Bacteria and Electricity

Microorganisms can be used to generate electricity. Electrons are generated in the chemical reaction of energy-rich substances such as carbohydrates. The generated electrons are used to produce electric current with the help of cathode and anode [Bennetto, H.P., 1990]. Study of processes, mechanisms and application of electric bacteria has been defined as electro microbiology [Franks, A., 2012].

Appropriate technology is required for the generation of electricity. Liu and Cheema (2012) referred the technology using catalytic abilities of micro-organisms as exo-electrogens which can be used as a source of electricity in bio electrochemical Systems (BES) [Logan, et al., 2006a cited in Liu and Cheema, 2012; Oh et al., 2009 cited in Liu and Cheema, 2012].

Bacteria, when grown in biofilms, transfer electrons produced during the digestion of organic matter to the electrode. The electrons move through the circuit to the cathode and forms water in the presence of oxygen with H+ ions [Logan, 2005 cited in Liu and Cheema, 2012; Gree, 2007 cited in Liu and Cheema, 2012]. A number of bacterial species can be used in the electron transfer process. According to Frank (2012), Geobacter species is capable to produce the highest current density and the most adapted in utilizing an electrode as an electron acceptor.

Technologies are available to produce of electricity and waste water treatment. According to Liu and Cheema (2012) Microbial Fuel Cell and Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) are bio electrochemical systems (BES) technologies which can be used to generated electricity as well as waste water treatment (Logan et al., 2006b cited in Liu and Cheema ; Pinget et al., 2011 cited in Liu and Cheema).

References

Bennetto, H.P. (1990) Electricity Generation by Microorganisms [Online] Available at http://www.ncbe.reading.ac.uk/ [Accessed on 06 August 2013].

Franks, A. (2012) What’s Current with Electric Microbes? Journal of Bacteriology and Parasitology. Vol 3 (9).

Greer, D. (2007). Harnessing the power of microbes. Bio Cycle, 48(5), p.49 cited in Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University. [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University. [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

Logan, B.E., Hamelers, B., Rozendal, R., Schröder, U., Keller, J., Freguia, S., Aelterman, P., Verstraete, W., and Rabaey, K. (2006) Microbial fuel cells: Methodology and technology. Environmental Science and Technology, 40(17), pp. 5181-5192 cited in Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University. [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

Logan, B. E. (2005) Simultaneous wastewater treatment and biological electricity generation. Water Science & Technology, 57 (1-2), pp.31-37 cited in Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University. [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

Logan, B.E., Regan, and J.M. (2006) Microbial challenges and harnessing the metabolic activity of bacteria can provide energy for variety of applications, once technical and cost obstacle are overcome, 1 September, Environmental Science and Technology, pp. 5172-5180 cited in Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

Oh, S.E., Kim, J. R., & Logan, B.E., 2009. Effects of applied voltages and dissolved oxygen on sustained power generation by microbial fuel cells. Water Science and Technology, 60(5), pp. 1311-1317 cited in Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University. [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

Puig, S., Serra, M., Coma, M., Balaguer, M. D., and Colprim, J. (2011) Simultaneous domestic wastewater treatment and renewable energy production using microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Water Science and Technology, 64(4), pp. 904-909 cited in Liu, X. and Cheema, I. (2012) Managing Process Streams at Sjölunda WWTP with Electricity-Producing Bacteria. Lund University. [Online] Available at http://www.svensktvatten.se/ [Accessed on 09 July 2013].

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