Microbial electrochemistry for bioremediation

Lack of suitable electron donors or acceptors is in many cases the keyreason for pollutants to persist in the environment. Externally supplementationof electron donors or acceptors is often difficult to control and/or involveschemical additions with limited lifespan, residue formation or other adverseside effects. Microbial electrochemistry has evolved very fast in the pastyears – this field relates to the study of electrochemical interactions betweenmicroorganisms and solid-state electron donors or acceptors. Current can besupplied in such so-called bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) at low voltage toprovide or extract electrons in a very precise manner. A plethora ofmetabolisms can be linked to electrical current now, from metals reductions todenitrification and dechlorination. In this perspective, we provide an overviewof the emerging applications of BES and derived technologies towards thebioremediation field and outline how this approach can be game changing.

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