Bruce E. Logan

The main focus of the Logan lab is the development of new microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) for achieving an energy sustainable water infrastructure. Logan and his collaborators have: invented a method for sustainable hydrogen production using microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), a method for water desalination that does not require electrical energy from the grid or high pressures called microbial desalination cells, reactors to harness salinity gradient energy in micorobial reverse electrodialysis cells (MRCs), and improved direct bioelectricity generation by several orders of magnitude in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Other research has included the discovery of how large aggregates form in the ocean, called marine snow, that can help to sequester carbon to deep sediments; and molecular and nanoscale techniques to study particle dynamics and microbial adhesion in engineered and natural systems; microbial adhesion and transport.    

Logan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the International Water Association and the Water Environment Foundation. He is an investigator with KAUST (Saudi Arabia) and the Franqui International Chair at Ghent University (2013, Belgium); and a visiting professor at Newcastle University (UK), Tsinghua University, Harbin Institute of Technology, and Dalian University of Technology (China). Link to his full CV.              

BioEnergy Research

The US uses about 3.3 terra watts (TW) of energy, and produces 500 gigawatts (GW) of electricity. New sources of energy are needed. Using other types of fossil fuels is possible, but fossilized sources will continue to increase releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. For these reasons, the Logan lab is developing new bioenergy technologies with a focus on systems that can help sustain the global need for potable water and sanitation to protect human health, even as oil and other fossil fuels become less available and more costly.

Microbial Fuel Cell Research 

Renewable and clean forms of energy are one of society's greatest needs. Even more urgently, 2 billion people still lack adequate sanitation and the economic means to afford it.  The Logan lab is working to address both of these human needs. Energy costs are an important factor in wastewater treatment. In the USA, for example, 5% of electricity we produce is used for the water and wastewater infrastructure (all aspects, including pumping, treatment, etc.), with 3% used for wastewater treatment alone.              

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Microbial Electrolysis Cell Research 

Producing hydrogen gas is possible at very high yields by electrohydrogenesis, in a reactors that have various names including: a "bioelectrochemically assisted microbial reactor" or BEAMR;  and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) . These names are based on the idea is that fuel cells produce electricity, and electrolysis cells produce hydrogen. Recently we have developed microbial reverse electrodialysis cells (MRCs) that can make H2 gas without the need for electrical grid energy, using salinity gradient energy.

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News from Logan's Lab!

  Publications (pdf): Now over 400 listed.
Google scholar link
  The Logan lab- Short video on what we do.
New Videos: See presentations by Bruce Logan at different locations.
ISMET! Find out more about ISMET- International Society of MIcrobial Electrochemical Technologies
Review papers: in Science (MFCs) & Nature (Salinity gradient energy) in 2012
Videos on YouTube
Check out the MFC-cam
"Microbial Fuel Cells" book by B.E. Logan
Make one! Make your own MFC

Departmental & Institute  Information:
Evan Pugh Professor, and Kappe Professor: Environmental Engineering,
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute
Director: Hydrogen Energy (H2E) Center

Using the Links:  The Research page contains links to pages that describe my research interests by topic.  The  Publications link contains a listing of all ongoing and past research projects at Penn State by the Logan group.  Copies of journal papers and other publication can be downloaded here. The Teaching link give a list of researchers (individual and group) in the Logan group, and for course information, go to the Courses page.

Click here to access Powerpoint presentations on subjects such as microbial fuel cells, perchlorate bioremediation, the HBOD test, trickling filters, particles, fractals and others.

Bruce E. Logan |  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering | 231Q Sackett Building
Phone: 814-863-7908 | Fax: 814-863-7304 
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802