U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Environmental Remediation Sciences and Genomics:GTL Researcher in the News
Published: July 26, 2004
Posted: August 17, 2004

Dr. Derek Lovley of the University of Massachusetts was recently highlighted in a syndicated Knight-Ridder newspaper article for his work with the microbial Geobacter species. Geobacter species conserve energy to support growth via the enzymatic reduction of metals such as iron and uranium. Lovley's group, in collaboration with PNNL researcher Philip E. Long, demonstrated that native Geobacters are associated with the in situ removal of uranium from contaminated groundwater. This bio-based, in situ technique could lead to more cost effective means to remove contaminant metals from groundwater. In addition to its potential as a remediation tool, the novel attributes of Geobacter metabolism that enable it to reduce solid phase metals also enable it to reduce electrodes and produce electricity when cultured in microbial fuel cells. While the power outputs are small from such cells the efficiency of the process is quite high. Lovley maintains that further advances should enable practical use of microbial fuel cells for low power energy needs.

Contact: Robert T. Anderson, SC-75, (301) 903-5549
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Subsurface Biogeochemical Research
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-75 Environmental Remediation Sciences Division, OBER)

 

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