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Vol. 178, 20
17, Pages: 534–547

A comprehensive overview on electro-active biofilms, role of exo-electrogens and their microbial niches in microbial fuel cells (MFCs)

Ganesh Dattatraya Saratale, Rijuta Ganesh Saratale, Muhammad Kashif Shahid, Guangyin Zhen, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Han-Seung Shin, Young-Gyun Choi, Sang-Hyoun Kim

Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Dongguk University-Seoul, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, 10326, Republic of Korea.


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are biocatalyzed systems which can drive electrical energy by directly converting chemical energy using microbial biocatalyst and are considered as one of the important propitious technologies for sustainable energy production. Much research on MFCs experiments is under way with great potential to become an alternative to produce clean energy from renewable waste. MFCs have been one of the most promising technologies for generating clean energy industry in the future. This article summarizes the important findings in electro-active biofilm formation and the role of exo-electrogens in electron transfer in MFCs. This study provides and brings special attention on the effects of various operating and biological parameters on the biofilm formation in MFCs. In addition, it also highlights the significance of different molecular techniques used in the microbial community analysis of electro-active biofilm. It reviews the challenges as well as the emerging opportunities required to develop MFCs at commercial level, electro-active biofilms and to understand potential application of microbiological niches are also depicted. Thus, this review is believed to widen the efforts towards the development of electro-active biofilm and will provide the research directions to overcome energy and environmental challenges.

Keywords: Microbial fuel cells; Electro-active biofilm; Exo-elctrogens; DGGE; Formyl tetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS) gene; Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM).

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