Magnetite anodes to inhibit oxygen production and to circumvent membranes in microbial electrosynthesis

The overarching aim is to develop a new generation of microbial electrosynthesis systems. In this envisaged system, the anode and cathode are placed in only one chamber, which will not only decrease the economic and maintenance costs of microbial electrosynthesis but also increase the production efficiency. We propose to develop a new anode system that consists of the mixed-valent (i.e., Fe(II) and Fe(III)) magnetite mineral. This system will sustain the current that is driven by cathode for microbial electrosynthesis and at the same time prevent the build-up of in-situ oxygen. To achieve a fundamental understanding of the anode performance, it is necessary to decipher the underlying electron transfer processes through the magnetite anode and their enhancement in microbial activity for electrosynthesis at the cathode side.

Project overview