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Microbial Energizers: Fuel Cells that Keep on Going
Microbe (2006)
  • Derek Lovley, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Electricigenic microorganisms such as Geobacter and Rhodoferax efficiently oxidize organic compounds to carbon dioxide while directly transferring electrons to electrodes. • Electricigen-based microbial fuel cells mark a paradigm shift because these cells completely oxidize organic fuels while directly transferring electrons to electrodes without mediators. • Although microbial fuel cells are unlikely to produce enough electricity to contribute to the national power grid in the short-term, the cells may prove feasible in some specific instances such as covering the local energy needs for processing food wastes. • Optimizing microbial fuel cells will entail developing a better understanding of how electron transfers occur along the outer surfaces of electricigens; key challenges include increasing anode surface areas and increasing electricigen respiration rates.

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Citation Information
Derek Lovley. "Microbial Energizers: Fuel Cells that Keep on Going" Microbe Vol. 1 Iss. 7 (2006)
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