Bioscience and Biotechnology Institute of Aix-Marseille
The capability of microorganisms to exchange electrons with solid substrates has, particularly in the last decade, led to a new technology field: microbial electrochemistry and consequently to bioenergy production.
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices, which directly convert, through microbial action, the chemical energy stored in organic matter, into electrical energy. These rely on electroactive bacteria (EAB) to transfer electrons through a series of electron-carrier proteins, through the anode, via an external load, through a fuel cell cathode to a terminal electron acceptor, usually oxygen.
We aim at a better understanding of the physiology and ecology of EAB in order to discern the molecular mechanisms that mediate microbial bioenergy production, and optimize existing microbial bioenergy systems.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.