Author(s): Rabaey K, Verstraete W
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Abstract Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) provide new opportunities for the sustainable production of energy from biodegradable, reduced compounds. MFCs function on different carbohydrates but also on complex substrates present in wastewaters. As yet there is limited information available about the energy metabolism and nature of the bacteria using the anode as electron acceptor; few electron transfer mechanisms have been established unequivocally. To optimize and develop energy production by MFCs fully this knowledge is essential. Depending on the operational parameters of the MFC, different metabolic pathways are used by the bacteria. This determines the selection and performance of specific organisms. Here we discuss how bacteria use an anode as an electron acceptor and to what extent they generate electrical output. The MFC technology is evaluated relative to current alternatives for energy generation.
This article was published in Trends Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics