BONANNI Pablo Sebastian
congresos y reuniones científicas
Invited talk: Why aren't microorganisms attracted to cathodes and how to make them change their minds
Conferencia; International Conference on Biotechnology for Resource Efficiency, Energy, Environment, Chemicals and Health (BREEECH 2021); 2021
Institución organizadora:
Council of scientific and industrial research of India
Electroautotrophs are microorganisms that have the amazing capability of using an electrode as energy and reductive power source. In this way they can avoid the metabolic limitations imposed by the lack of appropriate electron sources faced in many biological wastewater treatment systems. They are also applied in bioelectrosynthesis, where they use electrons obtained from the electrode to produce value added products such as volatile fatty acids and alcohols or valuable energy carriers such as methane and hydrogen. Despite having high potential for ground-breaking applications and the great research interest they received in the last decade current densities produced by these microorganisms are still low, limiting their applicability at large scale. As it will be discussed in this talk and contrary to what it can be thought, the low performance of electroautotrophs may not be a consequence of metabolic limitations. Instead, an alternative explanation may be found on aspects related to the formation of a biofilm on the electrode. Thus, basic aspects of biofilm formation will be analysed, describing how the conditions normally applied on the growth of electroautotrophs on cathodes may preclude biofilm development. Finally, the available strategies for improving biofilm formation and boosting their performance on wastewater treatment systems and bio-electrosynthesis will be described.