Fundamentals of energy storage in electrochemically active biofilms

The Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig, Germany, is looking for an excellent Phd student to support our interdisciplinary research project “Fundamentals of canode biofilm electro-metabolism”.

Microbial electrogenesis – the electricity production from organic compounds such as those found in wastes or marine sediments – and microbial electrosynthesis – the reduction of CO2 into organic energy storage molecules, are two prime application goals for microbial electrochemical technologies. Recent findings by the team of Dr. Leonard Tender from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC illustrate the possibility of combining electrotrophy and electrogenesis in one, switchable electrode-grown biofilm denoted as canode biofilm (cathode/anode). The canode opens new ways to combine bioelectrochemical energy storage and power generation in a single device.

But what are the mechanisms of the underlying metabolic processes, and how is the electrotrophic and electrogenic metabolism coupled with the extracellular electron transfer that connects cellular processes with the electrode? Single investigation methods, such as voltammetry or spectroscopy alone, will not allow achieve sufficient information depth. Only by combining these methods (so-called hyphenated techniques) to probe real-times changes in molecular signatures of the canode, as it switched for energy storage to power generation modes, can information down to molecular reaction mechanisms be gained. In this research project – which is carried out in collaboration with the group of Dr. Leonard Tender – we take a further step. We combine a set of state of the art hyphenated techniques in order to close this knowledge gap and acquire fundamental understanding on the thermodynamics, mechanisms and kinetics of the energy conversion and metabolism in canode biofilms.

The starting date is October 1, 2020. The employment will be arranged by the administration of the TU Braunschweig (salary TVL E13/50%, including health insurance, 3 years contract).

Applications: should be sent by e-mail to Uwe Schröder (, and must contain the following documents.

Motivation Letter including contact information for two references
Curriculum Vitae including complete address, phone number, email address, educational background, language skills, and work experience
Copies of diploma and transcript of grades in original language and in English or German translation
Additional documents should be provided on request
All documents should be in PDF format, preferably in a single file. Personal data and documents relating to the application process will be stored electronically. Please note that application costs cannot be refunded.

Institution contact information

Prof. Uwe Schröder, Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig

Contact email address



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