Our aim is for young researchers to gain hands-on experience with microbial electrochemistry.

Please register for workshops here: https://va.apollon.nta.co.jp/ismet7/

We are looking forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Workshop information

Workshop Sessions:




Demonstration of MFC-fueled autonomous robot, EcoBot II

by Prof. Ioannis Ieropoulos & Dr. Maria Jose Salar & Dr. Pavlina Theodosiou

Bristol BioEnergy Centre will be showcasing the microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology at the ISMET conference and how this can be used to power a robot such as EcoBot-II. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to build an analytical size MFC (25 mL) and inoculate it with locally sourced inoculum in an attempt to learn more about MFC materials and prospects. In the meantime participants will use already colonised small-scale (6.25 mL) MFCs to power the EcoBot-II platforms and perform phototactic experiments with the use of a torch. During the workshop a selection of different MFC designs and materials (non-contaminated) that have been explored so far by BBiC will be presented as well.

Duration: 2 hours

Dr Maria Jose Salar is a postdoctoral researcher at Bristol Bioenergy Centre (University of the Westof England). She got her PhD at Technical University of Cartagena (Spain) and was awarded with the extraordinary PhD award. After her PhD, she was funded by Seneca Foundation (Science and Technology Agency for the Region of Murcia) to conduct her research at Bristol BioEnergy Centre. Her research field focuses on the design and optimisation of Microbial Fuel Cells as well as the use of green solvents such as ionic liquids in membrane technology. These research lines have resulted in more than 36 scientific publications (h-index: 10) and 8 book chapters. Her work has given rise to 32 communications in both international and national congresses. She has also participated in 2 National and 2 Regional Funded Projects and she has been co-advisor of 3 Master Thesis.

Pavlina Theodosiou is a research associate at Bristol Bioenergy Centre (University of the West of England, Bristol) working on the PeePower™ technology. Her current project is funded by OXFAM and focuses on implementing the PeePower™ in refugee camps and slums in the developing world. Her PhD was funded by the European Commission under the project name EVOBLISS (FP-7) and she conducted her work at University of the West of England under the supervision of Prof. Ioannis Ieropoulos. For her thesis Pavlina was working with the robotic platform EvoBot, a 3D-printer turned to robot, which she used as an automated Robot-Chemostat for culturing and maintaining Microbial Fuel Cells. The improved MFCs were then used on board the 2018 edition EcoBot-II. For this workshe was awarded the “Best Biology Paper” at the 6 th Living Machines Conference in StanfordUniversity.

Reactors for microbial electrochemistry

Description: In this workshop, a detailed overview of the different types of reactors that have been used over the years for different applications will be given. This will include the reactors for basic research including those used for investigating the electron transfer mechanism in bioelectrochemical systems (BESs). Reactors type for applied microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) such as Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) (evolution over the years) will be discussed. The pilot studies carried out using MFCs will also be presented. Reactors used for Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for hydrogen production will be presented from both intial lab-scale ones to present pilots. Reactors for microbial electrosynthesis (MES) for cathodic production of chemicals (mainly using CO2 as feedstock) and their design including upscaling challenges will be discussed. A brief discussion on other emerging METs like microbial desalination cell (MDCs) and bioelectrochemical sensosrs will also be presented. An overview of the main components including anode materials, cathode materials and membranes/separators will also be held.


Duration: 3-4 Hours


Speaker: Dr Deepak PANT

Deepak PANT is currently Senior Scientist at the Department of Sustainable Chemistry, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Belgium. He obtained his PhD in 2007 from TERI University, New Delhi and started as a Post-doctoral researcher at VITO and University of Antwerp in Belgium. His main research focus has been on bioenergy, specifically, the design and optimization of bio-electrochemical systems for energy recovery from wastewaters and microbial electrosynthesis for production of value-added chemicals through electrochemically driven bio-processes. Dr. Pant and his colleagues has developed and upscaled activated carbon based gas diffusion electrodes that are used as air cathodes in microbial fuel cells. He has also worked extensively on collaborative projects on biomass, bio-economy, wastewater treatment and feasibility studies. He has three patents to his credit, has edited 4 books, published over 105 scientific papers (>7100 citations; h-index 47) and 28 books chapters. He is a member of scientific communities like ISMET (elected board member), ISE, BES, BRSI (for which he was awarded the Overseas Fellow award in 2018), IFIBiop and AMI. He is an Editorial board member for ‘Bioresource Technology’, ‘Electronic Journal of Biotechnology’, ‘Biofuel Research Journal’, ‘Heliyon’ and ‘Frontiers in Environmental Science’ and Editor for the Elsevier Journal ‘Bioresource Technology Reports’.

