Environmental Biotechnology Network

EBNet Working Group: Bioelectrochemical Development for Environmental Technology


This WG aims to promote education, collaboration and research by merging microbiology, engineering, material and biotechnology disciplines in the study of bioelectrochemical systems. This knowledge area continues to expand with several environmental applications such as monitoring, waste gas conversion to biocompounds, waste liquids remediation and biohydrogen production. We will foster collaboration opportunities in this topic that can lead to the development of new types of bioelectrochemical systems and further understanding of the different aspects that surround this biosystem.

Working Group Co-ordinator

Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering. Newcastle University.
Dr Velasquez Orta has used a multidisciplinary approach to address current world challenges in areas related to sustainability, waste biomass valorisation and effective water management, with a specific focus on understanding waste biomass transformations. She has investigated how microorganisms can enable energy production, water monitoring and wastewater treatment across multiple applications. Her research over the past 10 years has focused in the development of novel technologies such as bioelectrochemical systems (BES) for waste treatment. To this aim, she has partnered with International Universities and Companies to enable technology field testing and deployment.


Contact the Working Group co-ordinator to get involved.

WG Activities

Past events…

Zero-gap architecture innovations to maximize current densities in microbial electrochemical technologies for electricity or biogas production, Prof. Bruce Logan, Penn State University, WEBINAR, 22 Apr 24, 14:00-15:00 hrs (BST).

Bioelectrochemical Systems Workshop: 23-24th November 2023, Newcastle University.

A workshop of knowledge and interaction for researchers working or interested in bioelectrochemical systems for the environment. This event will strengthen your knowledge on bioelectrochemical systems and give you tools to improve the impact of your research. Event over. Registration closed for 2023.

(Photo taken from lab session at workshop)

The Second Webinar: Bioelectrochemical Systems – from fundamentals in robotics to real world applications: 20 July 10-11am, Prof. Yannis Ieropoulos, University of Southampton. The webinar video can be found here.

The first Webinar: Bioelectrochemical Development for Environmental Technology featured Associate Professor Annemiek ter Heijne, Environmental Technology, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands. Thursday 16 March 2023, 09.00-10.00 (GMT). Talk entitled: “Microbial Electrochemical Systems: fundamentals and applications“. The event is complete, but the webinar video can be found here.

A.Prof. Annemiek ter Heijne is Former President & Fellow and active member of ISMET– the International Society of Microbial Electrochemistry & Technology. Her research interests include: Microbial Electrochemical Technologies, Microbial Fuel Cells for electricity production, Capacitive electrodes for Microbial Fuel Cells, Microbial Electrolysis Cells for production of methane from CO2, Bioanodes for conversion of wastewater into electricity, Biocathodes for oxygen reduction, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Renewable Energy Technologies.

External opportunities

BBSRC are ramping up interest and funding in this area. get involved and join them for the “Bioelectrical Engineering Community Webinar (Responsive Mode Spotlights – UKRI)”, Tuesday 6 December 2022, 3:30 – 4:30 PM. More here.

Interesting Publications

Life Cycle Assessment of Microbial Electrosynthesis for Commercial Product Generation

By: Okoroafor T, Haile S, Velasquez-Orta S. In: Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste 2021, 25(1), 04020062.

A critical review of integration analysis of microbial electrosynthesis (MES) systems with waste biorefineries for the production of biofuel and chemical from reuse of CO2
By: Jhuma Sadhukhan, Jon R. Lloyd, Keith Scott, Giuliano C. Premier, Eileen H. Yu, Tom Curtis, Ian M. Head
In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Volume 56, April 2016, Pages 116-132