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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Jul;4(7):497-508.

Bug juice: harvesting electricity with microorganisms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA. dlovley@microbio.umass.edu

Erratum in

  • Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Oct;4(10):797.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
16778836
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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