Aarhus Universitets segl

Harnessing the electric potential of cable bacteria to generate electricity sustainably

Bioelectrochemistry with cable bacteria

Cable bacteria are centimetre-long, filamentous, multicellular bacteria present ubiquitously in freshwater and marine sediments, and participate in long-distance electron transfer by coupling the oxidation of sulphide in anoxic sediment to the reduction of oxygen. Cable bacteria possess an internal electric grid, enabling them to transport electrons over centimeter-scale distances.

  • This project proposes the cultivation of cable bacteria on electrodes to harness their potential to generate electricity.
  • These experiments would be performed in specialized bioelectrochemical systems.
  • Electrochemical interactions of cable bacteria with electrodes (and other microbes) will be monitored.

These experiments might inspire novel methods to cultivate cable bacteria, besides also offering other applications like bioremediation and biosensing.

  • The physiological possibility of dark oxygen generation by cable bacteria in anaerobic sediments will also be explored, that would enable the use of cable bacteria as intermediates to convert any aerobic microbe into an electrogen.

This mechanism might potentially uncover an unknown mode of oxygen production and lead to a new understanding of oxygen transport through the oxic-anoxic interface.


  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fund excellent research and innovation and equip researchers at all stages of their career with new knowledge and skills, through mobility across borders and exposure to different sectors and disciplines. The MSCA help build Europe’s capacity for research and innovation by investing in the long-term careers of excellent researchers.The MSCA also fund the development of excellent doctoral and postdoctoral training programmes and collaborative research projects worldwide. By doing so, they achieve a structuring impact on higher education institutions, research centres and non-academic organisations. The MSCA promote excellence and set standards for high-quality researcher education and training in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers.

Home | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (europa.eu)


Kartik Aiyer

Postdoc Institut for Biologi - Mikrobiologi