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.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/derek_lovley/123/