Industrial bioelectrochemistry for waste valorization: State of the art and challenges

Diego Maureira, Oscar Romero, Andrés Illanes, Lorena Wilson, Carminna Ottone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bioelectrochemistry has gained importance in recent years for some of its applications on waste valorization, such as wastewater treatment and carbon dioxide conversion, among others. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview of the applications of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) for waste valorization in the industry, identifying current limitations and future perspectives of this technology. BESs are classified according to biorefinery concepts into three different categories: (i) waste to power, (ii) waste to fuel and (iii) waste to chemicals. The main issues related to the scalability of bioelectrochemical systems are discussed, such as electrode construction, the addition of redox mediators and the design parameters of the cells. Among the existing BESs, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) stand out as the more advanced technologies in terms of implementation and R&D investment. However, there has been little transfer of such achievements to enzymatic electrochemical systems. It is necessary that enzymatic systems learn from the knowledge reached with MFC and MEC to accelerate their development to achieve competitiveness in the short term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108123
JournalBiotechnology Advances
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • Bioelectrochemical systems
  • Carbon dioxide reduction
  • Carbon-based materials
  • Electrodes materials
  • Enzymes
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Wastewater treatment


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