This curricular unit aims to present the interactions between living microbial cells and electrodes, the emergent technologies and electro-biotechnological applications. Particular emphasis will be given to microbial fuel cells and their applications in bioelectricity production, electrobioremediation and microbial electrosynthesis. At the end of this curricular unit it is expected that the student is able to (i) understand the extracellular electron transfer processes; (ii) argue on the different type of interactions between microorganism and the electrodes; (iii) discuss and recognize the emergent technologies in the electrobiotechnology field and their practical applications; (iv) search and interpret critically the literature.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carlos Alberto Gomes Salgueiro


Weekly - 2

Total - 29

Teaching language



Available soon


1. Bioelectrochemical Systems: From Extracellular Electron Transfer to Biotechnological Application (2010) Eds. K. Rabaey, L. Angenent, U. Schroder and J. Keller, IWA Publishing, London, United Kingdom.

2. Biofilms in Bioelectrochemical Systems: From Laboratory Practice to Data Interpretation (2015) Eds. H. Beyenal and J.T. Babauta, John Wiley & Sons.

3. Microbial Fuel Cells (2008) Bruce E. Logan, Wiley.

4. Microbial Electrochemical and Fuel Cells: Fundamentals and Applications (2016) Eds. Keith Scott, Eileen Hao Yu, Elsevier.

Teaching method

The course includes lectures and problem-solving classes. The lectures will be taught using "data show", accompanied by supplementary bibliography previously available on the website of discipline.

 The problem-solving classes will focus on the preparation, presentation and discussion od a Biotecnnohlogical application (Biotech Apps).

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1. Microbial fuel cells
1.1.         Components and architectures
1.2.         Microrganisms as biocatalysts
1.2.1.           Respiratory diversity 
1.2.2.           Electroactive microbial communities
1.2.3.            Extracellular electron transfer (ETT)
1.2.4.            Exoelectrogenic microrganisms
1.2.5.            Biochemical mechanisms of ETT
1.2.6.            Cellular organization 
2. Microbial fuel cells or electrochemical (MEC) and and biotechnological applications
2.1.         Bioenergy production 
2.2.1.            Sediment or benthic MEC 
2.2.2.            Plant based MEC 
2.2.3.            Electrobioremediation
2.2.               Chemical production MEC
2.3.         Microbial electrosynthesis
2.4.         Desalination MEC 
3. Strategies to increase MEC performance
3.1.        Design
3.2.         Biogenic and non-biogenic redox shuttles
3.3.         Cellular membrane permeability
3.4.         Stimulated direct interspecies electron transfer
3.5.         Adaptive evolution
3.6.         Biological strategies


Programs where the course is taught: