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Biotechnology and bioengineering

Electricity generation by Pyrococcus furiosus in microbial fuel cells operated at 90°C.


PMID 28218405

Abstract

Hyperthermophiles are microorganisms that thrive in extremely hot environments with temperatures near and even above 100°C. They are the most deeply rooted microorganisms on phylogenetic trees suggesting they may have evolved to survive in the early hostile earth. The simple respiratory systems of some of these hyperthermophiles make them potential candidates to develop microbial fuel cells (MFC) that can generate power at temperatures approaching the boiling point. We explored extracellular electron transfer in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus (Pf) by studying its ability to generate electricity in a two-chamber MFC. Pf growing in defined medium functioned as an anolyte in a MFC operated at 90°C, generating a maximum current density of 2 A m