DEREK LOVLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DEREK LOVLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Geobacter metallireducens bacterium, coloured transmission electron micrograph. This anaerobic bacteriaoxidises organic compounds to form carbon dioxide, using iron oxide or other metals as an electron acceptor. This ability could be harnessed to decontaminate petroleum compounds, metals and radioactive substances. Geobacter can also be used within a microbial fuel cell and generate electricity by oxidising waste organic matter and transferring surplus electrons directly to an electrode. Geobacter grow long filaments known as pili that are electrically conductive. Geobacter was discovered in 1987 by Derek Lovley, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts, USA.
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