Jay Regan from the Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department recently presented research on bioelectrochemical systems at a seminar at IUP.
Regan spoke on October 12, 2018, about experimental platforms for studying microbial physiology and bioprospecting for Novel Microbes. Extracellular electron transport is important in many contexts, including natural settings as well as bioelectrochemical
systems (BESs), which involve microbe-mediated reactions involving anode reduction and/or cathode oxidation. BESs have been explored for applications such as wastewater treatment, desalination, bioremediation, electrosynthesis of fuels and products,
and remote power production. BESs also provide an excellent platform for studying microbial physiology and ecology in populations and communities capable of extracellular electron transfer (EET). In this experimental context, BESs allow operation
at controlled conditions (e.g., fixed electrode potential) without complications introduced by redox-induced metal precipitation and dissolution, the current provides a real-time measurement of microbial respiration-induced reactions, and analytical
electrochemistry techniques can be used to characterize EET capabilities. Regan's presentation emphasized the use of BESs to (1) study the parameters affecting EET by the model exoelectrogen and exoelectrotroph Geobacter metallireducens and (2) bioprospect
for novel electrochemically active communities.
Jay Regan is a professor of environmental engineering at Penn State University. He has a BS in agricultural and biological engineering from Cornell University and an MS in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois. He then worked for
five years in environmental consulting at Montgomery Watson before earning his PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has been at Penn State since 2002. His research interests are in environmental biotechnology, focused on using microbes
to convert wastes into various energy carriers and products in bioelectrochemical systems and anaerobic digesters, and also bacterial transformations of nitrogen and phosphorus in both engineered and natural ecosystems.
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics