Researchers Use Bacteria to Create Bio-Batteries
March 27, 2013 12:49 PM
comment(s) - last by
This could lead to more efficient microbial fuel cells
Scientists have found that
can be derived from bacteria thanks to an electron transfer method similar to that found in cells.
The research was conducted by scientists from the University of East Anglia and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Tom Clarke from the University of East Anglia led the study.
The research team used a synthetic version of
, which is a member of a marine bacteria family. Proteins on the surface of this kind of bacteria are capable of generating an electric current just by contact with a mineral surface.
They took these proteins and placed them into lipid layers of vesicles -- tiny capsules of lipid membranes -- to see how well the electrons moved between a mineral's iron-based surface and the "electron donor" inside.
The team found that
with these proteins on the surface of a metal or mineral will produce an electric charge through the bacteria's cell membranes. This has a lot of potential for the creation of microbial fuel cells -- or bio-batteries -- that are more efficient.
"We knew that bacteria can transfer electricity into metals and minerals, and that the interaction depends on special proteins on the surface of the bacteria," said Clarke. "But it was not been clear whether these proteins do this directly or indirectly though an unknown mediator in the environment.
"Our research shows that these proteins can directly 'touch' the mineral surface and produce an electric current, meaning that is possible for the bacteria to lie on the surface of a metal or mineral and conduct electricity through their cell membranes.
"These bacteria show great potential as microbial fuel cells, where electricity can be generated from the breakdown of domestic or agricultural waste products."
Clarke also mentioned that these bacteria could be used as tiny factories on an electrode's surface. This would allow chemical reactions to occur inside the cell with electrical power provided by the electrode through the proteins.
"We developed a unique system so we could mimic electron transfer like it happens in cells," said Biochemist Liang Shi of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "The electron transfer rate we measured was unbelievably fast -- it was fast enough to support bacterial respiration."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: The One
3/28/2013 6:06:44 AM
The question is: Will it know kung fu?
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
Bacteria Breaks Down Oil, Cleans Gulf of Mexico
August 26, 2010, 4:01 PM
Sony Developing Sugar-based Battery Technology
August 31, 2007, 8:49 AM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Windows 9's Latest Metro Start Menu Leaks, German Site Accidentally Outs Leaker
September 11, 2014, 8:36 PM
T-Mobile Launches Un-carrier 7.0, Beefs Up Wi-Fi Calling
September 11, 2014, 2:56 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information