

Renert High School – Calgary,  AB
Developing a microbial fuel cell fueled by polyester waste to improve polyester recycling

Fabric waste is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in our world today. To meet the demands of constantly changing fashion trends, retailers are producing cheaper, low quality clothing. This is known as fast fashion’. With the growth of this industry, more than 92 million tonnes of textile waste is created each year. Not only this, but textile waste has many harmful negative impacts on the environment, from depleting water to producing immense greenhouse gas emissions. Our solution is FabriFuel: an innovative solution to this problem of fabric waste. We aim to genetically engineer bacteria to digest polyester and capture some of the energy using a microbial fuel cell. This is our prototype, understanding chemical pathways and reactions to create a system that is able to digest polyester and capture energy from these reactions. This is FabriFuel, a well designed system to digest polyester, reduce waste, and produce electricity.

Our prototype aims to utilize a two-enzyme system, MHETase and PETase, while capturing energy from these reactions. Over the past few months, we have worked to design this system, from understanding the chemical pathways to understanding microbial fuel cells.

Team Grade Level: 7-11
Team Experience Level: Advanced
STEM Focus: Bioengineering, Synththetic Biology

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Posted on

June 15, 2022