Microbial Utilization of Electricity

 

Introduction

 

The promotion of reductive processes in a biological system requires an electrochemical bioreactor system having a cathode compartment equipped with a cathode and an anode compartment equipped with an anode. The cathode and anode compartments are separated by a cation selective membrane, such that the cathode and anode are connected by a conductive material to a power supply.

 

Description of Technology

 

MSU’s invention details novel reductive processes in which biological systems are promoted by providing an electrochemical bioreactor system with cathode and anode compartments; placing a neutral red and biological catalyst, Trichosporon capitatum, in the cathode compartment; and applying a current between an anode and a cathode of the respective compartment, resulting in a portion of the neutral red being reduced.

 

Key Benefits

  • Interconversion: Allows the interconversion of biological reducing power, biological energy, and electrical energy in the electrochemical bioreactor or fuel cell.
  • Cell growth: Promotes cell growth in the production of desired products.
  • Cost effective: Reduces reaction time, resulting in cost savings.

 

Applications

 

This technology is a useful method for promoting reductive processes in a biological system.

 

Patent Status

 

Covered by 3 US patents: 6,270,649, 6,495,023, and 7,459,223

Additional patents pending

 

Inventors

 

J. Gregory Zeikus, Doo Hyun Park, Hyoun Shin, Mahendra Jain

 

Tech ID

 

TEC1998-0036

 

Patent Information:

Category(s):

For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University
herlache@msu.edu