Exoelectrogenic bacteria that power microbial fuel cells

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 May;7(5):375-81. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2113. Epub 2009 Mar 30.


There has been an increase in recent years in the number of reports of microorganisms that can generate electrical current in microbial fuel cells. Although many new strains have been identified, few strains individually produce power densities as high as strains from mixed communities. Enriched anodic biofilms have generated power densities as high as 6.9 W per m(2) (projected anode area), and therefore are approaching theoretical limits. To understand bacterial versatility in mechanisms used for current generation, this Progress article explores the underlying reasons for exocellular electron transfer, including cellular respiration and possible cell-cell communication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Bioelectric Energy Sources*
  • Biofilms
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes / microbiology