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Microbial electrosynthesis: feeding microbes electricity to convert carbon dioxide and water to multicarbon extracellular organic compounds.

Nevin KP, Woodard TL, Franks AE, Summers ZM, Lovley DR - MBio (2010)

Bottom Line: The possibility of providing the acetogenic microorganism Sporomusa ovata with electrons delivered directly to the cells with a graphite electrode for the reduction of carbon dioxide to organic compounds was investigated.Biofilms of S. ovata growing on graphite cathode surfaces consumed electrons with the reduction of carbon dioxide to acetate and small amounts of 2-oxobutyrate.These results demonstrate that microbial production of multicarbon organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water with electricity as the energy source is feasible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

ABSTRACT
The possibility of providing the acetogenic microorganism Sporomusa ovata with electrons delivered directly to the cells with a graphite electrode for the reduction of carbon dioxide to organic compounds was investigated. Biofilms of S. ovata growing on graphite cathode surfaces consumed electrons with the reduction of carbon dioxide to acetate and small amounts of 2-oxobutyrate. Electrons appearing in these products accounted for over 85% of the electrons consumed. These results demonstrate that microbial production of multicarbon organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water with electricity as the energy source is feasible.

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Cathode biofilms of S. ovata. (a) Confocal scanning laser microscopic images (top down and side views) of cathode surface. Cells were stained with LIVE/DEAD BacLight viability stain. (b) Scanning electron microscopic image of cathode surface with cells highlighted in yellow.
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f2: Cathode biofilms of S. ovata. (a) Confocal scanning laser microscopic images (top down and side views) of cathode surface. Cells were stained with LIVE/DEAD BacLight viability stain. (b) Scanning electron microscopic image of cathode surface with cells highlighted in yellow.

Mentions: The long-term viability of S. ovata biofilms was further evident from confocal scanning laser microscopy of a biofilm that had been fixing carbon dioxide for 3 months. The cells in biofilms treated with LIVE/DEAD BacLight viability stain, as previously described (16, 17), stained green, suggesting that they were healthy and metabolically active (Fig. 2a). The biofilms were relatively thin, similar to the biofilms previously described for other microorganisms growing on cathodes (9, 11, 12). This was further confirmed with scanning electron micrographs of the cathode surface (Fig. 2b), prepared as previously described (19). The cells appeared to be intimately associated with the graphite surface, as would be expected for direct electrode-to-cell electron transfer (9, 11, 12). There was no visible turbidity in the cathode chamber, consistent with previous studies on direct electrode-driven respiration (9–12) and further suggesting that biofilm cells were primarily responsible for current consumption and carbon dioxide reduction.


Microbial electrosynthesis: feeding microbes electricity to convert carbon dioxide and water to multicarbon extracellular organic compounds.

Nevin KP, Woodard TL, Franks AE, Summers ZM, Lovley DR - MBio (2010)

Cathode biofilms of S. ovata. (a) Confocal scanning laser microscopic images (top down and side views) of cathode surface. Cells were stained with LIVE/DEAD BacLight viability stain. (b) Scanning electron microscopic image of cathode surface with cells highlighted in yellow.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2921159&req=5

f2: Cathode biofilms of S. ovata. (a) Confocal scanning laser microscopic images (top down and side views) of cathode surface. Cells were stained with LIVE/DEAD BacLight viability stain. (b) Scanning electron microscopic image of cathode surface with cells highlighted in yellow.
Mentions: The long-term viability of S. ovata biofilms was further evident from confocal scanning laser microscopy of a biofilm that had been fixing carbon dioxide for 3 months. The cells in biofilms treated with LIVE/DEAD BacLight viability stain, as previously described (16, 17), stained green, suggesting that they were healthy and metabolically active (Fig. 2a). The biofilms were relatively thin, similar to the biofilms previously described for other microorganisms growing on cathodes (9, 11, 12). This was further confirmed with scanning electron micrographs of the cathode surface (Fig. 2b), prepared as previously described (19). The cells appeared to be intimately associated with the graphite surface, as would be expected for direct electrode-to-cell electron transfer (9, 11, 12). There was no visible turbidity in the cathode chamber, consistent with previous studies on direct electrode-driven respiration (9–12) and further suggesting that biofilm cells were primarily responsible for current consumption and carbon dioxide reduction.

Bottom Line: The possibility of providing the acetogenic microorganism Sporomusa ovata with electrons delivered directly to the cells with a graphite electrode for the reduction of carbon dioxide to organic compounds was investigated.Biofilms of S. ovata growing on graphite cathode surfaces consumed electrons with the reduction of carbon dioxide to acetate and small amounts of 2-oxobutyrate.These results demonstrate that microbial production of multicarbon organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water with electricity as the energy source is feasible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

ABSTRACT
The possibility of providing the acetogenic microorganism Sporomusa ovata with electrons delivered directly to the cells with a graphite electrode for the reduction of carbon dioxide to organic compounds was investigated. Biofilms of S. ovata growing on graphite cathode surfaces consumed electrons with the reduction of carbon dioxide to acetate and small amounts of 2-oxobutyrate. Electrons appearing in these products accounted for over 85% of the electrons consumed. These results demonstrate that microbial production of multicarbon organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water with electricity as the energy source is feasible.

Show MeSH