A comprehensive understanding of electro-fermentation

Drishti Dinesh Bhagchandanii, Rishi Pramod Babu, Jayesh M. Sonawane, Namita Khanna, Soumya Pandit, Dipak A. Jadhav, Santimoy Khilari, Ram Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Electro-fermentation (EF) is an upcoming technology that can control the metabolism of exoelectrogenic bacteria (i.e., bacteria that transfer electrons using an extracellular mechanism). The fermenter consists of electrodes that act as sink and source for the production and movement of electrons and protons, thus generating electricity and producing valuable products. The conventional process of fermentation has several drawbacks that restrict their application and economic viability. Additionally, metabolic reactions taking place in traditional fermenters are often redox imbalanced. Almost all metabolic pathways and microbial strains have been studied, and EF can electrochemically control this. The process of EF can be used to optimize metabolic processes taking place in the fermenter by controlling the redox and pH imbalances and by stimulating carbon chain elongation or breakdown to improve the overall biomass yield and support the production of a specific product. This review briefly discusses microbe-electrode interactions, electro-fermenter designs, mixed-culture EF, and pure culture EF in industrial applications, electro methanogenesis, and the various products that could be hence generated using this process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic fermentation
  • Bioelectrochemical system
  • Electro fermentation
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Microbial fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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