Bio-batteries have now taken a giant leap towards becoming a reality. British scientists have made an important breakthrough in the quest to generate clean electricity from bacteria.
Findings published Mar 28 show that proteins on the surface of the bacteria can produce an electric current by simply touching a mineral surface.
The study has therefore found for the first time that it is possible for bacteria to lie directly on the surface of a metal or mineral and transfer electrical charge through their cell membranes. This means that it is possible to tether bacteria directly to electrodes - bringing scientists a step closer to creating efficient microbial fuel cells or bio-batteries.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia are working with a marine bacteria called Shewanella oneidensis.