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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Energy Seminar: Alfred Spormann, Advanced Bioenergy Systems - Microbial Electrosynthesis

May 15, 2017 - 4:30pm to 5:20pm
NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center

Free and open to all.

Event Sponsor: 
Precourt Institute for Energy
Contact Email:

Alfred Spormann, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering, Stanford University

Talk abstract: Traditionally, biology has been employed for providing renewable energy primarily by producing biomass or in fermentations thereof to low molecular weight fuels. However, the low efficiencies of conversion, the chemical heterogeneity of biomass, and the significant impact on resources motivated exploring other molecular biocatalytic processes for developing new bioenergy platform technologies. Microbial electrosynthesis is an emerging technology for storing electrical energy and for producing CO2-neutral organic commodity chemicals and fuels. At the core is the observation that certain microorganisms take up electrons from a cathode. These electrons are subsequently metabolized via the energy metabolism of the microorganism.  This talk reports research in microbial electrosynthesis and places this technology into context of traditional use of biology.