Both use the interactions of microorganisms with a cathode to reduce chemical compounds, but differ in the source of power for this process. In microbial electrosynthesis electrons are supplied solely by the external electrical power source. Microbial electrosynthesis may be used to produce fuel from carbon dioxide using electrical energy generated by either microbial electrosynthesis cell power stations or renewable electricity generation.
It may also be used to produce speciality chemicals such as drug precursors through microbially assisted electrocatalysis. Microbial electrosynthesis can also be used to “power” plants. Plants can then be grown without sunlight. Energy used to produce formic acid and methanol was lower than for conventional processes. Methanol, ethanol and formic acid production routes used more CO2 than released. The cost analysis showed that producing formic acid and ethanol can be financially positive.
MES can be a sustainable and economical viable chemical production process. You can login by using one of your existing accounts. 100,000 to host your own conference? Therefore, the possibility of simplifying reactor design by both eliminating potentiostatic control of the cathode and removing the membrane separating the anode and cathode was investigated with biofilms of Sporomusa ovata.
One challenge for commercialization of microbial electrosynthesis is that pure cultures will likely be required in order to directly produce high-value fuels or other organic commodities. Another major challenge is the design of a robust reactor for microbial electrosynthesis. To date, microbial electrosynthesis has relied on cathodes that have a potential that is carefully controlled with a potentiostat. Another concern is that the anode chamber and cathode chamber in previous microbial electrosynthesis reactors were separated with a membrane designed to permit ion flux between the chambers, while restricting oxygen diffusion.