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?
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information