Specialised microbes, called Electricigens, are capable of using extracellular electrons for microbial processes. Electrons can be transferred between cells as well as to and from insoluble electron acceptors such as electrodes. These electric microbes are useful due to a number of wide ranging applications such as:
- Electrically conductive biomaterials (nanotechnology)
- Electrically integrated biological sensors
- Synthesis of commodity chemicals & organic compounds
- Alternative energy (bioenergy)
- Biodegradation & bioremediation
Fundamental to these applications is a basic understanding of the microbial processes, interactions and evolution in the biofilm mode of life.