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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 874; doi:10.3390/ijms18040874

On the Edge of Research and Technological Application: A Critical Review of Electromethanogenesis

Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering (LEQUIA), Institute of the Environment, University of Girona, Campus Montilivi, Carrer Maria Aurèlia Capmany, 69, E-17003 Girona, Spain
Department of Innovation and Technology, FCC Aqualia, Balmes Street, 36, 6th Floor, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Deepak Pant and Andrea Schievano
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioelectrochemical Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3732 KB, uploaded 20 April 2017]   |  


The conversion of electrical current into methane (electromethanogenesis) by microbes represents one of the most promising applications of bioelectrochemical systems (BES). Electromethanogenesis provides a novel approach to waste treatment, carbon dioxide fixation and renewable energy storage into a chemically stable compound, such as methane. This has become an important area of research since it was first described, attracting different research groups worldwide. Basics of the process such as microorganisms involved and main reactions are now much better understood, and recent advances in BES configuration and electrode materials in lab-scale enhance the interest in this technology. However, there are still some gaps that need to be filled to move towards its application. Side reactions or scaling-up issues are clearly among the main challenges that need to be overcome to its further development. This review summarizes the recent advances made in the field of electromethanogenesis to address the main future challenges and opportunities of this novel process. In addition, the present fundamental knowledge is critically reviewed and some insights are provided to identify potential niche applications and help researchers to overcome current technological boundaries. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocathode; microbial electrolysis cell; methanogenesis; methane; power-to-gas; BES technology; bioelectrochemistry biocathode; microbial electrolysis cell; methanogenesis; methane; power-to-gas; BES technology; bioelectrochemistry

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Blasco-Gómez, R.; Batlle-Vilanova, P.; Villano, M.; Balaguer, M.D.; Colprim, J.; Puig, S. On the Edge of Research and Technological Application: A Critical Review of Electromethanogenesis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 874.

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