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A microbial fuel cells (MFC) or biological fuel cell is a bio-electrochemical system that drives a current by using bacteria and mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature. MFCs can be grouped into two general categories: mediated and unmediated. The first MFCs, demonstrated in the early 20th century, used a mediator: a chemical that transfers electrons from the bacteria in the cell to the anode. Unmediated MFCs emerged in the 1970s; in this type of MFC the bacteria typically have electrochemically active redox proteins such as cytochromes on their outer membrane that can transfer electrons directly to the anode. In the 21st century MFCs started to find a commercial use in wastewater treatment.
Source: Wikipedia - Microbial fuel cell