Bacteria Sprout Conducting Nanowires

Posted on July 14, 2006  Comments (2)

photo of Bacteria with Conducting Nanowires

Bacteria made to sprout conducting nanowires by Mason Inman

Bacteria that use sugars and sewage as fuel are being investigated as a pollution-free source of electricity. They feed by plucking electrons from atoms in their fuel and dumping them onto the oxygen or metal atoms in the mixture. The transfer of the electrons creates a current, and connecting the bacteria to an electrode in a microbial fuel cell will generate electricity, although not necessarily very efficiently.

Larger photo

A clearer understanding of the way bacterial nanowires form should allow engineers to make more efficient and powerful biological fuel cells, Gorby says. For example, they could ensure that the chemical conditions surrounding bacteria encourage it to grow as many nanowires as possible, increasing conductivity.

2 Responses to “Bacteria Sprout Conducting Nanowires”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Nanotube-producing Bacteria Show Manufacturing Promise
    December 8th, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

    “This is just a first step that points the way to future investigation,” he said. “Each species of Shewanella might have individual implications for manufacturing properties.”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Micro-robots to ’swim’ Through Veins
    January 20th, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

    […] Like Bacteria – Bacteria Power Tiny Motor – Where Bacteria Get Their Genes – Programing Bacteria – Bacteria Sprout Conducting Nanowires – Biological Molecular Motors by curiouscat   Tags: Engineering, Life Science, Research, […]

Leave a Reply