980036: Microbial Utilization of Electricity


The promotion of reductive processes in a biological system requires an electrochemical bioreactor system having a cathode compartment equipped with a cathode and an anode compartment equipped with an anode. The cathode and anode compartments are separated by a cation selective membrane, such that the cathode and anode are connected by a conductive material to a power supply.

MSU’s invention details novel reductive processes in which biological systems are promoted by providing an electrochemical bioreactor system with cathode and anode compartments; placing a neutral red and biological catalyst, Trichosporon capitatum, in the cathode compartment; and applying a current between an anode and a cathode of the respective compartment, resulting in a portion of the neutral red being reduced.


* Interconversion: Allows the interconversion of biological reducing power, biological energy, and electrical energy in the electrochemical bioreactor or fuel cell.

* Cell growth: Promotes cell growth in the production of desired products.

* Cost effective: Reduces reaction time, resulting in cost savings.


This technology is a useful method for promoting reductive processes in a biological system.

IP Protection Status

Covered by 3 US patents: 6,270,649, 6,495,023, and 7,459,223

Additional patents pending

Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University - Test