Victoria Yang

Victoria  Yang
MIT ChemE | Pall Biotech Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Ariel Furst
Department: Chemical Engineering
Areas of Research: Chemistry
Years: 2022-2023
Research Project Title:

Optimizing Microbial Desalination Cells: Coupling Clean Energy Technology with Water Desalination

abstract:As our global population increases, the need for adequate, stable supplies of water are ever more pressing. Microbial desalination cells (MDCs) are a biological desalination system driven by extracellular electron transfer from microorganism metabolism, which couple electron flow with ionic salt separation for energy capture and desalination. This research will focus on developing and scaling MDCs by engineering the electrode surface to increase electroactive bacteria electron transfer. The electrode surface will be drop-coated with various polymers to interact with the bacteria and facilitate a better biofilm colonization on the electrode surface. These understandings in the optimization of MDCs will provide the potential for a new method of clean energy generation and water desalination.

In the future I hope to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering, with a focus on renewable energies. I've previously conducted research on microbial fuel cells, and I am excited to couple these cells with desalination capabilities as a means for clean energy and water desalination. I look forward to the opportunity presented by SuperUROP to prepare for the rigors of independent research and develop a larger network in the scientific community.