Wisely using electrochemical methods and deciphering thermodynamic fundamentals of microbial metabolism

Description: This course comprises two distinguished thematic blocks:
In the first part, the basics of electrochemistry and electrochemical methods will be explained.
Thereby, it will be focused on three-electrodes-setup, reference electrodes, cyclic voltammetry
(CV) and the acquisition of power curves. Further as a prime example cultivation of biofilm anodes, performing CV and interpretation of the analysed data will be presented. Subsequently, this basic knowledge is used to illustrate the difference between MFC and MEC and to discuss
troubleshooting of experimental setups. Finally, derived (bio)electrochemical parameters and their
significance will be critical discussed.
The second part of the course focuses on microbial thermodynamics and comprises theoretical
aspects as well as calculation exercises. In the beginning, the fundamentals of microbial energy
harvest and the basic principles of thermodynamics will explained, followed by example
calculations on microorganisms respiring soluble electron acceptors. These examples include
principles for establishing chemical equations in a biochemical context, Gibbs free energy
calculations as well as the transformation in potential calculations. Subsequently, the pecularity of
the energy harvest of electroactive microorganisms is discussed and the consequences on
thermodynamic calculations are exemplified.


Duration: two half days (each 3-4h) respectively one day with 6-8h

Speaker: Dr. Falk Harnisch & Dr. Benjamin Kort

Dr. Falk Harnisch is internationally well recognized for his expertise on the interface ofelectrochemistry and microbiology, as e.g. reflected in more than 90 peer-reviewed paper (h-index of 37 (scopus)), the recent book “Bioelectrosynthesis” edited jointly with Dirk Holtmann, andseveral awards (UFZ-Research-Award, Helmholtz Young Investigators Group by the HelmholtzAssociation and the UFZ; Research Award Next generation biotechnological processes by theGerman Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Australia Award: Endeavour-Research Fellowship. Further he is Privatdozent (~Associate Prof.) at Leipzig University. Amongothers, he was co-speaker of the Future Panel of the DECHEMA and currently serves as Member of the Board of Directors of ISMET. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Falk_Harnisch

Dr. Benjamin Korth did his PhD on the thermodynamic analysis of electroactive microorganisms.Thereby, he developed new tools (e.g., bioelectrocalorimetry, mathematical modeling platform) foranalyzing the energy fluxes during extracellular electron transfer and in bioelectrochemicalsystems. He is also an experienced researcher in the energetic analysis and usage of wastewater. At the moment, he continues his work as PostDoc and expands his thermodynamic concepts onmicrobiomes and microbial ecology. He has published in high impact factor journals (e.g., Energy & Environmental Science) and he won the PhD award of the Helmholtz association in the research field “Energy” as well as several awards for oral presentations in international conferences and in public science events. He was also guest researcher at the TU Delft and at the Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering (LEQUIA, University of Girona).https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Benjamin_Korth

Biofilm fundamentals and electrochemical detection of early biofilm formation 


Description: Biofilms are microstructured microbial communities living at interfaces. Biofilms can be described as complex bug megalopolis, with an intricate network of signals and physicochemical interactions. This is especially true for mixed consortia biofilms, where interactions between different species must be considered. Biofilms have emerging properties that are different from those of single microorganisms, such as resistance to antimicrobial agents, nutrients/metabolites storage and strong chemical gradients, which determine the metabolic activity at different depths in the biofilm. The high concentration of microorganisms in biofilms make them ideal for biodegradation and energy conversion in bioelectrochemical systems.

In the first part of this workshop, we will review the fundamental concepts needed for qualitative and quantitative understanding of biofilms in laboratory systems, including methods for biofilm growth and monitoring. In the second part, we will discuss the early stages of biofilm formation and the electrochemical signature of early biofilms on microstructured/nanostructured materials. This is particularly relevant to rapid screening of electrogenic microorganisms, both in pure species and mixed microbial consortia, and to the development of bioelectrochemical sensor. As a practical example, the early attachment of weak electroactive biofilm will be monitored in potentiostat-controlled electrochemical cells and the biofilm formation will be detected through Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy.

Duration: 2-3 hours

Speaker: Enrico Marsili 

Dr. Enrico Marsili has over 16 years of experience in biofilms, bioprocesses, and electrochemistry. Following his PhD in Chemical Engineering at University of Rome, Italy, he worked at University of Minnesota on biofilm structure and function and contributed to develop electrochemical biofilm characterization. In 2012, he moved to the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering and established research facilities for  bioelectrochemistry of biofilms. Since 2019, Dr Marsili serves as Associate Professor at Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, where he works on microbially influenced corrosion and antibiotic resistance in biofilms.  

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