A Novel Selection Process for the Conversion of Conventional Bacteria into Electrotrophs

Earl Marriott
Olivia Li


The redox reactions of bacteria metabolism have been extrinsically studied. These mechanisms allow certain types of bacteria to be able to synthesize extremely valuable extracellular byproducts. Other types of bacteria are able to extract toxic metals from water by donating electrons directly to those aqueous metal ions, thus turning them into solid precipitates. However, the problem of these microorganisms is that their efficiency rates and production speeds are exceptionally low. This study focuses on the properties of electrotrophs, which are bacteria that can feed on pure electrons directly from an electrode (Rabaey et al 2010). Compared to normal organic-feeding bacteria, electrotrophs direct the majority of the electrons obtained to the production of metabolic byproducts (Nevin et al 2010). Therefore, when electrotrophs are employed in bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) their metabolic redox reaction efficiency rates are dramatically increased. This makes it possible to produce large quantities of valuable compounds such as hydrocarbons, plastics and medicine or efficiently remediating the environment (He et al 2016). Moreover, the usage of electricity as an energy source compared to conventional organic substrates is immensely cheaper (Rabaey et al 2010). However, not all bacteria are electrotrophs nor do all electrotrophs have favourable metabolic traits. Thus, there is a need for a novel procedure to turn conventional bacteria into electrotrophs which is a crucial step to making the BES an aggressive competitor in the sustainable energy industry.

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A Novel Selection Process for the Conversion of Conventional Bacteria into Electrotrophs 669 KB Adobe Reader(Pdf)檔案