Microbial fuel cells: Running on gas

Methane is an abundant energy source that is used for power generation in thermal power plants via combustion, but direct conversion to electricity in fuel cells remains challenging. Now, a microbial fuel cell is demonstrated to efficiently convert methane directly to current by careful selection of a consortium of microorganisms.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Microbial electrochemical oxidation of methane to electricity, fuels, and chemicals.


  1. 1

    Allen, G. Nature 538, 46–48 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    O'Hayre, R., Cha, S. W., Colella, W. & Prinz, F. B. Fuel Cell Fundamentals (John Wiley & Sons, 2016).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    McAnulty, M. J. et al. Nat. Commun. 8, 15419 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Logan, B. E. et al. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40, 5181–5192 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Scheller, S., Yu, H., Chadwick, G. L., McGlynn, S. E. & Orphan, V. J. Science 351, 703–707 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Franks, A. E., Nevin, K. P., Glaven, R. H. & Lovley, D. R. ISME J. 4, 509–519 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Wang, H. & Ren, Z. J. Biotechnol. Adv. 31, 1796–1807 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Ding, J. et al. Water Res. 110, 112–119 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zhiyong Jason Ren.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ren, Z. Microbial fuel cells: Running on gas. Nat Energy 2, 17093 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2017.93

Download citation

Further reading