The use of microbial catalysts for electrode reactions enables novel bioremediation and bioproduction processes. To understand the electrochemical performance of the electrode reactions, knowledge of their thermodynamics is essential. We elaborate here on the Growth Reference System (GRS), simplifying thermodynamic calculations in the aforementioned context to, for example, demonstrate that cathodic bioprocesses generally suffer from higher overpotentials than do anodic processes. Abiotic hydrogen production cannot be thermodynamically excluded for any of the cathodic microbial electrosynthesis processes described thus far. Predictions for maximum biomass production correlated to electron flow are in line with experimental observations. We include a comprehensive set of thermodynamic and electrochemical data to support calculations relevant to the field of microbial electrocatalysis.
Trends in Biotechnology – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2017
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