Attributed to their multifaceted abilities, microorganisms have been constantly explored for several applications ranging from product synthesis, energy recovery to waste treatment.
Biological production of electricity has been an important area of research in the past decade and half. Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) offer a promising solution in aiding the energy development sector due to its supplementing ability to generate electricity from wastes and wastewaters.
This chapter lays focus on the mechanisms and applicability of microorganisms to tap the potential in the wastes and wastewaters to function as active substrates for bioelectricity generation. Simultaneous bioenergy recovery is an added advantage in the BESs along with waste treatment. The main emphasis is on the electron-transfer mechanisms across microorganisms and electrodes, reactor architecture, and operating conditions. A brief overview on the potential of various solid wastes and wastewaters from domestic, agricultural, and industrial sectors is also included. The advancements in the field of microbial electrocatalysis have been highlighted under various sections which shed some light on the possibilities of active integration of BESs with other existing bioprocesses.
Further technical and technological advancements can supplement the capability of waste to bioenergy conversion concept of BESs to tackle the energy sustainability and waste management issues.