Bug juice: harvesting electricity with microorganisms.

TitleBug juice: harvesting electricity with microorganisms.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLovley DR
JournalNat Rev Microbiol
Date Published2006 Jul
KeywordsBacteria, Bioelectric Energy Sources, Electricity, Electrodes, Electron Transport, Oxidation-Reduction

It is well established that some reduced fermentation products or microbially reduced artificial mediators can abiotically react with electrodes to yield a small electrical current. This type of metabolism does not typically result in an efficient conversion of organic compounds to electricity because only some metabolic end products will react with electrodes, and the microorganisms only incompletely oxidize their organic fuels. A new form of microbial respiration has recently been discovered in which microorganisms conserve energy to support growth by oxidizing organic compounds to carbon dioxide with direct quantitative electron transfer to electrodes. These organisms, termed electricigens, offer the possibility of efficiently converting organic compounds into electricity in self-sustaining systems with long-term stability.

Alternate JournalNat. Rev. Microbiol.
PubMed ID16778836