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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Oct;8(10):706-16. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2422.

Microbial electrosynthesis - revisiting the electrical route for microbial production.

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1
Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. k.rabaey@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Microbial electrocatalysis relies on microorganisms as catalysts for reactions occurring at electrodes. Microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells are well known in this context; both use microorganisms to oxidize organic or inorganic matter at an anode to generate electrical power or H(2), respectively. The discovery that electrical current can also drive microbial metabolism has recently lead to a plethora of other applications in bioremediation and in the production of fuels and chemicals. Notably, the microbial production of chemicals, called microbial electrosynthesis, provides a highly attractive, novel route for the generation of valuable products from electricity or even wastewater. This Review addresses the principles, challenges and opportunities of microbial electrosynthesis, an exciting new discipline at the nexus of microbiology and electrochemistry.

PMID:
20844557
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro2422
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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